Any catalog request, whether it is for a new catalog item or to perform an action on a provisioned item, can be subject to approval.

A tenant administrator or business group manager can associate an approval policy with any service, catalog item, or action as part of entitling the items or actions to users.

A tenant administrator or an approval administrator can create approval policies. Each approval policy has an approval policy type that determines to what requests that policy can apply. For example, you can apply some policies only to new catalog item requests, or requests for a specific type of item. You can apply other policies only to post-provisioning actions or to a specific action on provisioned items.

Each approval policy has at least one phase and each phase can have one or more levels.

An approval level represents a single step in a business process. For example, an approval policy can have one level for manager approval, followed by a level for finance approval. An approval level can be designated as always required or required based on certain conditions. The available conditions can vary depending on the approval policy type. For example, an approval policy for virtual machine requests can be conditional based on the number of CPUs in the machine request.

Each level specifies one or more approvers. If a level has multiple approvers, the policy can specify whether all the approvers must approve the request to complete the level, or any one of the approvers can complete the level. If any approver rejects the request, then the entire request is rejected.

For each approval level, you can specify attributes that an approver can edit when completing the approval. For example, in an approval level for IT to review a machine request, they might be able to update the requested CPU, memory, or storage specifications. The approvers must determine that the requested specifications are not appropriate for the proposed use of the machine.

An approval phase is a sequence of approval levels associated with a particular stage in the request. The approval policy type defines how many phases a policy has and which stage in a request triggers a particular approval phase. For example, an approval policy can define the following phases:

A preprovisioning approval phase that must be complete before provisioning a requested item

A postprovisioning phase that occurs after the item is already provisioned but before it is released to the owner

While the policy is in the Draft status, it can be edited, but after it is activated, it becomes read-only.