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Flow vs Microsoft Visio: What are the differences?

Key Differences between Flow and Microsoft Visio


This article outlines the key differences between Flow and Microsoft Visio, highlighting their distinct features and use cases.

  1. Integration with Microsoft Office 365: Flow is built on the Azure Logic Apps platform and integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft services. It allows users to automate workflows across various applications, making it suitable for individuals and teams who heavily rely on Microsoft products. Visio, on the other hand, is a diagramming tool that primarily focuses on visualizing information, process flows, and organizational charts.

  2. Functionality and Purpose: Flow is primarily used for creating automated workflows, enabling users to connect different applications and services together. It provides a wide range of pre-built connectors and templates, making it easier to automate tasks and business processes. Visio, however, is a powerful diagramming tool that allows users to create professional-looking diagrams, flowcharts, and visualizations. It provides a rich set of shapes, symbols, and templates to represent complex information in a graphical format.

  3. Accessibility and Ease of Use: Flow offers a user-friendly and intuitive interface, making it accessible to users with little or no programming experience. It allows users to create workflows through a visual editor, without the need for any coding knowledge. Visio, on the other hand, provides a more comprehensive set of tools and options for diagramming. While it offers a user-friendly interface, it may require a steeper learning curve for users unfamiliar with diagramming tools.

  4. Collaboration and Sharing: Flow enables users to work collaboratively by creating and sharing workflows with other team members. It allows multiple users to edit and update workflows simultaneously, ensuring effective collaboration and communication. Visio, on the other hand, offers collaboration features through integration with Microsoft Teams, allowing users to collaborate on diagrams in real-time. However, it does not provide the same level of collaborative functionality as Flow.

  5. Cost and Licensing: Flow is available as part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Power Apps and Power BI. It offers a range of pricing plans, including a free version with limitations and premium plans with additional features. Visio, however, is a standalone product and requires a separate license for usage. It offers different editions, such as Visio Online Plan 1 and Plan 2, with varying features and pricing options.

  6. Advanced Customization and Extensibility: Flow offers a variety of options for advanced customization, including the ability to create custom connectors and actions. It also provides integration with Azure services, enabling users to leverage advanced functionality and capabilities. Visio, on the other hand, offers extensibility through the Visio Developer Platform, which allows users to build custom solutions and integrate with other applications using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) or JavaScript.

In summary, Flow and Microsoft Visio differ in their integration with Microsoft Office 365, functionality and purpose, accessibility and ease of use, collaboration and sharing capabilities, cost and licensing models, as well as advanced customization and extensibility options.

Decisions about Flow and Microsoft Visio
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 1 upvote · 361.5K views

When starting my new role at #Stessa, I needed a solution to start diagramming some of my #Architecture so I'd be able to share my views on #SystemArchitecture with the rest of the team.

Visualization is key. Especially when working with complex/distributed systems. You want to make sure everybody's got the same understanding of your approach, so you can better communicate, and start delegating more.

In the past, I had worked with #VisualParadigm for #UML, in both desktop and #SaaS version of the product. Also worked with #LucidChart We also looked at potential alternatives such as Microsoft Visio for instance.

Ultimately, my recommendation was & we closed on Lucidchart, as it won on couple of key aspects : #Team #Collaboration, #Integrations with #AWS for instance, and certain specific visualizations we were looking for / others didn't have.

This isn't just for #Engineering. I've seen Lucidchart being used by #Product Teams, #Network #Engineers, #IT Departments, #DevOps, or non-Engineering related teams.

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Pros of Flow
Pros of Microsoft Visio
  • 6
    Great for collaboration
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 3
  • 7
    Libraries allow the quick creation of diagrams

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What is Flow?

Flow is an online collaboration platform that makes it easy for people to create, organize, discuss, and accomplish tasks with anyone, anytime, anywhere. By merging a sleek, intuitive interface with powerful functionality, we're out to revolutionize the way the world's productive teams get things done.

What is Microsoft Visio?

Create flowcharts, diagrams, org charts, floor plans, engineering designs, and more, using modern shapes and templates with the familiar Office experience.

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What companies use Flow?
What companies use Microsoft Visio?
See which teams inside your own company are using Flow or Microsoft Visio.
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What are some alternatives to Flow and Microsoft Visio?
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Capture the knowledge that's too often lost in email inboxes and shared network drives in Confluence instead – where it's easy to find, use, and update.
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