Data Flow Diagrams (DFD)

This solution extends ConceptDraw PRO v.9.5 (or later) with templates, samples and libraries of design elements for creating data flow diagrams (DFD) that help you model data flows and functional requirements for a business process or system.


There are 3 libraries containing 49 vector shapes in the Data Flow Diagrams (DFD) solution.

Design Elements — Data Flow Diagrams (DFD)

Design Elements - Data Flow Diagrams (DFD)

Examples

The samples you see on this page were created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Data Flow Diagrams solution; they demonstrate a portion of the solution's capabilities and the professional results you can achieve.

All source documents are vector graphic documents. They are available for reviewing, modifying, or converting to a variety of formats (PDF file, MS PowerPoint, MS Visio, and many other graphic formats) from ConceptDraw Solution Park. The Data Flow Diagrams solution is available for all ConceptDraw PRO v9.5 users.

Example 1: DFD — Model of Small Traditional Production Enterprise

This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Data Flow Diagrams library from the Data Flow Diagrams solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.

This example shows production process of a traditional small enterprise. DFD diagrams are a useful way of visualizing a system and analyzing what it will accomplish.

DFD —  Model of Small Traditional Production Enterprise

Example 2: DFD — Process of Account Receivable

This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Yourdon and Coad Notation library from the Data Flow Diagrams Solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.

This sample shows a DFD (Yourdon and Coad notation) diagram describing the process within an accounts receivable department. Standardized Yourdon/Coad notation icons let you quickly draw professional looking data flow diagrams for your business documents, presentations, and websites.

DFD — Process of Account Receivable

Example 3: Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Gane-Sarson Notation library from the Data Flow Diagrams solution. An experienced user spent 10 minutes creating this sample.

This data flow diagram demonstrates the electronic system behind a customer purchase, using Gane/Sarson notation. DFDs allow you to simplify and accelerate understanding, analysis, and representation.

Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

Example 4: DFD — CERES

This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Data Flow Diagrams library from the Data Flow Diagrams solution. An experienced user spent 20 minutes creating this sample.

This sample shows a CERES data flow diagram. The design is large and complex, but its creation in ConceptDraw PRO, using pre-designed objects, took just minutes. Use the legend to make additional comments.

DFD — CERES

Example 5: DFD — Coad/Yourdon Object Oriented Analysis model

This diagram was created in ConceptDraw PRO using the Yourdon and Coad Notation library from the Data Flow Diagrams solution. An experienced user spent 20 minutes creating this sample.

This example visualizes the popular Yourdon/Coad methodology that is popular and widely used in object-oriented analysis (OOA). Draw your own Yourdon/Coad diagrams quickly and easily in ConceptDraw PRO using pre-designed objects.

DFD — Coad and Yourdon Object Oriented Analysis model

Inside

What I Need to Get Started

ConceptDraw PRO v9 and the “Data Flow Diagrams” solution, found in the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park, are all you need to get started. Make sure both are installed on your computer.

How to install

Download and install ConceptDraw Solution Browser and ConceptDraw PRO. Next, install the “Data Flow Diagrams” solution using ConceptDraw Solution Browser.

Start using

Data Flow Diagrams

When studying a business process or system that involves the transfer of data, it is common to use a data flow diagram (DFD) to visualize how that data is processed. While initially used exclusively in regards to the flow of data through a computer system, DFDs are now employed as a business modelling tool, describing business events and interactions, or physical systems involving data storage and transfer.

A DFD is a 2D diagram that appears something like a free-form flowchart. They can be divided into two broad categories — physical or logical data flow diagrams. They are not exclusive of each other; an interpretation of each can be placed over the same process, revealing different aspects of the data flow. The differences are, that a physical DFD shows how a system will be implemented, or how it currently operates — it includes the people involved, files, hardware, storage centres and other real-world elements. On the other hand, a logical DFD describes the necessity of certain operations and activities in order for data to be transferred from point A to point B.

Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

A physical data flow diagram, using the Yourdon/Coad notation, made with ConceptDraw PRO

DFDs are used by system analysts to create an overview of a business, to study and evaluate all its inputs and outputs, and to place each element within context along the data flow chain. Once an overall picture is achieved, each step can then be 'exploded' into a more detailed diagram of individual processes. The ideal scenario is first to create a visual representation of the current logical data flow — from here unnecessary processes can be dropped, and new features, inputs, outputs, activities and stored data can be added. This creates a new proposed logical data flow. With this new system, a new physical DFD can be devised, that takes into account all the proposed changes.

To ensure a measure of understanding when sharing diagrams with others, DFDs use a standardized notation system — it has been somewhat adapted for different needs over the years, but generally a DFD will use one of the two most prominent versions. Perhaps simplest of all is the Gane/Sarson notation, that uses three symbols and arrowed connectors to describe external entities, process and data stores, and the flow of data between them.

Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

A logical DFD, with Gane/Sarson notation, made using ConceptDRaw PRO

More in depth is the Yourdon/Coad notation (slightly adapted from DeMarco's version), with extra icons to describe multiple processes, process loops, conditions, and perhaps most importantly, different data states and object classes.

Standardized icon DFD

Standardized icon notation found in the Data Flow Diagram solution

To produce professional and standardized data flow diagrams, most analysts will turn to a specialist drawing software, that can automate certain processes and cater for presentation and file sharing needs. ConceptDraw PRO, extended with the Data Flow Diagram solution, is ideal for this scenario. Within the solution is a comprehensive vector stencil library, offering the full range of icons from both notation sets mentioned above. Features inherent to ConceptDraw PRO make the diagramming process simple and efficient — one click commands allow users to select and place icons, intuitively place connector arrows, and share their document in a range of presentation modes or file types.

An added bonus is the wealth of learning material available, particularly in relation to data flow and process diagrams, and a number of other solutions that support similar topics. FAQs, how-to guides, and video tutorials can all be found on the ConceptDraw website.

Adding the Data Flow Diagram solution to ConceptDraw PRO gives you a powerful tool to help analyze and devise data flows for any business process or system.