Forwarding Rules


ClosedWhat Are They?

Auto-Forwarding enables you to set up collaborative transaction handling. Auto-forwarding rules should be set up for every workflow step, if you want to create a collaborative sales environment from the beginning of a transaction to the end. The benefit of setting up auto-forwarding is that it happens in the background and guarantees that documents become available to groups of users as soon as the document transition occurs.

ClosedHow Do They Work?

Whenever a document moves from one step to another, the system can fire auto-forwarding rules and distribute transactions to one or more user groups or, to a specific user. Documents can be forwarded to specific groups, or to all groups that the current user belongs to. Any user or user in a group that receives a forwarded document can then work on the transaction. Individual access rights do not restrict users from accessing auto-forwarded transactions.

Before auto-forwarding rules are created, make sure you've created the necessary user groups.

Permissions to document attributes and actions for auto-forwarded documents are based profile view of the participant profile associated with the auto-forwarding rule. Updates made to auto-forwarded documents become visible to the user groups who received the auto-forwarded transaction.

Types of Forwarding Rules


Simple auto-forwarding rules are defined with an associated participant profile, one or more user groups or, a specified user.

In auto-forwarding rules, associated profiles set which view is used for forwarded transactions. Profile views designate whether actions and attributes are hidden or visible for the user groups that receive the forwarded document. In some cases, a user might have access to more than one profile. This can happen if a user is included in an auto-forwarding group and also has been granted specific user access rights to a different profile. When this happens, the system displays the view of the highest ranked profile. Profile ranking is based on the order of profiles in a given step.

In simple rules, associated user groups can be set to "All Groups", meaning all groups that the action performer belongs to, or "Selected Groups", meaning a hard-coded set of supplier groups which the supplier user may or may not belong to. For the "Selected Groups" option, transactions are only forwarded to the groups the supplier user belongs to.

When a simple auto-forwarding rule is set up for a step using the "All Groups" option, the rule will work for buyer users if a buyer user who performs an action belongs to a buyer company group. Buyer groups are not available for selection in the Selected Groups list box though, so auto-forwarding will not work for buyers when a rule is defined using "Selected Groups".
The system does not restrict forwarding based on the user’s access type. Whoever is in a user group set up to receive forwarded documents is granted access to forwarded transactions. The document view for all users in the group is based on the forwarding rule's associated profile.

ClosedAdvanced Rules

Advanced auto-forwarding rules enable you to set up conditions for forwarding. Using advanced rules, you can instruct the system to forward documents to one group or another based on some condition of an order, such as the price, date, or any other document attribute.

There is a variable created specifically for auto-forwarding called "_system_user_groups". This variable contains the current user's groups, which can be assigned to a single participant profile in auto-forwarding scripts. The "_system_user_groups" variable works for both buyer user groups and supplier user groups.

Format of return value: approver~company~profile[|approver~company~profile]*

Use Company variable names and Participant Profile names; Approver is either an individual User Login or the variable name of a Group.


See the topic Workflow Steps for information on how to create a forwarding rule.

Auto-Forwarding Use Case

Auto-Forwarding functionality uses groups to define who should have access to transactions. To demonstrate how simple auto-forwarding rules work, here are two sample groups and the result of three possible scenarios.

Western Agents Group

Members: SuperUser, Andy, Fred, Pete

Eastern Agents Group

Members: SuperUser, Andy, Gary, Tom

The following table shows which groups would have access to transactions whenever a document transitions into a step that has simple auto-forwarding rules set up to distribute documents to "All Groups", meaning all groups to which the current user belongs.

Document Performer Western Group Eastern Group
SuperUser or Andy saves an order x x
Fred or Pete Saves an order x  
Gary or Tom saves an order   x

All users in the groups that receive the forwarded documents have equal access to the transaction, regardless of user type. Access to forwarded transactions is based only on the profile associated with the forwarding rule.


Auto-Forwarding rules should be created after steps and profiles have been created.

Permission to auto-forwarded transactions is granted to all members of the user groups associated with an auto-forwarding rule.

Delimiters ( ~, + and @ ) that are part of advanced auto-forwarding rules, cannot be used in group names. Group names can only contain alphanumeric characters and they must use underscores for spaces. Also, names cannot begin with an underscore.
The participant profile selected for the group defines the document view users in the group will see. If a user is associated with multiple participant profiles, via either an auto-forwarding rule or profile users access rights, then the view displayed is based on the highest ranked participant profile. Participant profiles can be ordered to set their ranking, see Ordering profiles.

"All Groups" means all groups that the current user is a member of. This type of forwarding works for both supplier company groups and buyer company groups. "Selected Groups" enables you to hard code the specific groups you want transactions to be forwarded to. The current user has to belong to the set of selected groups. It's possible to choose selected groups for supplier company groups only.

Related Topics

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