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Implementing a simple file approval system using tags

We were recently asked the following question by one of our customers:

Each Lab Manual (folder) contains documents that the Medical Director must review annually.  On our hard copy, the doctor signs and dates a page to show she has read and blessed the procedure annually.  Any ideas how we can accomplish this in DocMoto?

There are a great many ways to achieve this using DocMoto. 

We are going to use the tag to force the user to state that they have seen and "blessed" or "rejected" the document in question.

Setting up the Tag

We are going to create a "text list" type of tag called Review Status

Tags are configured within "Tag Manager", accessible via the "Admin" menu.

  1. To create the tag open "Tag Manager" and select "Add Tag", and give it a tag display name of Review Status.
  2. Choose a type of "Text List".
  3. Add a value called "Please select a review status..." and mark it as default but don't make it "Selectable".

    (This will make it the first option the user sees, but they cannot choose it.  In effect forcing the user to make a conscious choice from the list.  This is better than having a selectable value as the default because many users will just "choose" the default value without really making a conscious decision at all.)
  4. Now add two extra options "Blessed" and "Rejected".  These cannot be default but are selectable.
  5. Save the tag.

Now the tag has been created we can use it.

Applying the Tag

To use the tag we want to force users to view the file and signal whether they bless it or not.

The simplest way to do this in DocMoto is to ask the user to check the file out, review it, and ask for their opinion when they check it back in.

To set this up we need to configure DocMoto to ask the user for their opinion when they check the file in.

In DocMoto this is achieved through the application of "document tags".

Document tags are defined for a folder, and tell DocMoto that all files within that folder should have a value for these tags.

So we now need to create a folder where we are going to store our files.

When we create the folder we can define "document tags" by going to the "Document Tags" tab in the create new folder screen.

We add Review Status to the list of "document tags" for the folder and make it mandatory by marking it as "Required".  This will ensure no document can be in the folder without having a Review Status selected.

Whilst we are creating the folder we also add Review Status to the list of columns displayed within the folder.  This makes it very easy then to see at a glance which documents have been blessed and which haven't.

Using our set up

Using our new configuration is very simple. All a user need to to review a file is select is find it, check it out, read and check it back in.

When they do this they will be forced to state whether they approve (bless) the file or reject it.

They user must state whether they approve of the file or not when they return it to DocMoto.

By adding the Review Status tag to the folder columns we can see at a glance which documents have been blessed and which haven't.

Of course the "Review Status" is fully searchable. Below the query is listing any documents with a status of "Blessed". This Query can also be saved.

Alternative Approaches

This is just one way to solve the problem.  We could have solved it in other ways too.  For example we could have defined a tag called "Last Blessed" which would have expected a date.  We could then use this to identify that a document has been blessed for each year.

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