Building Diagrams

A diagram (a special type of visualization) shows a graphical representation of a formal model. A view is a filter on a model and a model is a set of related data entities. On Dragon1, you create diagrams in four stages. See figure 1 for the four stages.

A diagram can be used to graphically present a model but also to present views (filtered models). How this works is explained in full detail on this page and the following pages.

dragon1 data model view diagram

Figure 1, Building a diagram in four stages.

Suppose you have created a formal model consisting out of processes, activities, applications, modules and interfaces with dependency relationships. It could be that the model because of its notation is not tempting to view and to be used by the stakeholders in your organization.

This is an example formal BPMN model (figure 2). This model is for most of us hard to understand and is not used to support decisions, even though it is valuable and correctly modeled. This model communicates its message inefficiently.

dragon1 formal bpmn model

Figure 2, Formal BPMN model.

Instead of showing the formal model to stakeholders, you could also choose to filter out some unnecessary data for the current purpose and use appealing shapes to the stakeholders (thus creating a view). For example, using some signaling colors indicating what runs good and what does not run well enough in the organization. Now you have actually created a diagram: a graphical schema of a view of a model. In most cases, visually enhanced diagrams with appealing shapes are much more suited to support decision-making than pure formal models.

dragon1 informal process flow diagram

Figure 3, Informal process flow diagram.

This informal process flow diagram is much easier to read than a formal diagram. And therefore it communicates its message better, more efficiently.

On Dragon1, you are supported in creating decision supporting informal diagrams based upon formal models. In figure 1 you see the four stages of building a diagram. Dragon1 provides you with various features to create a superb informal diagram.

Static and Dynamic Diagrams

On Dragon1, you build diagrams. You can build static diagrams as you do in PowerPoint or in Visio. And if you make use of the templates provided, you can create really quickly static diagrams.

You can also build dynamic diagrams. These are diagrams that are built on a created model and a created view.

A great benefit of dynamic diagrams is that if the data that is contained in your model changes, the diagram also is automatically updated.

Rule Based Indicator

In a dynamic diagram you can make use of rule-based indicators. You can configure rules for indicators consisting out of 'event', 'condition' and 'action'. For instance, you can have all applications with a TCO over 1 million dollars colored red upon opening, for example, on the application landscape visualization.

Interactive and Playable Diagrams

On Dragon1, you can also create interactive diagrams. These are diagrams that react to user input on viewing them. For instance, an application architecture landscape on which you can click through to details of an application in another diagram. Or on mouse over you see a popup with extra remarks.

You also make use of layers and frames and create a playable diagram. In this way, you can have viewers watch a scenario and change its course.

Automatic Tracking and Tracing

Dragon1 provides you with automatic tracking and tracing. Meaning with a mouseover on an item, all the not related items to that item will be dimmed or hidden. This of course is configurable.

Another feature is shortest-path. If you select an item in a model on a diagram and then select another item, Dragon1 will show if these items are related and show the shortest path.

Start to Create a Diagram here

How you can create a model, create a view and create a diagram is explained here in various lessons. And all the options for creating diagrams are explained in full detail.

The following pages contain the lessons:

The following pages contain basics on using the Visual Designer: