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New Beta Feature: App Request & Approval Workflow

Feb 23, 2016 | by Aaron Yee in Lifecycle Management
We are excited to release a beta feature called the Application Request & Approval Workflow. This capability allows end users to request access to applications and gives approvers the ability to grant access. This feature enhances Okta's provisioning solution, which is largely used by IT teams to automate account provisioning and SSO access for users on day one of employment. After day one, users need access to job-specific applications that are typically beyond an IT team's purview. Instead, business application owners, rather than IT, are best qualified to grant access and assign entitlements in apps that need them. Okta has addressed those needs with the first iteration of an application request/approval workflow.

Disclaimer: Any customer can evaluate this feature during beta. However, when it progresses to Early Access/General Availability, only customers who are on the Enterprise Plus Edition or who have bought the Provisioning Product will have this feature.
Okta’s Approach
If you're familiar with business process workflow capabilities from legacy Identity Governance & Administration (IGA) vendors, you'll realize that Okta's approach is different. Instead of building a workflow engine that interprets complex workflows written in a programming language, Okta created a GUI-driven solution that's intuitive and easy to configure and maintain. The tradeoff is clear. Okta might not be able to handle the most complex workflows that require custom coding, but we hope to solve 80% of workflow needs in a faster and easier way. 
The Feature
Administrator's Point of View
The following screenshot shows the simplicity of configuring an approval process for a specific application.

User-added image
  • Part 1: Choose whether an approval is required when a user requests the app
  • Part 2: Identity the number of steps/approvers (one approver per step)
  • Part 3: Specify what happens when a request is approved
  • Part 4: Specify what happens when a request is denied
  • Part 5: Specify what happens when a request expires (hits a time limit)
End User’s Point of View
The following screenshot shows how an end user requests an app.

User-added image

The end user logs into Okta, sees his/her dashboard, and clicks a button to add an app.

User-added image

The user sees the apps that the IT admin has made available. The IT admin configured the first app (Apptio) to be instantly added without an approval process. The IT team configured request/approval workflows for the second two applications (Benevity and

User-added image

After clicking Request, the end user can enter a comment for the approver and subsequently click the Request App button.

Approver’s Point of View          
The approver receives an email with a link. Clicking on the link displays a dialog box with approve/deny options. Additionally, if previously granted permissions by the Okta admin, the approver can set app entitlements if required.

User-added image

How to Participate in the Beta Program
We're excited to get your feedback for this feature! If you'd like to participate in the beta program, please do the following:
  • Send an email to with a subject of "Beta: App Request Workflow".
  • Please include the following:
    • Your name
    • End-to-end description of what you hope to achieve with this feature.
  • Your participation won't take much time
    • I will personally contact you, send more documentation and enable the feature
    • It takes 5 minutes to configure
    • You play with the feature, and I'll contact you after 2-3 weeks to get feedback



  • Richard Voorintholt on September 26, 2017

    Are you planning to provide this also through the REST API?