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When a new item is added to my list, its approval status is "pending". When the item is approved, the creator gets an email notification that the item was approved.

The problem comes in when the item is subsequently updated. Any change to the item results in the approval status being reset to "pending".

I want to use the approval column as more of acceptance, and I want it to stay accepted no matter what changes are made to the body of the item (barring of course, explicitly setting the approval status back to pending or rejected).

Can this be done?

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I think what you want is outside the scope of what SP intends Approval to mean. Create your own column with Approved, Pending, Rejected radio buttons.

  • I thought of that myself except: user/submitter can then set the approval status on their own item whem submitting, which (obviously) is unwanted. – Little_Ghost Apr 10 '15 at 7:40
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I can suggest below steps which may be suitable for you

  1. Create an ItemUpdated event hanlder.
  2. In the event handler check the status column.
  3. If status is approved, break permission inheritance on the item, remove contribute permission and add read permission.

P.S. You could also do it with no code by using Sharepoint Designer Workflow and custom activities at http://spdactivities.codeplex.com

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You can do this by adding an another workflow on Item Update. here you can check - IsStatus != Approved then set the status value to Pending and restart the work process which you done earlier on ItemAdding.

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Use a 2010 workflow to update the approval status after any change.

List Actions -> Set Content Approval Status

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