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Sending and Completing External Review

 Last updated: January 5, 2017     



External Review allows you to collaborate with external customers, vendors, and partners to capture feedback and any changes without using email attachments.


  • Easy to use collaboration tool with external parties
  • Document history is tracked.
  • Document versions are made when the reviewer completes the review.
  • Documents are locked while out for external review to avoid version collisions.
  • Up to ten documents can be sent out for external review.
  • Able to set due dates or expire External Review requests.
  • Provide an experience that represents the sender’s organization and brand professionally.
  • Provide the sender an ability to customize and preview the initial email that is sent to the reviewer.
  • Keep concerned parties informed about the status of a document.
  • Complete the review on behalf of the recipient.

Primary Process Overview

  • Send the document(s) for external review.
  • The reviewer reviews, comments, and/or uploads their changes and responds by the due date the sender has established. 
  • You get notified of their response and have a full document history in SpringCM.

Feature Components

  • Sendup to 10 documents to someone without a SpringCM account and have them upload changes and or return comments. 
  • Be able to re-send or cancel external review requests.
  • Ensure the document is locked for editing while being reviewed externally to prevent versioning issues. 
  • Allow the external reviewer to download, upload changes, and comment about the documents sent out for review.
  • Notify everyone involved of the process and status changes via email.

Release Notes

  • January 2017  [PDF] **These features will be available after deployment on January 20, 2017**
    • Improved usability when adding multiple documents preventing a user from selecting documents already checked out. 
    • Improved formatting of comments in the Wait for External Review step. 
  • December 2016  [PDF] 
    • When completing External Review, it is now easier to switch between documents to review or download.  
    • When completing External Review, it is now clear which document you are uploading when choosing a document to replace with changes. 
    • When completing External Review, the confirmation dialogue now shows which documents were sent and which documents have been uploaded with changes. 
    • Improved Email message consistency and formatting for all aspects of the External Review experience. 
    • Updated the Review and Send for External Review Workflow step to allow the actor completing the step to add, change, or remove which documents are sent out for External Review. 
  • October 2016  [PDF]
    • The sender can now send up to 10 documents out for review. 
    • Changed the modal that loads when the reviewer completes the review.
  • August 2016 [PDF]
    • Fixed an issue where characters entered in Japanese are returned as ?’s in Document History and the Complete External Review Page.
  • July 2016 Release [PDF]
    • Notification Participants can now be separated by |, ; or a , when using the Review and Send for External Review and Send for External Review Workflow steps. 
    • Fixed an issue where a disabled SpringCM user does not get the external review email to start the process
    • Fixed an issue where the Review Completed On Date always uses US formatting.
    • Fixed an issue where loading the Send for External Review workflow step with an apostrophe in the the email subject would prevent the preview from loading
    • Fixed an issue where selecting “Send for External Review” for a document that has been added to a Watch List does does not display the Send For External Review panel.
  • May 2016 Release [PDF]
    • Fixed an issue where the Due By Date on the Complete External Review page always uses US formatting.
    • Fixed an issue where completing External Review internally as a Super Admin who was not the original sender returned an error.
  • March 2016 Release [PDF]
    • In both External Review workflow steps (Send for External Review and Review and Send for External Review) emails sent to the initiator can now be suppressed. This allows the Business Analyst to tailor the experience for the internal user. Setting this flag in the email does not change the experience for the recipient or notification participants.
    • Fixed an issue when an error would be returned when sending a document out for External Review and the due date was not specified in mm/dd/yyyy format.
    • Fixed an issue where an error would be returned if the original sender tries to complete External Review and no longer has Edit permission to the document.
  • January 2016 Release [PDF]
    • The sender can now complete the External Review on behalf of the reviewer. This new feature helps in cases where the reviewer responds directly to the original sender.
    • Fixed an issue where you could select Done multiple times when completing the Review and Send for External Review workflow step.
    • Fixed an issue where you could select Done multiple times when completing the Review and Send for External Review workflow step.
    • Fixed an issue where in some cases on the desktop, you were not able to complete External Review by uploading a document.
    • Fixed an issue where the Document Reminder panel would not close properly after the Send for External Review step was cancelled
  • November 2015 Release [PDF]
    • Fixed an issue where the recipient was able to upload multiple documents in completing External Review
  • September 2015 release [PDF]
    • When completing External Review, the maximum number of characters that a user can enter as a comment is now 750 characters. As comments are being entered, the user can easily see how many characters have been used.
    • A new confirmation dialog has been added when the user selects Complete Review to ensure that the reviewer has aggregated all feedback and/or redlines prior to submitting the review.
    • The sender can resend the original email to the reviewer  in the event that the reviewer has misplaced the email.   After selecting the document, the sender or an Admin can select Resend External Request Review from the Send Menu.
    • Improvements
  • July  2015 release [PDF]
    • New External Review Process Released
    • Does not use email attachments.
    • Documents that are currently out for External Review at the time of this release will continue following the old process. This means that for anything this currently out for review will complete via the email attachment process. Any documents sent out for external review after the release will utilize the new send and complete interactions.

Admin How To

Enable Business Users to Send Documents for External Review:

In order to send a document for External Review, a SpringCM user only needs to be granted read and write permissions to the folder the document is in. Give the relevant Business Users access rights to edit documents (through Security Groups) in the folder that documents for External Review are stored in.

Disable Business Users From Sending Documents for External Review:

For any document that you do not want a Business User to be able to send to someone outside of your organization’s SpringCM account, remove the permissions of the relevant Security Group(s) to edit documents in the relevant folder.

User How To

Send a Document for External Review Through SpringCM’s Web Interface:

  1. Find the document you want to share for review with your client or vendor in the Documents List within SpringCM (GOTO > Documents).
  2. Check the checkbox for the document you want to send.
  3. Choose Send > For External Review from the menu. ExternalReview_Send_After_Selecting_the_Document
  4. Enter information to send the document to your external reviewer.
    • Recipient: You can only select one recipient by entering in an email address or selecting a SpringCM Contact or User.  
    • Also Notify: You can keep others in the loop as the External Review process completes by selecting SpringCM Users or Groups. This is purely optional.
    • Due Date: The Due Date defaults to 30 days but can be easily changed. The Reviewer must complete the review by the due date otherwise it expires.
    • Additional Documents: You can send up to 10 documents out to the recipient.  Here you can select documents from the current folder or navigate the folder tree to find other documents that you need to send. 
    • Email Subject: The subject of the email sent out to the Reviewer. 
    • Email MessageThe personalized body of the the email that is sent out to the Reviewer.
    • Add my signature to this email: If checked, it will add your SpringCM User Profile signature to the bottom of the email. ExternalReview_Send_FillOut_All_Info
  5. Optionally Preview the email message so that you can see what it looks like before sending it out.
  6. Click the Send button.


Complete External Review as the Reviewer

Below describes how the the reviewer will complete the external review process. 

  1. Open the email from the sender: As the reviewer, you will receive an email from the SpringCM sender. ExternalReview_Complete_Email_StartProcess
  2. Click the Review Document(s) link: Selecting the link will open up your browser and take you to secure review page.  You will be presented with a Welcome page that describes what you need to do to complete the review.  When you are ready, select Start Review.ExternalReview_Complete_Welcome_Modal
  3. Review the space: The Review space will load. Here you will be able to look at all of the documents sent for review, download each document, and then complete the review by entering comments or uploading any changes that you have. ExternalReview_Complete_ReviewSpace
  4. Switch documents:  To toggle between each document, click on the Document Name which will load the Document Chooser. The reviewer will only see this if more than one document has sent out for review.  The selected document will be previewed and can be downloaded. ExternalReview_Complete_MultipleDocs_Toggle
  5. Download:  Select the Download button to download the document. The reviewer must download each document manually by toggling to the document that needs to be downloaded. 
  6. Comments: Optional comments entered are applied to all of the documents sent for review. The reviewer can enter up to 750 characters. ExternalReview_Complete_Comments
  7. Upload: The reviewer can upload any changes to the sent documents. To start the process:
    1. Drag drop a changed document onto the Upload panel or select 'Select a File'.ExternalReview_Complete_Upload_Start
    2. Choose the document that the uploaded document is for.ExternalReview_Complete_Upload_Start_Choose_Document
    3. The default choice will be the selected document unless that document has already been uploaded.
    4. As each new document is uploaded, you can see which document these changes are associated.ExternalReview_Complete_UploadVersion
    5. When the selected document has already been uploaded, the reviewer can select one of the remaining documents.ExternalReview_Complete_ChooseDoc
    6. To re-upload a document, the reviewer must delete a previously uploaded document by selecting the X. ExternalReview_Complete_Delete
  8. Complete Review:  To complete External Review, the reviewer needs to either enter comments or upload at least one version of any of the sent documents.
    1. The reviewer can only complete the review once so all feedback that needs to be consolidated from the external teams need to be captured prior to completing the review.
    2. Select Complete Review to start the process. ExternalReview_Complete_Confirmation
    3. After confirming that the review is ready to be submitted, the reviewer selects Complete. 
    4. Completing the review will submit comments and any version changes back to the sender. When complete, a success message will be presented and the page will be updated.ExternalReview_Complete_ReviewComplete
  9. Confirmation Email: The reviewer will finally receive an email indicating that the review has been completed. ExternalReview_Complete_ReviewerEmail_on_completion



  • What will my external reviewer see in this process?
    • Email Notification of Document to Review - External reviewers will see an email that comes from your SpringCM Username with the subject line you choose and that includes your message. 
    • To start the review, select Review Documents. Selecting this button will load the Welcome Screen. 
    • Secured Page for Review
    • After completing the review they will receive an email thanking them for their feedback.
  • My reviewer has questions about how this works – what should I tell them?
    • Ideally, they will click on the big green button in the email you send from the SpringCM interface to go to the document for review on the secured page. They have the option to download the document. When they are ready to submit their feedback this page allows them to add comments and/or upload their redlined version of the document. Click the green Complete Review button to finish the review.
    • They should know if they start making comments and don’t finish,  their comments will not be saved when they come back. All of their comments and/or uploads need to be done at the same time and the Complete Review button needs to be clicked when they are done.
    • They can only click the Complete Review button once.
    • They will not be able to upload a revised document on their phone or mobile device but they can comment back with a simple approval or set of comments.
  • What if my external reviewer can’t find the email I sent them?
    • You can re-send the email at anytime by returning to the Document List, checking the box for the document, and choosing External Review Actions > Resend External Review Request.
  • I don’t see the external review option in my menu – how do I get it?
    • Contact your SpringCM Administrator. You have to have permission to edit the document in order to be able to send it for External Review.
  • What if I need to end the external review before the due date or revoke the external reviewers permission to comment?
    • You can return to the document in the Document List, check the box for the relevant document, click the down arrow and select External Review Actions > Cancel External Review.
    • Your external reviewer will receive this email:
    • our external reviewer will see this page if they click on the link to review the document in the original notification email:
  • Why should I use external review instead of attaching the document to an email?
    • If you do this outside of SpringCM you will not have the document history for compliance, audit, or other purposes.
    • If you send the document as an attachment from SpringCM its hard to connect revisions to that document back to the original. By sending your external reviewer a link to the SpringCM secured page for that document, you make tracking this document history painless.
  • What if the reviewer responds back to me directly with changes or approval?
    • Go into SpringCM, find the document and select Complete External Review. Here you will be able to upload changes provided by your customer and/or optionally provide any comments. When you complete External Review, this will release the lock on the document and prevent you from having to wait for the External Review to automatically close.
    • If necessary, upload a new document with the revisions.
  • How do I send multiple documents for review at the same time?
    • With the October 2016 Release, you can add send up to 10 documents for External Review. To do this, you can select Additional Documents when setting up the External review process.  
  • Now that I have their comments, how do I approve/route the document going forward?
    • If External Review was triggered through a workflow, then it will move on to the next step of the workflow automatically.
    • Once you have received your external reviewers comments you can take the next step for the document as you normally would. Contract your SpringCM Administrator for details.
  • Can I change the due date or the recipient?
    • Once the document has been sent out for External review, the recipient and the due date can not be changed. If you need to change these details, then you will need to cancel External Review and resubmit with the particulars.
  • Can the External Review email be forwarded to someone else in the reviewer’s organization?
    • Of course, once it is forwarded, then either one of two things need to happen:
      • Anyone who has been forwarded the external review email can complete the process by upload the document or adding comments.
      • The forwarder will need to quarterback the review process by aggregating all feedback from everyone in the organization and then submit this feedback to the sender.
  • What happens if I choose the same document twice when setting up External Review?
    • If you have chosen the same document multiple times, then the document will only be sent out once. 
  • Can I send a document out for External Review that is checked out?
    • A document that is already checked out either by me or someone else can not be sent out for External Review. 


  • Prerequisite: External Review is only supported in IE11 or greater and the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on the Mac.
  • After sending for external review, I can’t upload changes to the document.
    • When you send a document for External Review SpringCM places a lock on the document to prevent editing. You should ignore the Save button on this page.
  • My external reviewer is having a problem uploading their new document version. What should I have them do?
    • Have them make sure that they are uploading a document with the same file type as the document they downloaded from the Secured Page for review. 
    • If the document you sent them is a Microsoft Word document, then they can only upload a Microsoft Word document to complete the review. Both .doc and .docx file extensions are supported.
    • If the document you sent them is a PDF then they can only upload a PDF to complete the review.
    • Have them check the size of the file they are trying to upload. The larger the file the more likely there is to be a problem in the upload process.
  • My external reviewer can’t upload their new document version on the Secured Page from their phone.
    • Uploading documents from a phone or mobile device is not currently supported.


SpringCM has also extended our REST API to include a web service to start an External Review process programmatically. See ExternalReviewTasks in the RESTful Task API documentation. This call only supports the new External Review feature and is only used for sending\