I do not work for GoCanvas.. but I wanted to share my experiences (what I've learned) going from a normal "single department" account and implementing departments.
If you are not using departments and have no plans to use them, you can disregard this post. It will not benefit you.
However, If you are thinking about implementing departments (now or some day), you should definitely read this.
First and foremost, department integration makes things a lot more complicated (x10). Department integration allows for more statistical data tracking by essentially breaking up users into smaller groups (more dashboards). Unless you are a large organization with a lot of users in different groups, I would stay away from it. You can learn more about departments here: https://help.gocanvas.com/hc/en-us/articles/115006830928-What-is-Department-functionality-
I don't know exactly how or who did (setup) our departments integration. All I know is the aftermath of what I went through.
Do: rename your main account. If you ever intend to use integrations such as Zapier to trigger dispatches based upon the submission of other apps (which is fantastic), you will need to rename your main account. Simply add the letters "ZZ" in front. Adding 'ZZ' makes the main account alphabetically last on the list and comes into play when users submit apps from their mobile devices. If not, your users will be mistakenly submitting their apps to the wrong department or the main account (which defeats the whole point of department integration).
Don't: move your apps out of the main account into the departments. Leave them in the main account and share them to the departments.
When our apps were moved to the departments (during the integration), all of the reference data stayed in the main account and became disassociated with the apps. In the departments, the reference data applicable to each app would be listed under it in the ‘more settings’ screen but grayed out (with no options). There was absolutely nothing that could be done to re-associate the reference data. Nobody at GoCanvas could fix it. So, I ended up re-uploading every single reference data file, then going through every field, in every app and re-associating the data. It took me a couple of months to get through them all.
When it was all done, turns out it was all for nothing. I ended up having to move all of my apps back to the main account and messing up my reference data again (which took a couple more months). This I will cover more in the next "Don't"
Don't: share apps to other departments and then copy them. This is not an absolute "Don't" but I would try to avoid it as much as possible. When you share an app, then copy it, it makes a duplicate reference data file and renames it by adding a number to the reference data file name. email_list becomes email_list1, email_list2, etc. every time you make a copy. This makes a complete mess of your reference data and if/when you ever want to update it. (like adding users, etc.). If you do share and make a copy of an app, you will have to deal with fixing each and every reference data file and field.
Also, there appears to be another problem with this sharing and copying that has yet to be resolved. This is still theoretical (my theory) at this point because it is an ongoing ticket (for weeks now). I believe copying the apps screws up the workflows. Despite everything appearing to be correct, something is going on in the background that causes the workflows to not work correctly. Especially on the Windows version of GoCanvas. More to come on this in the future (if/when it ever gets resolved). Try to avoid copying shared apps.
Do: assign all users to the main account "ZZ ....." and also to their appropriate department. For dispatching using Zapier integration, this will be necessary. See this post: https://help.gocanvas.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360020964393 for more info/background.
Hope this info helps someone.
Of course the only true constant in this world is change. If/when someone comes up with a better way to use Zapier to target departments, then most of what I said above will become irrelevant. Maybe someone has also made improvements to the department integration since we went through it.
Thanks to everyone at GoCanvas for working to make things better. You've come a long way.