Design Data Flow. DFD Library

Data Flow Diagram (DFD) notations

Data processing is a process of manipulation after collection the items of data for producing the meaningful information, being considered as a subset of information processing. Any processing of information in any manner can be done by an observer. Within an organization, there are usually particular departments responsible for all the operation of data processing process.

There are different kinds of data processing, such as a “commercial data processing”, which involves a large volume of input data, only a few computational operations and lots of output. An example of commercial data processing can be the processes within a logistics company of keeping the records on hundreds of thousands of shipping documents, printing and mailing all the existing bills to the clients, as well as receiving the payments from them.

For engineering or science, the both terms “information systems” as well as “data processing” are known to be very broad. Thus, more often the specialized term data analysis is usually used. Within the “data analysis” term the precise and specialized algorithms are used, as well as the statistical calculations which can be sometimes observed in a typical business environment.

To describe the data processing in a way of a drawing, you can always create a so-called “data flow diagram”, which is basically a graphical representation of the "flow" of data”. The flow of data described in a way of such illustration is represented as the one going through an information system, modelling its process aspects.

The data flow diagrams are often used as a first step in order to create an overview of the system in general, not going into many details, as well as for the visualization of some data processing (commonly used in the structured design).

Making a data flow diagram means showing what kind of information can be input to as well as output from the system, in what way the data can advance through the system, and where this data can be stored. No data flow diagram shows the information about the process timing itself or if such processes can operate in a sequence or being parallel to each other, but it is still very commonly used for describing the processes in general.

There are a few data flow diagrams which are used most of all and they are logical and physical ones. The logical data flow diagrams are used for capturing the data flows – those, which are important for a system to keep in order to be able to operate in a proper way. All data flow diagrams are expected to be describing the undertaken processes. After data being produced by each of the processes taking place within some particular organization, the stores are expected to hold this data.

But any physical data flow diagram shows the way the system is implemented itself. There are a few different kinds of physical data flow diagrams, such as Current Physical ones, describing the data at this very moment, and Required Physical ones, illustrating the way the designer wants the data to be looking in the future. Any Physical data flow diagram is widely used for describing the set of data items which appear on each of the pieces of paper moving around an office. At the same time, any Logical data flow diagram is known to be attempting in order to capture the data flow aspects of some particular system in a certain form not having any duplication and any redundancy.

Another name for data flow diagrams is “bubble charts”. Basically, the data flow diagrams are used as a designing tool in the top-down approach to the “Systems Design”. There is a so-called “context-level data flow diagram” used for producing a Level 1 data flow diagrams – the ones used for showing some particular details of the system, which is known to be modelled. Any Level 1 data flow diagram is used for showing the way some particular system is divided into the so-called “sub-systems”, which are also known to be called as simply the “processes”.

Any of the mentioned sub-systems is known to be dealing with one or more than one data flows going to or from some external agent. All the sub-systems together provide all the needed functionality of the system as a whole. Identifying the internal data stores which are expected to be present for the system to do its job, the data flow diagrams are one of the best tools for completing this task. But the most important reason of using the data flow diagrams is to show the flow of data between the various parts of the system, so it is obvious to notice the connection between them and so the relationships between them.

Having a data flow diagram, all the users can visualize the way the system operates or will operate in the future, how this system will be implemented and what this system will accomplish. The usage of the Data flow diagrams can be also for a reason of providing the end users with a physical idea of where exactly the data they input has an effect upon the whole structure of the system, beginning from the first stage of order of the goods, for example, all the way up to the final stage of the reporting. Using a data flow diagram model, you can always represent the way how any developed system can be determined, forcing addressing the way how this system may be decomposed into the component sub-systems, as well as identifying the transaction data in a particular data model.

Used in both the Design phases of the SDLC and in Analysis, Data flow diagrams can be created in ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and drawing software with an ease. Especially having the Data Flow Diagrams solution downloaded from another product of CS Odessa — ConceptDraw STORE — developed especially for a reason of providing all the ConceptDraw PRO users with the tools for making the mentioned diagrams, as well as the other ones.

Thus, using different notations, such as “Gane and Sarson”, and “Yourdon and Coad” ones, in order to draw a data flow diagram for defining different visual representations of the data stores, the processes, the data flow, as well as the external entities, you can complete your task of creating the professionally looking diagrams within only an hour or even less, depending on how good you are at using ConceptDraw PRO application already.

Design Data Flow

Pic 1. ConceptDraw Software for Design Data Flow

The design elements library "Data flow diagram (DFD)" contains 15 symbols for drawing both context-level data flow diagram and Level 1 DFD:

  • State (multi state)
  • Start state (multi state)
  • Stop state (multi state)
  • External interactor
  • Stop state
  • Data store
  • Entity relationship
  • Entity
  • Oval process
  • Entity with ID and location (rounded corners)
  • Data store (with ID)
  • Entity (rounded corners)
  • Object

Design Data Flow - DFD Symbols

Pic 2. Design Data Flow — DFD Symbols

The design elements library "DFD, Gane-Sarson notation contains 12 symbols of Gane-Sarson DFD notation. The design elements library "DFD, Yourdon and Coad notation contains 22 symbols of Yourdon/DeMarco DFD notation.

Gane-Sarson notation:

  • External entity
  • Process w / Location
  • Data store
  • Jump
  • Angled connector
  • Top to bottom variable
  • Bottom to side
  • Side to side Side to same side
  • Top to top side
  • Process

Design Data Flow - Gane-Sarson notation symbols

Pic 3. Design Data Flow — Gane-Sarson notation symbols

Yourdon and Coad notation:

  • Class and object
  • Class
  • Object state
  • Generalization and specialization structure
  • Whole-part structure
  • Condition
  • Loop
  • External interactor
  • Data process
  • Multiple process
  • State
  • Multi-state
  • Stop state
  • Process
  • Process (offset)
  • Center to center
  • Center to center #2
  • Loop on center
  • Data store
  • Instance
  • Message

Design Data Flow - Yourdon and Coad notation symbols

Pic 4. Design Data Flow — Yourdon and Coad notation symbols

Use these DFD symbol libraries to design the process-oriented models, data-oriented models, data flowcharts, data process diagrams, structured analysis diagrams, and information flow diagrams.

Design Data Flow. DFD Library

Pic 5. Design Data Flow. DFD Library

Data Flow Diagrams Sample:

DFD Model of small traditional production enterprise
DFD Model
Data flow diagrams
Data Flow Diagram
DFD Process of account receivable
DFD Process
UML Class Diagram
UML Class Diagram

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Example of DFD for Online Store (Data Flow Diagram)DFD Example

Structured-systems analysis and design method uses data flow diagrams to represent the process of data flowing through a system. Talking about this might be useless without a proper example of DFD for online store (Data Flow Diagram). This DFD example shows all the distinctness that a diagram can bring into a scattered data structure. Data flow diagrams are used to show how data is processed within some business processes. Making DFD is a common practice for business process modeling and analysis. This diagram represents the online store business flow. It describes inputs and outputs within online selling process and depicts the interactions between its participants. This DF diagram can be used by system analysts to create an overview of a business, to study and discover its inherent strengths and weak points.Online Store Data Flow Diagram
Picture: Example of DFD for Online Store (Data Flow Diagram)DFD Example
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Data Flow Diagrams

Software development flourishes nowadays. Students have tons of educational information and courses that would fit every taste. And it's no secret that knowing how to draw data flow diagrams is a useful skill for a future software architect. The diagrams help a lot in understanding how to storage data effectively and how data processes within a system. This data flow diagram represents the model of small traditional production enterprise. It was created using Yourdon and Coad notation. The data flow diagram include four main objects: entity, process, data store and data flow. Yourdon and Coad notation uses circles to depict processes and parallel lines to represent data stores. Dataflows are shown as arrowed lines. They are labeled with the description of the data that move through them. Dataflow's role is to deliver the pieces of information. A process's function is to transform. the input data flow into output data flow. ConceptDraw Data Flow Diagrams solution contains the data flow diagram symbols of both Yourdon-Coad and Gane-Sarson notations and a set of handy templates to get started with DFD.Data Flow Diagram. UML Class Diagram
Picture: Data Flow Diagrams
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ConceptDraw PRO DFD Software

Our DFD software ConceptDraw PRO allows you to quickly create DFD with data storages, external entities, functional transforms, data flows, as well as control transforms and signals. DFD program ConceptDraw PRO has hundreds of templates, and a wide range of libraries with all nesassary ready-made drag-and-drop.Business process diagram example - Data flow diagram
Picture: ConceptDraw PRO DFD Software

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Picture: Watercraft - Design Elements
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DFD Library - Design elements

Data Flow Diagram is used to depict the flow of data through the system, where it enters and exits the system, as well as where it is stored. To simplify the process of drawing a data flow diagram (DFD), ConceptDraw PRO provides a DFD Library - design elements that will help you make your diagram as informative, streamlined and understandable as possible. Data flow diagrams are useful to create a general overview of the system or to document major data flows. Here are the library of symbols used in data flow diagrams (DFD). Data Flow diagrams are graphic means of business process visualization. Any business process may involve the data transfer. It can be easily shown using data flow diagrams. DFDs are used to represent the processing and transformation of data within a business process. One can find out the Vector library of DFD symbols, that is a component of ConceptDraw solution for Data Flow Diagramming and is welcome to use in as addition to the common Conceptdraw PRO diagramming facilities.DFD Library - Design elements
Picture: DFD Library - Design elements
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Data Flow Diagrams

There are a lot of structured analysis and design technique methodologies used to describe systems and data sources. To visualize data structures, data flow diagrams can be used for various purposes in the area of software engineering. Nowadays these diagrams are also used in the area of business analysis and information system analysis. This data flow diagram depicts an account processing system of a typical account department of a small manufacturing enterprise. It shows the data transmission through the order processing to shipping verification. This data flow diagram was created according to standard of Yourdon and Coad notation. The vector graphic objects of Yourdon/Coad notation symbols was delivered by ConceptDraw Data Flow Diagrams solution. The current DFD can be employed as an example of a business process model, representing the set of business events and interactions commonly engaged in a accounts receivable process.Data Flow Diagrams
Picture: Data Flow Diagrams
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Picture: How To Create Restaurant Floor Plan in Minutes
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Picture: Basic Flowchart Symbols and Meaning
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Process Flowchart

When trying to figure out the nature of the problems occurring within a project, there are many ways to develop such understanding. One of the most common ways to document processes for further improvement is to draw a process flowchart, which depicts the activities of the process arranged in sequential order — this is business process management. ConceptDraw PRO is business process mapping software with impressive range of productivity features for business process management and classic project management. This business process management software is helpful for many purposes from different payment processes, or manufacturing processes to chemical processes. Business process mapping flowcharts helps clarify the actual workflow of different people engaged in the same process. This samples were made with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software for flowcharting and used as classic visio alternative because its briefly named "visio for mac" and for windows, this sort of software named the business process management tools. This flowchart diagram shows a process flow of project management. The diagram that is presented here depicts the project life cycle that is basic for the most of project management methods. Breaking a project into phases allows to track it in the proper manner. Through separation on phases, the total workflow of a project is divided into some foreseeable components, thus making it easier to follow the project status. A project life cycle commonly includes: initiation, definition, design, development and implementation phases. Distinguished method to show parallel and interdependent processes, as well as project life cycle relationships. A flowchart diagram is often used as visual guide to project. For instance, it used by marketing project management software for visualizing stages of marketing activities or as project management workflow tools. Created with ConceptDraw PRO — business process mapping software which is flowcharting visio alternative or shortly its visio for mac, this sort of software platform often named the business process management process flowcharts, flowchart symbols, process flow diagram, workflow diagram, flowchart maker
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