Create file approval application

Create file approval application

I need to create an approval application that will allow user to input a file that is then sent to management for approval.
Hi Marco.

Welcome to the OutSystems Agile Network forums.

I'm sorry for my question, but from your post, it seems a bit vague - exactly what is the problem you are having, or what is the question that you have?


Paulo Tavares
Hi Marco,

welcome to OutSystems network.

I've notice you just sign into the network, so take a look at our demos videos you can find them here >>

Please don't forget to do the developer course 1, after that you'll see that your performance will improve a lot. Check it out here >>

If you've downloaded the community version follow the tutorials, you have there all you need to learn how to do an approval application.

Sorry, yes that was incredibly vague of me.  Here is what was asked...create an application that s an expense report approval system:

- The expense reports are XLS spreadsheets already setup and in use.
- The user would upload the XLS file and enter total expense amount and then submit for approval
    -- Upon submital the approval is sent to the manager
    -- The CFO reviews the attached XLS and either approves or declines

Hi Marco!

No need to apologize - that's what we're here for.

From the description of your application, I'm comfortable that it seems to be an accessible application to build using the OutSystems Agile Platform.

What stage are you at, at the moment? Have you already started to develop anything using the OutSystems Agile Platform - and if so, do you need some pointers as to which direction to go? Or would you like your assistance in building such an application?

If you're trying to develop it yourself, and if you have had no experience yet with the Agile Platform, I'll have to suggest you download our free Community Edition, and then I'd have to quote Ricardo: the best place to start is to briefly go through the online tutorials, since they do an amazing job at getting you up to speed in little time. Since Excel files are supported in the Agile Platform, without having to write specific code to handle them, that wouldn't be a hard job I guess.

I'm going to suggest you keep us up do date on your developments, so that we can help you out the best we can.

If you're not trying to develop it by yourself, but asking for our assistance, then please let us know as well.

Best regards,

Paulo Tavares


Well...I finished the "hello world" tutorial...

...I'm looking into the agile business process tutorial right now (skipped all the way to the end...the last tutorial)...once I'm done with that tutorial, I was planning to see if I could at the very least get the entry and approval pages layed out.   Then work on getting the actual input of the file working.  I would love any help you can provide.

Hi Marco,

Ok, thanks for the honesty! I'll give you my tips as well.

I agree that doing your application with the Business Processes Technology is the best way to go.

I would suggest, however, that you do take the full Developer Course 1, because of the following things that you'll need:

2. Getting Started
- Tables and listing data

3. OutSystems Fundamentals
- Updating data, and data modelling

4. Developing With OutSystems
- Working with Excel files, and debugging

5. Advanced Topics
- Form validations

6. OutSystems 2.0
- Lists, paging and sorting

Even though some topics say "30m", that usually means that they are hands-on exercises, based on an example application and a script, so it's a good opportunity for you to practice and do things by yourself, without just watching videos.

Good luck, and best regards.

Paulo Tavares
Hi Paulo,

I'm back!  So i've completed the course work up until the module where one imports/export XLS files.  I hope this is not what you think I was refering to.  My application I've been asked to create has to upload the file (in most cases it will be XLS but for approval of contracts it could be a Word Doc or a PDF).  The file itself needs to be maintained somewhere where the application can then access it during the approval process.

In other words, whether the file is kept within in the app or not is not the important thing.  If I can have the app store the appropriate file in a temp directory for later use is the importnat thing.   I hope that this can infact be done, since I've already invested some significant amount of time with the courses. 

Mind you, I think this app is AWESOME, even if I can't use it for this particular instance.  I would definitely continue with the course work in the track to become some sort of Professional (I'm mainly a Business Analyst, so I'd probably not complete the developer track, but rather the Engagement Manager Track).  That said if want I need can't be done I need to look for altenatives.

So to reiterate the proble at hand:
  I need a web app that:
     -A user uploads (not import) files for approval and enter total expense amount and then submit for approval
       (The file is kept in a temporary location)
    -- Upon submital the approval is sent to the manager
    -- The CFO reviews the attached XLS and either approves or declines (on approval the file is moved to a different location if necesary for record keeping) 

Hi Marco!

Great to hear back from you. I'm glad to hear that you've been doing the training, and that you're enjoying the application.

Once again, it seems to me that the application you want to create is perfectly do-able using OutSystems.

In this case, to create the temporary file, you can use two of our extensions: one is the FileSystem extension, and the other is the Network File System extension. Both do similar things, but one is able to access files that are stored in a network path.

One thing that might help you is the technical note that Miguel João published on Setting up and Application to Access the File System , in case you do use these extensions.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Best regards,

Paulo Tavares
Hi Marco,

Like Paulo said, you can use those extensions or depending on expectations you might have with file size and number of files you can kept those files in database. Just create an entity with a "binary data" attribute type.

Considering the Approval Process , have you already design the process? Need Help on that?

While designing it you can take a look at Gonçalo Borrêga presentation for BPT Patterns & Best Practices with OutSystems BPT @