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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 DIAGRAM 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 DIAGRAM can be then easy printed to share with colleagues, exported to various formats, including PPT, PDF, MS Visio, HTML, and many other graphic formats.







TEN RELATED HOW TO's:

Data Flow Diagram (DFD) →

In software engineering, it is important to understand how the system would cooperate with external sources, like data sources. To give this information a visual representation, data flow diagrams (DFD) were used for years. The entire system is usually divided into smaller ones, and all of them process data flows in appropriate ways. The visualizing business processes which engages the data transfer, is commonly preformed using DFDs (data flow diagrams). DFD is used to show the data flow processing and transformation. This DFD represents the electronic system of a customer purchase. It was created using Gane/Sarson notation. Data flow diagrams helps you to sort through and clarify transferring process making it available for analysis, and representation. ConceptDraw DFD solution introduces the vector library, containing the full set of icons from DFD notations.Data Flow Diagram (DFD) *
Picture: Data Flow Diagram (DFD)
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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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Stakeholder Management System using Onion Diagram →

Stakeholder management is a critical component to the successful delivery of any project, programme or activity. ConceptDraw DIAGRAM is a powerful diagramming and vector drawing software. Now, thanks to the Stakeholder Onion Diagrams Solution included to the Management Area of ConceptDraw Solution Park, ConceptDraw DIAGRAM became also unique stakeholder management system design software.Stakeholder Management System using Onion Diagram
Picture: Stakeholder Management System using Onion Diagram
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Data Flow Diagram Software →

When studying a business process or system involving the transfer of data, it is common to use a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) to visualize how data are processed. Being initially used exclusively in regards to the flow of data through a computer system, now DFDs are employed as the business modeling tools. They are applied to describe the business events and interactions, or physical systems involving data storage and transfer. ConceptDraw DIAGRAM is a powerful Data Flow Diagram software thanks to the Data Flow Diagrams solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.Data Flow Diagram Software *
Picture: Data Flow Diagram Software
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Entity Relationship Diagram - ERD - Software for Design Crows Foot ER Diagrams →

There are many ways to describe a database structure. One of the most usual is to draw an entity relationship diagram (ERD) using a Crow’s Foot notation to represent database elements. If you don’t want to draw it on paper, you should use an appropriate software. An entity-relationship (ER) diagram is used to show the structure of a business database. ERD represents data as objects (entities) that are connected with standard relationships symbols which Illustrate an association between entities. ERD, there is a wide range of ERD notations used by data bases architects for reflecting the relationships between the data entities. According to the crow’s foot notation relationships are drawn as single labeled lines designating a certain kinds of relationship. Crow foot notation is a most frequently used ERD standard, because of improved readability of diagrams, with a more accurate use of space on the page.Entity Relationship Diagram - ERD - Software for Design  <br>Crows Foot ER Diagrams *
Picture: Entity Relationship Diagram - ERD - Software for Design Crows Foot ER Diagrams
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Types of Flowchart - Overview →

A flowchart is a powerful tool for examining processes. It helps improving processes a lot, as it becomes much easier to communicate between involved people, to identify potential problems and to optimize workflow. There are flowcharts of different shapes, sizes and types of flowchart vary from quite basic process flowcharts to complex program flowcharts. Nevertheless, all these diagrams use the same set of special symbols like arrows to connect blocks, parallelogram to show data receiving or rectangles for showing process steps. Basic flowcharts are used to represent a simple process algorithm. A basic flowchart notation consists of rectangles (business processes), arrows (the flow of information, documents, etc.). The same notation is used in items such as the "decision", which allow you to do the branching. To indicate the start of the entire business process and its termination can be used the "Terminator" element. The advantages of Basic Flowchart are simplicity and clarity. With it you can quickly describe the business process steps. Creating of Basic Flowchart does not require any special knowledge, as easily understand by employees with different levels of education and IQ.Types of Flowchart - Overview *
Picture: Types of Flowchart - Overview
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UML Class Diagram Generalization ExampleUML Diagrams →

This sample was created in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM 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 describes the use of the classes, the generalization associations between them, the multiplicity of associations and constraints. Provided UML diagram is one of the examples set that are part of Rapid UML solution.UML Class Diagram Generalization Example<br>UML Diagrams *
Picture: UML Class Diagram Generalization ExampleUML Diagrams
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Workflow Diagram Symbols →

A competent delegation of responsibilities between workers guarantees business success in most cases. At first sight, it might seem that workflow diagram symbols are quite similar to a regular flowchart. But workflow diagram is a more accurate way to present working processes. Workflow diagrams are helpful for a working process analyzation, to depict a pathway of process issues, personalize responsibilities and identify resources that will help to optimize a workflow. Generally, Workflow diagram deploys flowchart symbols for displaying work process steps and relationships. But, often it require some additions and improvements to become more professional and illustrative. The Workflow solution for ConceptDraw DIAGRAM provides the user with a big library of symbols that are designed especially for workflow diagrams.Workflow Diagram Symbols *
Picture: Workflow Diagram Symbols
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