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If you use flowcharts in your organisation this is the blog post for you.
The inspiration came from reading Ryan Maclean’s blog post where he reflected on the importance of articulating a process logically through a flowchart. Ryan creates his flowchart using Microsoft Visio which is loved by many including myself. Go check it, it’s tea-riffic.
In the Microsoft Office suite there are “siblings.” Microsoft Excel was initially released in 1987 and then its adopted younger sibling came into the picture in 1992. These two siblings seem to have gotten closer over the years and have become more advanced.
Today, I’m excited to share with you the power of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Visio to create data–driven process mapping flowcharts.
Data-driven process mapping flowcharts. Yeah, exactly.
Watch my vlog and be prepared to be amazed by what you see.
Even though I am a Dynamics 365 consultant, I’ve always supported Microsoft products as I grew up with it in my household. My dad taught me Microsoft Excel when I was little and eventually I came across Microsoft Visio in highschool. I never thought I’d be using the two together years later.
Like Ryan, I use Microsoft Visio for what I do as a consultant. If it’s available to you, try it out.
My first encounter with the two siblings playing together nicely was back in NZ where I learnt that I can define the shape data and the data graphic to create a Microsoft Visio template file that can link data to the shapes from an Excel spreadsheet.
Back then I used to work as a Sales Administrator for the General Manager of Sales and I created a Sales “pursuit” template that allowed the salesperson to colour code the existing platforms or the targeted to-be platforms of a client. The data was entered in an Excel spreadsheet by the salesperson and all they needed to do was link it to the Microsoft Visio template file. Microsoft Visio then associated the rows to the shapes and the shape formatting kicked in automatically. The sales team then had a visualization of each client they were pursuing.
Fast forward nine years and now you can create data-drive flowcharts from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It’s truly amazing and if you’ve read the Microsoft Business Applications release notes, soon you’ll be able to create Microsoft Flows from Microsoft Visio.And yes, I am a nerd when it comes to Microsoft Visio in case you hadn’t worked that out already 😁
You need a Visio Online Plan 2 licence with an Office 365 subscription. Below is a screenshot of what the pricing looks like in Australian dollars.
Remember, to take advantage of creating Microsoft Flows from Microsoft Visio in the future you will need Visio Online Plan 2.
When you open Excel, search for “process” and there will be two templates you can choose from:
Select the template that suits you.
Once the template loads there will be tabs that are self-explanatory.
I had some trouble installing Microsoft Visio from Office 365 as I had a conflicting version of Office products installed.
I uninstalled through programs and features.
In my case, not all the files were uninstalled through program and features. I then had a phone call with Office 365 support to help me through it. Also, Office 365 support was awesome. The lady who helped me was great.
She pointed me to this link to run a program to take care of uninstalling all the files for you. I used “Option 2 – Completely uninstall Office 2016 with the easy fix tool.”
The next thing I was advised to do is to use the diagnostics tool to install the Office suite first, followed by Microsoft Visio. The rest is magic and it works.
If you didn’t know this existed, now you do. It helped me with my installation issues.
There also seems to be a tool available for Dynamics 365 which is interesting. I took a quick peek and looks like you can have assistance with the Dynamics 365 Outlook Client.
If you’re happy with creating only the Microsoft Visio file, then you can continue to do so. However since I’ve tried this out, I love it and I know it’s going to make my documentation easier.
Watch the original video by the Microsoft Product Group team.
Today I encountered a very weird error when I’m working with my team to create a very simple workflow, on a status update, if the status is equal to a specific status, create a task that is assigned to a specific team. However, we can’t proceed due to a very strange reason:
This is the error message:
“There is no active transaction. This error is usually caused by custom plug-ins that ignore errors from service calls and continue processing.”
So, I googled it to find the similar error. Based on a past post by Aileen: http://missdynamicscrm.blogspot.com/2015/10/crm-error-there-is-no-active-transaction-crm-error-plugin.html
We have tried checking the suggested approach by her:
What to Check
So, if you find this error, please check:
– Whether you have custom plugin/custom workflow active triggered
– Whether you put skipping the error that will have impact to the CRM process, it is not possible
– Actually you better to log the error
– Because you won’t know what it is
– This is not your logic wrong in your custom plugin
– This just you need to fix why CRM cannot proceed?
– Is that because your user/team does not have privilege or you missed some parameters required
– This error might happen like for Assignment, Lead Qualification, Quote creation, etc
However, no luck 😦
And we also come across this forum discussion: https://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117/t/138785?pi61802=2#responses
where some people are mentioning about an issue with ActivityFeeds plugins, again no luck, as we can’t find the specific ActivityFeeds plugins registered.
So, as the usual troubleshooting technique of elimination process, we tried to remove 1-by-1 the workflow mapping, and we found the culprit. Apparently, it’s on the mapping of record owner in the Create Task step. For some reason, if we set the owner on the creation of the task, it keeps throwing the error. So, we split the owner assignment to a separate step to assign the record to the team. Something like:
And it solves our misleading “Custom Plugin” issue.
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