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I've created a custom object with an approval process. The client wants objects that await approval to approve themselves 24 hours (or actually 1 work day) after they are submitted for approval. What would be a good way to implement this?

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Well this seems to be a good and valid requirement. Seems like you have write some custom code. This can be achieved by following.

  1. Batch Class : That runs at regular interval and checks that if a record is older than 24hrs, approve the same. Here is ecample of approval of recording using apex http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/apexcode/Content/apex_process_example.htm

  2. Workflow + triggers : you can use workflow time triggers to update a field in the record, then use trigger to identify the record and process the approval request.

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We (Lightside Apps) have just released an App on the Appexchange that would help with this. 'Power Tools' is a collection of useful tools for Salesforce Admins and Developers and includes an 'Approval Automation' tool. This will allow you either Approve, Recall or Reject at an Approval Process Step after a nominated period.

For more information on Approval Automation (and the other components), please have a look at the documentation on our website here: http://www.lightsideapps.com/documentation/approvals/index.html

You can download the App with a free 30 day trial on the App Exchange here: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N3A00000EFoy9UAD

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