One of the essential steps of visualizing an abstract project is to develop a proper architecture diagram.
Gone are the days when you needed to spend hours drawing diagrams by hand. Thanks to diagramming software applications, the process has been simplified, so you can quickly create diagrams and print them out with one of the top 11×17 printers for architects.
Among several popular options, Microsoft Visio is preferred by architects due to its easy-to-use interface. You get to create diagrams of varying complexities using in-built templates as well as print them out after learning what are plotters used for and how to use them.
That’s why we created this guide to let you know about drawing architecture diagrams using Microsoft Visio. Let’s begin!
What Is An Architecture Diagram?
An architecture diagram is nothing but a visual layout or flowchart of architectural concepts that include various design principles and other elements. It also represents the build constraints, boundaries, and relations between the various components.
Functions Of An Architecture Diagram
Like any other diagram, an architecture diagram helps simplify the information about the design of a system. It can easily convey important messages to those who may not be technically sound about the complexity of a system. Hence, it breaks down communication barriers and can encourage communication between different components.
Proper architecture diagrams, even if they’re as simple as a mind map, can decrease ambiguity in the idea of a system. And creating the final diagram can encourage opinions from different people working on the project in regards to the alignment of goals.
An architecture diagram can simplify the technical material or hard-to-understand information regarding a system through visualization. Thus, having a proper diagram can initiate fresh ideas, find out flaws in a system, and mitigate miscommunication between departments.
Software developers and project associates must work hard to produce accurate, detailed, and standardized architecture diagrams. And the only thing that can make the process simpler is a diagramming tool like MS Visio.
Types Of Architecture Diagrams
1. System Architecture Diagram
One of the most widely used architecture diagrams is the structural architecture diagram which mainly focuses on the structure of a system. You can use it to define technological systems, servers, external services, and even the layout of entire databases.
2. Website System Architecture Diagram
As you can understand, this type of diagram is mainly used to lay down the structures and design of websites, including artistic, technological, and practical aspects of the website. Usually, developers prefer to create separate diagrams for the website architecture and functional hierarchy to keep things simple.
The website functional hierarchy diagram often portrays the website content management and the directory structure, like in an AWS architecture diagram.
3. Application Architecture Diagram
In this type of diagram, you will find the layout of the plan and system, and processes needed for functional applications, like in the case of CRM applications.
4. Software Architecture Diagram
This is another widely used type of architecture diagram that helps to communicate ideas about software designs and their relation to the physical hardware. The diagrams usually have different layers like data, service, and business layers that help establish relations between the internal and external systems of software, the users, or the provided services.
5. Enterprise Architecture Diagram
The complexity of business and organizational projects can be reduced by adopting architecture diagrams that simplify the various structures of an institution. Such diagrams may show different aspects like management tools, security policies, teams, business plans, roles, workflow, and interaction between departments.
Types Of Views
While creating an architecture diagram, you get to choose the view. The 4=1 remains the most commonly used view as it helps to provide an overview of the system. Here are its four components:
- Logical view
- Scenario view
- Development view
- Process view
Architecture Diagram Symbols
One of the advantages of using Microsoft Visio to create your architecture diagram is the wide array of symbols and icons available in the database. These architecture diagram symbols match the commonly used diagram elements, simple icons, and shapes used by developers to communicate their ideas. And there’s no need to worry as these icons are also compatible with other diagramming platforms.
How To Draw An Architecture Diagram On Microsoft Visio
Step 1: Get Microsoft Visio
Before you can create elaborate diagrams, you’ll need to get a plan for the Visio software from the Microsoft website. Once you pay for the plan, download and install the application on your desktop.
Step 2: Launch The Application And Get Started
One of the best things about Microsoft Visio is that it has an interface that’s pretty similar to other applications. Once you launch the app, you’ll see a home page with options for various popular templates, like network diagrams and organizational charts. You can choose to go with the available diagram templates or start with a blank page.
Step 3: Start Drawing
On choosing a template, your screen will display a basic layout of the diagram. And on the left side of the screen, you’ll be able to see the shapes available for use. You can also find more functions on the tabs present on the top half of your screen. But if you choose a blank document, you’ll need to begin the architecture diagram from scratch.
Step 4: Save The Document
Once you’re done with an architecture diagram, go to the File tab and save the file. You can also export Visio files to formats like JPG, PDF, PNG, HTML, Word, and PowerPoint, among others.
How To Draw Architecture Diagram Using Visio Final Words
That’s everything we had to tell you, so just remember the essential steps for creating an error-less diagram.
Don’t forget to check out guides on how to write like an architect to come up with a high-quality write-up to go with your architecture diagram. Another thing you should note is to be consistent with the shapes, symbols, and arrows used in a diagram.
While working for an organization, you should also ask them for details like font or color limitations. And never forget to include keys, legends, and glossaries as they increase comprehension.
Now, you’re all set to download Visio on your computer and create the best architecture diagrams!