Architecture Diagram Definition

Dragon1 Icon for Architecture Diagram
Dragon1 Icon for Architecture Diagram

Dragon1 Definition for Architecture Diagram:
An architecture diagram is a graphical representation of a set of concepts, that are part of an architecture, including their principles, elements, and components.

What is a diagram? What are the types of architecture diagrams? The Dragon1 open EA Method makes it very clear: if a diagram does not show a concept, principle, or part of a principle, it is NOT an architecture diagram, because it does not show (a part of) the architecture.

An Example Architecture Diagram of an Enterprise Architecture to create a Modern Smart and Green Company, using various concepts and principles.

There are many kinds of architecture diagrams, like a software architecture diagram, system architecture diagram, application architecture diagram, security architecture diagram, etc.

Levels of Abstractions of Architecture Diagrams

Architecture is a coherent set of concepts for a structure. These concepts are often visualized at four levels of abstraction. These are:

  • Conceptual Level - showing an overview of concepts
  • Logical Level - showing a logical design of one or more concepts, containing at least the key elements of concepts and showing the principles of the concepts (i.e. how the concepts work).
  • Physical Level - showing a component design depicting the elements
  • Implementational Level - showing the vendors and products with which the components will be implemented.

All the visualizations on this page are logical-level architecture diagrams. Most often an architecture diagram contains a combination of logical and physical aspects, meaning that logical elements and physical components both are used in the visualization.

The Dragon1 open EA method suggests either separating these levels of abstraction in various diagrams or being very clear about which shapes show an element and which show a component.

Visualizing a Principle: Separation of Concerns

Using a Logical Level Architecture Diagram of an Application Landscape, showing the concept of Front-, Mid, and Back Office.

The above diagram is, in this case, a logical architecture diagram, because it shows the offices concept used in the organization:

  • Front Office
  • Mid Office
  • Back Office

The principle of the Office concept is: By separating concerns with regards to software applications in the front-office, mid-office, and back-office, the applications for these three domains can be integrated and focused much better on their task.

Front-office applications are applications that deal with client data and often need to be updated much more frequently than back-office applications. So placing all these applications together makes it easier to integrate and deduplicate them.

This is also the case with Mid - and Back Office applications. Back-office applications are often transaction processing applications that are hardly updated every month with new functionality. Also, the application platforms and the sizing of their infrastructure are significantly different from front-office applications.

Grouping applications logically and or physically in front, mid, and back-office will cause you as an organization to make better use of the applications.

This specific architectural diagram helps CxOs, managers, and architects to make decisions like deduplication of application modules, and replacing, merging, integrating, and phasing out applications. The result of this work is that the organization's application landscape will comply better with the enterprise strategy and the return on IT investments (how well you make use of the IT equipment you bought), will be higher.

So every organization benefits from creating these kinds of architectural diagrams and maintaining them on Dragon1.

Chatbot Architecture Diagram Example

The next visualization is a logical-level architecture diagram, as it shows some elements of the Chatbot concept, and the coherence between these elements is made very clear.

Example Logical Level Architecture Diagram of a Chatbot.

This diagram does not show all elements of the Chatbot concept, but it focuses on the key elements described by the principle of the concept.

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If you are curious about how you can create easily architecture diagrams by yourself, you can create a Free Trial Account here. First, you can as a consultant or architect try the NEW Use Case diagram demo section.

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