QualityOne Vaults allow you to streamline temporary, short-term access to your Vault for external parties, such as suppliers, to review and approve documents on behalf of their company. You can configure your Vault to give your organization’s users the ability to send document review and approval tasks to recognized external contacts, who can then complete those tasks in Vault with minimal or no need to manage user account provisioning for those external parties.

External Collaboration Objects

Document Control uses the following core objects to support External Collaboration for Document Review & Approval:

  • Ext Collab Document Assignment (ext_collab_document_assignment_v): This object manages document assignments for External Collaborators (Persons).
  • Organization (organization_v): This object manages information about which organizations are authorized for external collaboration. The Organization object can be used in conjunction with the Person object to manage a list of eligible External Collaborators in an Organization.
  • Person (person_v): This object stores information about current, former, or potential External Collaborators.

Configuration Overview

Configuring your Vault to use External Collaboration for Document Review & Approval involves the following steps:

  1. Create reference records
  2. Create an External Collaborator User Template
  3. Configure External Collaboration notification templates
  4. Configure the Organization object
  5. Add shared document fields to applicable document types and document field layouts
  6. Configure document actions
  7. Configure a document lifecycle role
  8. Configure document workflows
  9. Configure a report to track active External Collaborators in your Vault

Creating Reference Records

Data setup for External Collaboration might include setting up the following records:

  • Organization records for the Organizations with which you will be collaborating.
  • Person records to represent potential External Collaborators.

Creating a Quality External User Template

To configure the Activate External Collaborator action, you must define an External Collaborator User Template that the action can use to create a new User. Before setting up templates, make sure you have created the standard Security Profile and Permission Set that you will assign to the External Collaborator.

Configuring External Collaboration Notification Templates

This feature includes three (3) email templates that Vault automatically sends to recognized external contacts at different points during the External Collaboration process:

  • QOne Doc External Collab Welcome: Vault sends a Welcome Collaborator email to any recognized external contact for whom a Vault automatically creates a User account.
  • QOne Doc External Collab Welcome Back: Vault sends a Welcome Back Collaborator email to recognized external contacts who previously had a User account that is reactivated to complete a document review or approval task.
  • QOne Doc External Collab Goodbye: Vault sends a Goodbye Collaborator email to recognized external contacts when all of their assigned tasks are complete and when the document they are collaborating on reaches its Steady State.

You can edit the notification templates to include any additional information about collaboration with your organization.

External Collaboration Message Template Tokens

You can include tokens to display field data from the collaborating document in External Collaboration message templates. Non-specialized Vault tokens for displaying the collaborating record’s data are resolved via the external collaborator’s security profile.

The QOne External Collab Welcome message template can also include the special ${userName} and ${userPassword} tokens. Use of these tokens in the object message template functions similarly to a Vault automated password reset email, but does not replace or override the standard password reset method.

Configuring the Organization Object

You can configure the Organization object to use External Collaboration for document review and approval.

Custom Field

You can optionally create a custom field on the Organization object so users can specify if the Organization is approved for External Collaboration.

Contact List

We recommend configuring the Organization object to simplify the management of a contact list of Persons. Person records have a field linking them to Organizations, and Organization records can list the Persons with whom your own organization interacts. This allows for easier identification of contacts to whom you can assign document reviews. You can manage these contacts centrally, or you can enable internal users to manage these persons independently for the Organizations they work with.

To configure the Organization object to display contact lists, insert a Person related object section into the layout of the Organization object. We recommend defining section-level help for this contact list to make its purpose clear to users.

Assigning External Collaboration Document Fields

The following shared document fields are used with External Collaboration for Document Review & Approval:

  • Collaborate Externally?: This field determines whether a document can be sent to an External Collaborator.
  • External Collaborator: This field contains the name of the external Person to whom the task is sent.
  • Organization: This field contains the name of the collaborating Organization, and determines which External Collaborators are available for selection.

Assign the shared fields to each document type you will work on with External Collaborators, then perform these optional steps:

  • If the External Collaborator field label is plural in your Vault, update it to singular to reflect the limit of one (1) External Collaborator per workflow.
  • Configure a field dependency so that the Organization and External Collaborator fields are hidden if the Collaborate Externally? field value is No.
  • Configure a field dependency so if the Collaborate Externally? field value is Yes, the Organization field is required and the External Collaborator field is read-only. Then, configure a workflow prompt for users to select the External Collaborator when they initiate the workflow.

You can perform these additional optional steps to filter the External Collaborators available to select by Organization:

  • Configure a reference constraint on the custom field you created on the Organization object.
  • Configure a reference constraint on the External Collaborator field to filter Persons available for selection based on the value of Organization, especially if your Vault has numerous Person records.

Configuring Document Actions

You must make the following changes to your target document lifecycles to enable external collaboration for document review and approval.

Activate External Collaborators Action

The Activate External Collaborator action attempts to activate a user account for the Person record (recognized external contact) referenced in the External Collaborator document field. If Vault finds that a user account already exists with the same details as the Person, the system assigns that user account to the Person, activates that user account, and sends them a QOne Doc External Collab Welcome Back message. If there is no existing User, Vault creates and activates a new account based on the Quality External User Template you specified in the action’s User Template field, then sends the QOne Doc External Collab Welcome message configured for External Collaboration on documents.

Add the Activate External Collaborator as an entry action or user action to required document lifecycle states. We recommend configuring this entry action on the In Progress and In Approval states of the Draft to Approved lifecycle.

Inactivate Document External Collaborators Entry Action

Add the Inactivate Document External Collaborators entry action to applicable document lifecycle states. When users run this entry action, Vault makes sure that the External Collaborator in the External Collaborator field was activated using the Quality External User Template, then inactivates the external collaborator as long as there are no active external collaboration tasks (including QMS tasks).

Vault also inactivates the External Collaborator if a user removes them from the External Collaborator field on a document or deletes the collaborative document.

Ensure you configure this action on each lifecycle on which you configured the Activate External Collaborator action.

Configuring a Document Lifecycle Role

Add a custom document lifecycle role to your document lifecycle with a label appropriate to your process. In Application Role, select External Collaborator. Do not create more than one (1) role for this purpose.

In the Security Settings tab of your document lifecycle configuration, select the supported access for the external user. You must configure the following security settings for the custom role on the In Progress and In Approval states of the target document lifecycle:

  • View Document
  • View Content
  • Annotate
  • Download Source

Configuring Single-Document Workflows for External Collaboration

You can configure workflows to send to an External Collaborator only, or you can optionally add internal participants who will collaborate with the external person. Only one (1) External Collaborator participant is permitted per workflow.

Suggested Workflow Configurations for External Collaboration

We recommend configuring the following tasks in the document workflow you plan to use for External Collaboration.

Configuring a Review Workflow

For review workflows such as Draft to Approval: Send for Review, do the following:

Configuring an Approval Workflow

For approval workflows such as Draft to Approval: Send for Approval, do the following:

Configuring a Report

We recommend you configure a report type for the Ext Collab Document Assignment object and create a report to monitor active external users in your Vault.