Designing Microsoft Flow in Visio

FlowVisioGraficTake advantage of auto-generation Microsoft Flow from Visio BPMN 2.0 compliant diagrams. It is more productive than you might think… see step by step guide below.

Creation a process diagrams on the Visio canvas and with a few click export the workflow to Microsoft Flow and to start automating whatever you do in your business.

With Visio’s sharing and commenting capabilities, collaborate on process automation with multiple stakeholders and arrive at a complete Microsoft Flow in a lot less time than usual.

To make this work you need you the license Visio Online Plan 2 as this give you access to the industry standards for BPMN 2.0 which is the foundation of turning Visio Diagrams into Microsoft Flow.

How-to: Visio to Microsoft Flow 

Step 1: One way to get started is to open up Flow.microsoft.com and go to “My Flows” -> “New” -> Create From Vision template. This will take you into Visio Microsoft Flow Templates.

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Step 2: Select a Visio Template example to get started quickly… download the template and open it up in Visio Desktop client.

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This is how the “feedback Analysis” process looks like in Visio:

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Step 3: Click Menu “Process” -> “Prepare to Export”. Click the “new response received” start event shape and select the Microsoft Flow trigger to use in the right “prepare to export” pane.

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Step 4: Click the “Get response details” Task shape and select the Microsoft Flow action to use in the right “prepare to export” pane. Do the same for all other Task shapes in the diagram.

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Step 5: Click the Gateway shape and select the conditions to use in the right “prepare to export” pane.

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and that is it.. you are now ready to export this business process to Microsoft Flow

Deploy Process to Microsoft Flow

Step 6: In the right “prepare to export” pane click “Export to Flow”, give the Flow a name and execute creation.

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The result will be that a Microsoft Flow will be created as seen below.

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Step 7: Edit the flow just created to set the specific Microsoft Forms to use for the Process.

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That is it… you now have a running Microsoft Flow designed and deployed from Microsoft Visio

Roadmap ahead

As of writing this blog post creation of Microsoft Flow through Microsoft Visio always end up in your Default Microsoft Flow environment, there is no way to choose which environment to deploy to. Creation of Microsoft Flow in Visio is currently a one way street as the update of Microsoft Flow through Flow is not possible – delete and create again.

But… The roadmap looks bright as told in below Microsoft Ignite session THR2329 and these are the highlights on future features:

  • Visio diagram and Microsoft Flow can be kept in sync, so changes in Visio can be reflected in Microsoft flow, and a Microsoft flow update can be synced into the Visio diagram…. aka. Bi-directional sync.
  • after Bi-directional sync, Microsoft will enable the possibility to monitor and debug Microsoft Flow running through Visio
  • Microsoft is looking into adding export possibilities to others that Microsoft Flow workflow engine in the future.

See Microsoft Ignite session THR2329 – Design and automate business workflows using Excel, Microsoft Flow, and Visio

What is BPMN

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is a globally accepted standard created by Object Management Group that helps businesses document business processes with easy to read graphical representation of a given process.

You might have heard or learned how to create Swimlanes diagram in school, and that is it, from my point of view BPMN is a standard around Swimlanes with focus on business processes.

BPMN in Visio

Microsoft Visio supports BPMN 2.0, with corresponding Diagram Validation rules. Using these rules, a user can check the correctness of a diagram against logical rules specified in the standard.

Understanding basic BPMN notation

The basic shapes of BPMN are similar to logical stages flow diagrams but are more generic as they can represent business-specific actions, like messaging other departments, and escalating issues.

VisioComponents

AdvancedShape

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