Review new PowerPivot workbooks on SharePoint using approval workflows

At the excellent linkedin discussion on PowerPivot, someone suggested that we might make review of a PowerPivot file possible. I answered we can because the PowerPivot gallery is a document library and we can manage approval workflows on this gallery. But i also wanted to check it out how I can do this.

In this blog post i’ll show you how to configure a PowerPivot gallery so that all new PowerPivot workbooks published to a PowerPivot gallery are reviewed by IT. I used a blog post i found which explains howto configure approval workflows step by step.

We start at our PowerPivot Gallery:

To enable workflows we go to Workflow settings in the library tools:

Select the current library and click add new workflow, we now get to our workflow settings:

We want to use the Approcal – SharePoint 2010 workflow, set a appropriate name  “PowerPivot approval”, we want a new task to be created at the reviewers task pane for every document that is added to the library. Next, we define the history list for the workflow. History lists are special logs which monitor the execution of the workflow. At each step of the workflow, messages at written to the log upon execution of the step. I want the workflow only to be executed when i upload a new file to the gallery:

We now can set up who the approvers are responsible of reviewing the PowerPivot workbooks, the settings are pretty straightforward.

Assign approvers, enter a request they will see at the workflow. The other settings aren’t necessary to complete the workflow.

We now can save our workflow and it will be in effect immediately.

When i now upload a new document to my PowerPivot gallery, we can see that the PowerPivot approval is in progress:

When i would look at my tasks lists within the same site collection i would see my new PowerPivot sheet is awaiting my review:

And we can open this workflow and comment on it, we can also open the document to look inside it:

We just approve my workbook now. When we check back at the gallery to see our workbook is approved:

So using workflow we can make an additional step in our Managed self service BI, and it is very easy to set up.