Monday, November 3, 2008

Architecture Diagrams 2.0

I have always liked looking at architecture diagrams and creating them using MS Visio. It is much more easier and faster to understand the system using the diagram rather then reading an explanation, especially for right-brained people like me.

But can something more be done to make the diagrams even more appealing and useful? Three things that i think can be added are interactivity, flow and prototyping.

Objects & Interactivity:
Would it not be great if the various objects in the diagram are interactive, which you can play around with, check its properties and contents. A user should be able to click on the database object, see a shopping cart object there, and on clicking on it be able to see a sample order.

Flow:
Would like to see sample data, flowing in the system and getting transformed, rather then just a static mention of data.

Prototype:
Generally a technical architecture diagram is created at the start of software development, and so is a prototype. Can a prototype be plugged into a architecture diagram, so that anyone who looks at the diagram can also have a test run of the system using the prototype and see the actual data flowing through the various components of the system.

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