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The approval feature in the create profile uses SMTP services to send templated emails from ServiceControl to the selected approval group. Approval Emails require that SMTP be setup and configured on the host server.
When someone uses ServiceControl to create a new user with the Approvals feature enabled, the Workflow Engine is responsible for sending out those approval emails using SMTP settings configured against the Workflow Engine web application. The SMTP settings set in the ServiceControl Administration panel will not be applied to the Workflow Engine.
If an approval group has been assigned to a workflow Create Profile and SMTP settings are not configured, or if SMTP settings are misconfigured, the Workflow Engine will report an Object Reference not set to an instance of an Object exception.
Resolution: Configure SMTP for the Workflow Engine
To resolve this issue set the SMTP settings in IIS Manager on the ServiceControl server hosting the Workflow Engine:
Upon logging into ServiceControl you should now be able to create users that require approvals without seeing an error message.