DFD Flowchart Symbols

A Data Flow Diagram (DFD) is a graphical technique which allows effectively model and analyze the information processes and systems. DFD visualizes the flow of data and neatly represents the information processing in a process depending on the inputs and outputs, lets illustrate and analyze the work of a whole system and also its individual parts. DFDs display where the data are stored, from where they are come and where they go to. Often the DFD is created as a detailed plan for the further creation of a system.

DFDs are ideal tool for modeling processes, describing business events, interactions and functional requirements, for demonstration and explaining the course and passage of information in a process, and also for structured design and displaying physical systems involving data storage and transfer.

There are two types of Data Flow Diagrams:

  • physical DFDs - which describe how a system works or will be work when implemented, and include involved people, files, hardware, storage centers and other elements;
  • logical DFDs - which display the necessity of certain operations and activities for transferring the data from point A to point B.

The ability to fast and easy create the DFDs is made possible with Data Flow Diagrams solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park. For designing the Data Flow Diagrams are used simple DFD flowchart symbols which are connected each other by arrows depicting the data flow from one step to another.

The set of all commonly used symbols for DFDs is comprehensible for all analysts and users thanks to the standardized notation systems: Gane/Sarson and Yourdon/Coad notations.

When designing the DFDs, use the following major objects:

  • Process object - represents a task which processes the data within application or performs actions on their base.
  • Multiple Process object - represents the set of sub-processes.
  • Data Flow object - represents the data movement within the application, the arrows depict direction of this movement.
  • Data Store object - represents where the data are stored.
  • External Entity object - represents the entity outside the application which interacts with this application via entry point.
DFD Flowchart Symbols

Example 1. DFD Flowchart Symbols

All these and many other DFD flowchart symbols are offered by 3 libraries of the Data Flow Diagrams solution and allow easy analyze and devise the data flows for any business process or a system:

  • Data Flow Diagrams library contains 15 symbols for DFDs;
  • Gane-Sarson Notation library contains 12 symbols of Gane-Sarson DFD notation;
  • Yourdon and Coad Notation library 22 symbols of Yourdon-Code DFD notation.

Data Flow Diagram Library Design Elements

Example 2. Data Flow Diagram Library Design Elements

The ConceptDraw PRO makes the DFDs diagramming process easy and efficient. To design any Data Flow Diagram in a few clicks, follow the next simple steps:

  • drag-and-drop desired icons from the libraries to your document and type the text;

    Adding objects to DFD and typing text

    Example 3. Adding objects to DFD and typing text

  • connect the objects with ConceptDraw connector tools from the Home toolbar or place connector arrows from the libraries to display the data flow;

    Adding connectors to DFD

    Example 4. Adding connectors to DFD

  • resize and format the objects, add background color according to your taste.

    Data-Flow-Diagram

    Example 5. Data Flow Diagram

The Data Flow Diagrams solution includes also the set of predesigned templates which make easier drawing process of Data Flow Diagrams.

Data Flow Diagram Template

Example 6. Data Flow Diagram Template

All templates and also collection of DFD samples are available from ConceptDraw STORE and can be used and changed according to your needs.

Data Flow Diagrams Solution

Example 7. Data Flow Diagrams Solution

The Data Flow Diagrams is a powerful professional tool for effective modeling the data flows, designing the data-oriented and process-oriented models, creating a lot of various types of diagrams of any complexity - Data Flow diagrams, Data Process diagrams, Data Flowcharts, Structured Analysis diagrams, Information Flow diagrams, and others.

Any Data Flow Diagram designed in ConceptDraw PRO can be then easy printed to share with colleagues, exported to various formats, including PPT, PDF, MS Visio, HTML, and many other graphic formats.







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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 structure diagram with ConceptDraw PRO

Data structure diagram (DSD) is intended for description of conceptual models of data (concepts and connections between them) in the graphic format for more obviousness. Data structure diagram includes entities description, connections between them and obligatory conditions and requirements which connect them. Create Data structure diagram with ConceptDraw PRO.Data structure diagram example
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Organic Chemistry Symbols

ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software extended with Chemistry solution from the Science and Education area of ConceptDraw Solution Park is effective for drawing various organic chemistry schemes, diagrams, illustrations thanks to the included collection of predesigned organic chemistry symbols.Organic Chemistry Symbols
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Basic Flowchart Symbols and Meaning

While creating flowcharts and process flow diagrams, you should use special objects to define different statements, so anyone aware of flowcharts can get your scheme right. There is a short and an extended list of basic flowchart symbols and their meaning. Basic flowchart symbols include terminator objects, rectangles for describing steps of a process, diamonds representing appearing conditions and questions and parallelograms to show incoming data. This diagram gives a general review of the standard symbols that are used when creating flowcharts and process flow diagrams. The practice of using a set of standard flowchart symbols was admitted in order to make flowcharts and other process flow diagrams created by any person properly understandable by other people. The flowchart symbols depict different kinds of actions and phases in a process. The sequence of the actions, and the relationships between them are shown by special lines and arrows. There are a large number of flowchart symbols. Which of them can be used in the particular diagram depends on its type. For instance, some symbols used in data flow diagrams usually are not used in the process flowcharts. Business process system use exactly these flowchart symbols.Flowchart Symbols and Meaning, workflow diagram symbols, process flow diagram symbols
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State Diagram Example - Online Store

This sample was created in ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software using the UML State Mashine Diagram library of the Rapid UML Solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park. This sample shows the work of the online store and can be used for the understanding of the online shopping processes, for projection and creating of the online store.State Diagram UML of Online Store
Picture: State Diagram Example - Online Store
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Software Work Flow Process in Project Management with Diagram

This sample was created in ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software using the Workflow Diagrams Solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.

This sample shows the Workflow Diagram that clearly illustrates stages a BPM consists of and relations between all parts of business. The Workflow Diagrams are used to represent the transferring of data during the work process, to study and analysis the working processes, and to optimize a workflow.Software Work Flow Process in Project Management with Diagram

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UML Class Diagram Example - Medical Shop

State Diagram UML of Online Store. This sample was created in ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software using the UML Class Diagram library of the Rapid UML Solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park. This sample shows the work of the medical shop and is used at the creation of the medical shop or pharmacy project, for understanding the process of shopping in the medical shop, for keeping purchases, for medical supplies.UML Class Diagram of Medical Shop
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Booch OOD Diagram

The vector stencils library Booch OOD from the solution Software Engineering contains specific symbols of the Booch method such as class symbols, association symbols, aggregation symbols for ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software. The Software Engineering solution is contained in the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.Booch OOD Diagram
Picture: Booch OOD Diagram

IDEF3 Standard

Use Case Diagrams technology. IDEF3 Standard is intended for description and further analysis of technological processes of an enterprise. Using IDEF3 standard it is possible to examine and model scenarios of technological processes.IDEF3 OSTN diagram example
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ERD Symbols and Meanings

A database is a data collection, structured into some conceptual model. Two most common approaches of developing data models are UML diagrams and ER-model diagrams. There are several notations of entity-relationship diagram symbols and their meaning is slightly different. Crow’s Foot notation is quite descriptive and easy to understand, meanwhile, the Chen notation is great for conceptual modeling. An entity relationship diagrams look very simple to a flowcharts. The main difference is the symbols provided by specific ERD notations. There are several models applied in entity-relationship diagrams: conceptual, logical and physical. Creating an entity relationship diagram requires using a specific notation. There are five main components of common ERD notations: Entities, Actions, Attributes, Cardinality and Connections. The two of notations most widely used for creating ERD are Chen notation and Crow foot notation. By the way, the Crow foot notation originates from the Chen notation - it is an adapted version of the Chen notation.Entity Relationship Diagram Symbols and Meaning - crow
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