Using the App Request and Approval Workflow features in TechPilot

This information is also available as a 9-minute video: App Requests - Configuring and Using for Admins

Setting Up App Request Workflow

Define the workflow for app requests in your organization from Settings/App Requests in the Workflow section.

 

Four required statuses are pre-configured and cannot be removed: OPEN: Requested and all three CLOSED statuses. They represent the simplest workflow of opening a request, then marking it closed with one of the three outcomes.

Use the Add new OPEN status button to insert as many additional steps (statuses) as desired.  Each step should represent the movement of the request through the process of evaluation, approval/denial, and completion.  In the example above, we added a status for "Under Eval" and one for "Approved but needs PO".  In this case, paid apps might go through the "needs PO" stage, but free apps could simply skip that step.

 

Include: If this box is checked, the status will be available in the workflow.  If unchecked, the status will be deleted once the save button is pressed.

Rename: You can rename a custom status by clicking on the name box, changing the name, and click on 'Save'.

Color: Choose a color for each status.

Notify Users: When a user is added to the notification list for a status, they will receive an e-mail notification any time an app request is changed to that status.  This list will show the person(s) responsible for that step.  You can add multiple users for each status.  

Note that a user will only be notified of requests if the requester (teacher) is in the same location that the notified user has access to manage.  Example: If a district has an instructional coordinator for each school vet the app request from teachers at the same school before passing it along to the district admin, then the "Open: Requested" would have all ICs in the district in the notification list.  However, the IC for each school will only get notified if new requests are opened by teachers at their specific school.

Complete Status:  This status might mean different things for different districts.  In some districts, the admin or technician will install all apps for teachers, but let the teachers add them to their screen layouts as needed.  Other times, the admin/tech will install the app and add a default screen layout for the grade.  If your district gives teachers access to install their own apps, then "Complete" for your district might mean that the app has been purchased through VPP and added to the iOS location apps list, ready for teachers to install.  We recommend that you use the "Special Instructions" box in settings to clarify this for your users.

Configuring Request Form Fields

Define the information you'd like to request from teachers when they fill out the app request form from Settings/App Requests in the Fields section.

For each field, use the INCLUDE checkbox to set the field to be included on your form and use the REQUIRED checkbox to set the field as required for submitting a request.

The last three fields can be custom-named.

The Special Instructions box is used to add informational text to the request form.

Setting Permissions

Set permissions for App Requests from Settings/Permissions

Create an app request: If checked, users in this role can create new app requests.

Manage app request status: If checked, users in this role can manage requests by changing their status as the request progresses through the workflow.  If a user is responsible for one of the stages in the workflow, they will edit the request and change the status to the next stage when they have completed their step.  

Note that users are not restricted to only a specific status/step.  If granted this permission, they can change the status to any stage.  Also, teachers have the ability to cancel a request, even though they typically are not assigned this permission for managing the status.  In general, it's the people who will work on the request (technicians, instructional coordinators, financial people, administrators, etc.) who are granted this permission.  They should be set up for a Technician, Location Admin, or Organization Admin role.

Making an App Request

Once the teacher role is granted permission to create app requests, they will find the new App requests menu item under Organization on the main menu.

The App requests area has a separate tab for iOS requests and Mac requests.

 

Use the Add request button to start a new request.

Click the Select app button to search for or enter the desired app.

Use the App Store tab to search for apps directly from the Apple App Store.

If you have a link to an app in iTunes you can use the App Store URL tab to enter it directly instead of searching.

Use the Add button to add the app to your request. 

If the request is being made by an administrative user, she chooses a "requester" and "location", making the request on behalf of a teacher.

Fill out all the required fields and click Save to submit your request.

The requesting party will receive an e-mail notification any time the status of the request is changed.

The status of the request as well as any notes or history can be viewed by returning to the app request list, or by clicking a request from the list to display the details page.

Comments and notes can be added to the request at any time.

 

Managing an App Requests

Viewing the requests list

When viewing the App requests list, the location filter can be used to filter the list to show a single location or all locations.  Only locations to which the user has permission will be shown.

The status filter can be used to limit the list to requests of a single status or to show all of them.

The My requests checkbox is enabled for teachers by default and disabled for other roles by default since teachers are typically only concerned with viewing their own requests, but users of other roles typically need to manage requests made by other users.

Canceling a request

All users with access to the app request area, including the teacher/requester, have the ability to cancel a request with the Cancel request button at the top of the list.  Canceling a request will change the status to "CLOSED: Canceled", notify the users configured to receive notifications for the previous status that it has been canceled, and make a note in the history/timeline.

Removing a request

Removing the request deletes it from the system completely.  No notifications were sent.  This feature is only available to users with permission to manage request statuses (typically not teachers).

Changing the status of a request

Users with permission to manage app request statuses can use this button to move the request through the process by changing the status.

Multiple requests can be changed at the same time. The status can also be changed for a single app from the request details page.

Viewing Request Details

Click on any request from the list to view the details page.  The left side contains the app information in the top box (pulled from the App Store) and the requested details at the bottom. 

The left side contains the history of the app request, showing all changes in status as well as all comments.

The status can be changed or a comment added by using the appropriate buttons from this screen.  They function the same as when used from the requests list.

Adding a comment to the app request

All users (requesters and admins) are able to use the Add Comment button to add a note to the history area for the app request.

Tip: To make a comment on multiple apps, go back to the request list, select multiple apps, use the Change status button, and set the status to "keep current" while adding your comment to the comments box.

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