November 2019

Form Workflow Plus – Set up approval workflows within minutes via Google Sheets add-on or web app!

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Watch our video about Form Workflow Plus.

Install the Google Sheets Form Workflow Plus Add-on for creators or the Form Workflow Plus web application for all roles from the G Suite Marketplace now or schedule a demo with Marko, our Customer Success Manager at your convenience!

Leica PalileoForm Workflow Plus – Set up approval workflows within minutes via Google Sheets add-on or web app!
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Why are workflow creators suddenly seeing “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus Add-on?

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Approving permissions

Form Workflow Plus is both a standalone Google application and a Google Sheets add-on. Anyone can install the Form Workflow Plus application, but only workflow creators need to install the Form Workflow Plus Add-on via Google Sheets on the G Suite Marketplace. 

UPDATE: Form Workflow Plus has been re-verified by Google and users should no longer see the below error. However, we’re keeping this post up as knowing what we use the permissions for is still useful and informative.

It’s come to our attention that as of October 28, 2019, any Form Workflow Plus workflow creators installing the add-on on a new device or spreadsheet are now getting a message saying “This app isn’t verified” similar to the screenshot below:

What does “This app isn’t verified” mean? 

This can sound alarming, but what this simply means is that the app developer needs to submit the add-on for review to Google every time we push a new version of the code. To go under review means that we need to identify and explain how we use the permissions that we ask for when installing the add-on. 

In some cases, this review can take some time, and users trying to install the add-on will see the message come up. 

We are currently working with Google with regards to verifying the latest version of our add-on, and once it has been verified, you will no longer see this message. 

What changes were made? 

The change is on Google’s end. Despite Form Workflow Plus using the same scopes since the beginning, and was originally verified, Google has identified that the ContactsApp API is now classified as a sensitive scope and thus the app needs to be reviewed again for verification. 

Form Workflow Plus uses the ContactsApp API when adding reviewers during the setup of steps and conditions so that it auto-completes, as a convenience to the user. 

Since this is now a sensitive scope, we will be removing this and no longer ask for permissions to access the workflow creator’s contacts. This will then be submitted to Google for review, which is expected to be completed within 3-5 days, depending on Google’s turnaround time. 

In the meantime, you can review our Privacy Policy, Security Policy, and Terms of Service

Form Workflow Plus does not rent, sell, trade or disclose users Personal Information to third parties.

How do I proceed with installing the add-on?

Click on Advanced, then click Go to Form Workflow Plus Add-on. It will then show you the permissions that the add-on is requesting. Click Allow to complete the installation of the add-on.

What permissions are being requested? 

The permissions we ask for are only used to manage workflows (via the spreadsheet and forms), add reviewers (access to contacts allows for autocomplete), display a third-party text editor (for creating email templates), sending approval emails (from the workflow creator’s address), and communicate with the Form Workflow Plus application (where you can manage workflows, users, your subscription, etc.). 

Our Privacy Policy includes details on how we use the following permissions in detail. 

That said, we’ll try to explain a little more in layman’s terms how we use these permissions. 

See, edit, download, and permanently delete your contacts: Contact access is used for adding reviewers when setting up the steps and conditions for your workflow approvals. When adding a reviewer, it is the access to your contacts that allows the add-on to auto-complete the addresses. 

See, edit, create, and delete your spreadsheets in Google Drive: Form request submissions are recorded in a spreadsheet (each form = 1 row). The add-on pulls information from the spreadsheet to display data that helps you to manage your workflows. 

View and manage your forms in Google Drive: Form Workflow Plus allows you to create your own forms. You can also link any existing form to the spreadsheet, and browse Google Drive to select the form to be used. 

Connect to an external service: While the add-on is only used by Creators, the external service in this case is the Form Workflow Plus application where creators, owners, reviewers, and requesters can view and/or manage the forms or approval workflows, as well as status reports, and it pulls information from the add-on and spreadsheet. 

Send email as you: Emails sent to requesters and reviewers are sent from the workflow creator’s email address.

Allow this application to run when you are not present: Requesters can submit forms, which trigger emails to reviewers for them to approve at any time. 

Display and prompt third-party content in prompts and sidebars inside Google applications: We use a third-party editor to create email templates.  The saved/completed templates are stored with Form Workflow Plus and are not visible to the third party. 

You may also refer to our Help Center article about this here: I’m getting “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus add-on. What does this mean and how do I proceed?

Why should I trust Form Workflow Plus? 

Form Workflow Plus, powered by the team, has been around for a while and we have many loyal paying customers, mostly schools, universities, and small-to-medium businesses, that have renewed their subscriptions over the past three years because the add-on does what we say it does and we have never compromised any of their data or their businesses.  

Google recently changed the availability of the application and the add-on to just G Suite Marketplace, where the Form Workflow Plus add-on has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, but you can also check out the old Chrome webstore listing for other great reviews. 

Please rest assured that we will never sell or share your data to third parties, nor use the permissions we ask for for anything other than the specific functions required for Form Workflow Plus to function as per the user’s specifications.

We are also currently working with Google with regards to changes we’ve made to the add-on to reduce asking for sensitive or restricted permissions. 

What permissions do you think are absolutely necessary to get Form Workflow Plus to work optimally for you?

Leica PalileoWhy are workflow creators suddenly seeing “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus Add-on?
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Why Approval Workflows Are Perfect for Access Requests for Global Companies

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Many years ago, before I started working for, I worked for a large global financial institution that wanted us to create a shared services team that would handle corporate services requests globally. My team’s job was to study the different processes in the different offices (each one had a slightly different one based on the office structure and region’s culture and regulations), streamline these processes, and roll out a standardized process to all sites and ensure that these processes were well-documented for internal reference for the shared services team.  

Global Corporations Have Stringent Door Access Requirements

Being a financial institution, one of the biggest parts of operation was security access for specific doors around the office. Staff who were traveling, transferring departments, or simply visiting a different part of a multi-floor workplace for a meeting needed to request access to a specific area, which needed to be approved by various levels of approvers sitting in different cost centers (departments), some of them regional VIPs who would frequently travel to various sites. Once access was approved, the specific door access would be programmed on the requester’s ID badge, whether permanently or for a specific time period. 

 The security request flow would look like this: 

Corporate services would only accept approved forms, so a requester would have to seek assistance from an admin assistant to use the correct form, submit it back to the group assistant who would collate the forms and send them to the reviewer, get the approved form back, then submit it to corporate services.

Not only was the process long, involved, and had an unpredictable turnaround time, but it also put a lot of heavy lifting onto the group assistants. While each department had a group assistant, they were often busy with admin tasks for the entire department. (Not included in the diagram is the nuance that some bigger divisions also an executive assistant for the division head, who could either approve on behalf of the VIP or acted as a gateway to the reviewer.) There would be a lot of delays, and both group assistants and requesters would chase up multiple people just to find out where the request was. If the approver was traveling and people did not know about it, or they didn’t authorize anyone else to approve on their behalf, it would hold up the whole process. 

Shared Services Teams Can Help to Streamline the Process

In our improved process, we standardized the forms across all sites and we took a lot of the legwork off of the group assistants. Individual requesters could now make requests instantly, or assistants could put in requests on their behalf. This drastically cut down the turnaround time. 

That said, most of this was still done manually, via email, around a decade ago. In some old-fashioned offices, they would print out the standardized form, get physical signatures, and scan them. Some old-fashioned group assistants would fill out the form, scan it, send it to the reviewer, who would approve via email, and then forward it to us. Whatever got things done, what was important was that we were taking our baby steps towards streamlining office management processes around the globe, at least for our company. 

An online approval workflow process would have been a godsend. 

How Approvals Using Form Workflow Plus Could Have Helped

With an online approval workflow, the request flow would simply look like this:

A requester would simply have to submit a form which would automatically go to the reviewer for approval, and once approved, the request would then go on to the next step, which was for corporate services to do their task. Then the requester would know instantly that this was done.  

Not only that, each person involved would have visibility over the approval process and where it currently is on the flow, and who to chase up if there were any delays. 

Corporate services and group assistants could co-create workflows and customize the forms based on real needs, and set up conditions for multiple approvers in as many approval steps as they need.

Collaboration, Transparency, and Efficiency

Now that I’m working for the company that created Form Workflow Plus, I wish I could turn back time. Granted, it hadn’t been created yet at the time I was working in that corporation, but process is probably still the same as when I left it. This is only one of many use cases, but there are dozens of companies out there who still have approval processes dating back to the age of paper! With the technology available now, especially if you’re using G Suite, or even just as an individual using GMail, Google Forms, and Google Sheets, it’s so simple to utilize existing easily available tools and add-ons like Form Workflow Plus. 

You can try out Form Workflow Plus for free for two weeks. If you’d like to schedule a demo with us, I and my Customer Success team love to help you figure out how to use it for your particular situation! We also offer support via email or scheduled video calls when needed.

Please subscribe to our blog if you’d like to hear more about Form Workflow Plus. We’ll feature more use cases and different types of customers in the future, as well as provide you with updates about new changes and features. 

Leica PalileoWhy Approval Workflows Are Perfect for Access Requests for Global Companies
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