SP Event Manager - Approval Process

This post will address the event approval process for the SharePoint Event Manager. The approval process consists of 4 event states; all of which are managed through the Event View Page.

Note: for email notifications, the FromEmail setting needs to be configured in the Settings list. See the Lists and Libraries post for more information.

Draft Events

All new events, along with events that are currently being drafted, are assigned the status of Draft. Draft events and their sub events can be edited or modified without restriction, by anyone with contribute permissions on the app web.

Pending Approval

When a Draft event is saved and at least one approver has been selected, the event can be submitted for approval via the Event View Page. This submission will then put the event in Pending Approval status and notify the approvers via email.

When in Pending Approval status, the event and all sub events are locked for editing. Only attendance can be edited in this status (version 1.1.0.0 only).

Published

If any one of the approvers is satisfied with the event and believes it is ready for publication, they can approve it in the Event View Page, setting its status to Published.

When in Published status, the event and all sub events are locked for editing. 

Only attendance can be edited in this status, and once approved, the author is notified via email (version 1.1.0.0 only).

Rejected

If any one of the approvers is not satisfied with the event, and believes it requires changes before publication, they can reject the event. Once rejected, the event and all sub events become editable again, and once edited the event will revert to Draft status.

In order to inform the author as to why the event has been rejected, approvers are prompted to leave a message, which is then sent to the author via email, and presented in a notification box at the top of the Event View Page (version 1.1.0.0 only).

SP Event Manager - Event Calendar View

The Event Calendar View shows published event information in a calendar format. By default, the calendar will only show parent events, but if the View on Calendar button is clicked on the event summary page, the selected event and all its sub events will be shown.

There are 3 different views for the calendar (Day, Week, Month), and 2 pre-set filters (My Events and All Events). By default, the calendar will load a monthly view of the My Events filter (i.e. events which the user is involved as a participant).

When viewing the calendar via an event, the calendar will show the day view on the start day of the event, with sub events:

The parent event is always shown in blue, followed by sub events in green. From here, you can switch to a weekly or monthly view if desired.

Clicking on an empty space on the monthly calendar view will take you to a new event form, with the start date pre-filled with the date clicked.

SP Event Manager - Event Index View

The Event Index View provides a card-like view of published events, allowing the users to filter results by the pre-set filters, and by individual locations or event types. Clicking on an event will take you to the event summary view.

The images associated to each event are driven by the event type information stored in the event types list. See my blog on lists and libraries for more information.

Next Step - Event Calendar View

SP Event Manger - Admin Dashboard View

The Admin Dashboard View provides holistic event statistics, and is not tailored to any particular user. A summary of the rules for each statistic is as follows:

  1. Upcoming events:
    1. start date must be within the next 30 days,
    2. start date must be after the current date,
    3. event must be published,
    4. event must be a parent event, and
    5. start date must be in the next 7 days (next 7 days section)
  2. Published events:
    1. event must be published,
    2. event must be a parent event,
    3. event must have been published in the last 7 days (published this week section)
  3. Draft events belong to me: self explanatory, parent events only
  4. Events in review:
    1. event status set to Pending Approval or Rejected,
    2. end date must be after the current date,
    3. event must be a parent event, and
    4. event must be in Rejected status (rejected section)

The charts provide information for the current month, and also the amount of published events in the whole year, by month.

Next Step - Event Index View

 

SP Event Manager - My Dashboard View

The My Dashboard view provides the user with event information tailored to them. On this screen, users get a view of their draft events, the events they need to approve, and a range of statistical information. The tables are fairly self explanatory, but the conditions for the statistical information is explained below. Only parent events are shown in this dashboard.

  1. Upcoming events involving me:
    1. start date must be within the next 30 days,
    2. start date must be after the current date,
    3. current user must be a participant,
    4. event must be published,
    5. event must be a parent event, and
    6. current user must be lead participant (I am leading section)
  2. Published events authored by me:
    1. event author must be the current user,
    2. event must be published,
    3. event must be a parent event,
    4. end date must be after the current date, and
    5. event must have been published in the last 7 days (published this week section)
  3. Draft events belong to me: self explanatory, parent events only
  4. Events requiring my approval:
    1. current user must be an approver,
    2. event status set to Pending Approval,
    3. end date must be after the current date,
    4. event must be a parent event, and
    5. event must have been submitted for approval less than 3 days ago (overdue for approval section)

Clicking any one of these statistical cards will take you to the index view, with filtered results.

Next Step - Admin Dashboard View

SP Event Manager - Event Summary View

When you save a new event, or view an existing event, you will be presented with the event summary screen.

This screen organises your event data in an orderly and easy to read manner. Providing all the participants of your event full visibility of the event and everything it entails.

From this screen, a number of actions can be performed.

  1. Edit the Event - The event can be edited, which will return you to the event form. This is only possible when the event is in either Draft or Rejected status.
  2. Submit for Approval - If the event is in Draft status, the event can be submitted for approval. This is only possible if you have selected approvers for the event, otherwise you will be presented with an error message to that effect.
  3. Approval Actions - Once submitted for approval, if you are marked as an approver for the event, you can either approve or reject the event. You can also leave a rejection message for the author, so he/she knows why the event was rejected (version 1.1.0.0 only).
  4. Unlock for Editing - If the event is published, and you are marked as an approver, you can unlock the event for editing. This effectively resets the event into Draft status, allowing it to be edited.
  5. View on Calendar - This button will load the calendar view, and present only the current event and it's sub events.
  6. Remove Event - If the event is in Draft status, you can opt to delete it. Nothing is truly deleted in this system however, and deleted events can be restored in the SharePoint list UI by changing their status from Deleted back to Draft.
  7. Email Lead Participant - By clicking the lead participant badge, you have the option to contact them via email.
  8. Add Sub Events - Sub events can also be created from this screen. Clicking the Add Sub Event button will take you to a new event form, however when saved, this event will become a sub event of your event.
  9. Mark attendance for attendees (version 1.1.0.0 only).

Sub Events:

While viewing a sub event, you cannot perform any approval actions, and sub events cannot be edited if their parent is not in Draft status.

When creating a sub event, it is advisable to make sure its date range is within the date range of its parent. This is not restricted, but will improve the user experience on the calendar.

Next Step - My Dashboard View

SP Event Manager - Create a New Event

The New Event Form consists of 4 steps:

Step 1 - General Event Information

The first page of the form contains general information about your event. The Title, Event Start and Event End fields are mandatory, but to ensure data quality, I recommend filling in all fields. The date pickers are organised in such a way as to prevent the user from picking an end date prior to the start date. No other fields are validated on this form to ensure flexibility.

The people-picker fields on the form operate on a typeahead system, meaning if you start typing the name of someone within your organisation, the fields will allow you to choose the correct person. The additional participants and approvers fields both allow multiple selections. While there may be multiple people selected in the approver field, only one of them is required to approve the event.

Attendees (version 1.1.0.0 only)

Attendees can be added in 3 different ways:

  1. Via the participants field. Anyone added as a non-leading participant will automatically be added as an attendee
  2. Via the new attendee form (click the associated button to add a new attendee)
  3. Via the type and pick field, which will search existing attendees (those saved in either the current event or previous events)

Step 2 - Detailed Event Information

The second page of the form gives the user the chance to provide in-depth information about their event. The fields include stakeholders, purpose, agenda, deliverables and schedule.

The stakeholders field functions as a keyword tagging system, with typeahead support. Keywords can be selected by typing and choosing an appropriate option. New keywords can be added by typing the name in the box and hitting enter. All keywords are saved, making them accessible for all subsequent events.

All the other fields on the page support full HTML content, increasing readability on the summary page.

Step 3 - Host and Venue Information

The third and final step in the event form allows you to provide information about the host and venue of the event. These fields are designed to house short and concise information, and therefore do not support full HTML editing.

Step 4 - Confirmation

This is the final screen of the event form. From here, you can navigate back and forth in the form using the buttons, or if you're happy with your event, it can be saved as draft using the Save Event button.

Note that due to the lack of validation on most of the form, events can be saved as draft even if they are unfinished. This way, users can save their progress and return to their events later.

Next Step - Event Summary View

SP Event Manager - Lists & Libraries

The SP Event Manager uses a number of SharePoint lists to store its data. All of these lists are hosted directly in the App Web, so the app does not alter any content in the host web.

Event Programmes List (Lists/EventProgrammes)

This list stores all primary information for events and sub-events. Any changes made to events in the UI will automatically update this list. From a content type perspective, this list consists of only free-text and people fields. All additional complexity is handled via the UI.

Event Stakeholders (Lists/EventStakeholders)

Stakeholder information in the SP Event Manager follows a tag-style architecture. Users can select a pre-existing tag as they type, or they can choose to add a new tag. These stakeholder tags are stored as individual entries in the Event Stakeholders list.

Event Attendees (Lists/EventAttendees)

This list stores attendees for events. When attendees are added to an event, they are added to this list. Once in this list, they will be available to select via the type and select box in the event form. If deleted from an event, the attendees are deleted from this list.

Event Types (Lists/EventTypes)

Each event is assigned a type, and these types are stored in the Event Types list. Unlike the prior 2 lists, this list needs some manual intervention, as users will need to input their desired event types into the list before they will show up in the UI. This list also has an ImageURL field, which allows users to assign an image to an event type, which will show up in the event index and in search results. If no image is found, a default image is shown. Images are capped at 293x195px, so for consistency's sake I recommend this ratio is maintained for all images.

Settings (Lists/Settings)

The Settings list stores global app settings, dictating how the app functions behind the scenes. At present, there are only 2 settings that can be configured via this list:

  1. FromEmail - set this to a valid email address from your organisation. This will be the From address for any correspondence the event manager sends.
  2. RefreshInterval - By default, all events are fetched on initial load and cached for use in the system. This however is not useful for extended periods as other users may have added content. To counter this, the system will re-fetch events from SP according to this refresh interval, in minutes.

Next Step - Create a New Event

SP Event Manager - System Overview

The SharePoint Event Manager consists of 6 core areas of functionality. Each of these areas will be explored in greater detail in their own dedicated posts.

  1. My Dashboard - a personalised view of event data
  2. Admin Dashboard - a holistic, system-wide view of event data
  3. Event Index - a filtered, card-like view of published events
  4. Event Calendar - a calendar view of published events
  5. Event Form - used to create and edit events
  6. Event Summary - a detailed view of an event and its sub-events (if any)

All events are assigned a type, which dictates their associated image. Depending on the stage of the approval process, events can be assigned a status of Draft, Pending Approval, Approved, Rejected and Published. Events can only be edited in the Draft and Rejected states, and Rejected events automatically revert to Draft when edited. Events are approved or rejected by the approvers assigned to the event.

Events can have an unlimited number of sub-events, which are designed to allow for the management of occurrences within a larger context. An International Trip, for example, may consist of a number of meetings and conferences, each with their own unique set of stakeholders or desired outcomes. The system is not infinitely recursive however, and sub-events cannot have sub-events of their own. Sub-events also inherit the status of their parent, which effectively means sub-events cannot be edited if their parents are in a locked state.

Next Step - Lists and Libraries