#MSFlow is everywhere at #MSIgnite including #Visio

It will take me some time to review the content coming out at MSIgnite, but there is a re-occurring theme with the seemingly omni-presence of the Power Platform in all the user-facing applications that contain data. The Power Platform is PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI ( view a session about this ) built on top of Azure. They work together, or separately, and they add an incredible amount of flexibility and democracy to applications. In the case of Visio, there is a tantalising view of what is coming shortly! Check out this video.

MSFlowInVisio

Visio is already one of the most used business process diagramming available, having surpassed its initial target of out-selling the then market leader, ABC Flowcharter, in the early 90’s within 2 years. Now, imagine being able to pass on those business process diagrams, created by analysts or employees closer to the problem, to the power-user who can markup the MSFlow connectors and settings for each of the tasks, gateways and events! Finally, the completed flow can be exported to become an actual MSFlow that can be run.

There is some very important points here:

Firstly, there is no disconnect between the business flow requirements and the technology employed to effect them. This will surely smooth out any communication issues between teams!

Secondly, the Visio document becomes a detailed flow template that can be re-used, or copied and modified to become other detailed flow templates.

Thirdly, the Visio interface, which will be in Visio Online Plan 2, is much more user-friendly than the standard MSFlow web interface, plus it can be annotated and even printed (yes, some people like to paper walls!). When they have added in the reverse-engineering of existing MSFlows then there should be a rush to add a Visio subscription.

My own presentation was about the possibilities when you use the Visio custom visual for Power BI, so now consider the flow marked-up business process diagrams in a dashboard with the realtime data from the running flow. The potential is blowing my mind!

As I said at the start, the Power Tools are omni-present, and Visio has the potential to become a first-class exponent!

 

#Visio Roadmap @ #MSIgnite 2018

The first slot of the day at the furthest away room from the main conference area is not the ideal time to present anything, but those attendees that made it saw how many new features have been added to Visio recently, and what is soon to be added. The session recording should be available soon, but for those who can’t wait, here is a spoiler! ( View the session here )

VisioRoadmap2018

Recent released features:

  • Visio Online
  • PowerPoint Slide Snippets
  • Data Visualizer
  • Visio Visual in Power BI
  • Microsoft Teams integration
  • Data Visualizer bi-directional links
  • Export to Word

Released at Ignite:

  • Cross-functional flowcharts in Visio Online
  • New Azure Stencils in Visio Online

Soon to be released:

  • UML diagrams and Wireframes in Visio Online
  • Microsoft Flow integration
  • Collaboration enhancements
  • Data Visualizer diagrams in Excel
  • Data-driven Org. Charts, Timelines, Roadmaps
  • Visio immersive
  • Surface Hub integration

Well, that should keep me busy for a while. Now, who wants to give me a project that requires a mixed-reality headset?

 

Countdown to #MSIgnite for #Visio sessions

Only a couple of days to go before Microsoft Ignite conference starts here in Orlando. Yes, I am here a week early to “acclimatize” 🙂 , but I have not been idle since I will be presenting in three sessions!

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Adding clicks to infographics with #Visio visual for #PowerBI

Office 365 is a truly remarkable success story, but it is often difficult to understand what each of the parts actually do, or what it is actually in each edition. Microsoft are always adding applications and services to the various editions, or retiring ones that have been superseded. If I can’t see it, I can’t understand it, so I was very interested to see the Periodic Table of Office 365 infographic created by Matt Wade, a SharePoint guru who keeps an eye on these changes ( see http://icsh.pt/O365Table ). It really helps in comprehending the current Office 365 applications and their purpose. Indeed, I have seen his graphic go through many iterations over the last few months, and it will continue to change. However, it was not clickable, and I am a visual data guy, so I contacted him, and offered to integrate his infographic into a Power BI now that the Visio custom visual is available. I then found out that there are several different language versions of his infographic out there on the web, translated by other SharePoint professionals in his network.

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Updating data sources from #Visio using #MSFlow … easily!

Most of my posts have been about using Visio as a data consumer by linking Visio shapes to data, but Visio can be the best place to create some data from. For example, an office layout can have personnel or equipment shapes within a workstation area, or space shapes are used to define areas which are used for calculating the space usage chargeback reports. There are non-facilities management related examples too, as the only consideration is what is the best way to create relationships, measure lengths, or calculate areas. These are all tasks that are best done by just moving, resizing, connecting or containing shapes interactively in the Visio interface. In this article I will explain how Microsoft Flow can be used update a data source simply from a Visio document.

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