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DFD Library — Design elements

Data Flow Diagram (DFD) notations

Data flow diagram is known to be a graphical representation of some data flow through a particular information system in a way of modelling its process aspects. It is known to be often used as one of the steps for creating an overview of the needed system as well as for visualizing some data processing in the structured design.

Any data flow diagram can show the way the information can be output from and input to some system, as well as to show in what way it can advance through the mentioned system. It is very important to mention the place this data is being stored, instead of showing the timing of some process.

Data flow diagram, or simply DFD, can be also called as “Flow Chart”. The terms are very similar as they both can be used for illustrating and so representing a flow of the needed data and all created in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and drawing software. Flow diagrams can be Data Flows ones, Entity Relationship ones, Unified Modelling Language ones, and other, but the first one — data flow diagram, or DFD – is mostl commonly used for representing any needed data flow in some information system in a graphical way.

With help of DFD you can always represent any needed system overview in outline in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM application and having the needed solution, such as a Data Flow Diagrams one, which can be found in ConceptDraw STORE application, can simplify your work of making these drawings so it can take only a few minutes to get the professionally looking as well as smart looking result. Any data flow diagram can be also used for providing the end user with all the needed information about the inputting data. It can also be useful for mentioning the information about some particular system, which can be developed both at the stages of design and analysis.

There are a few notations, which you can always use for creating the needed data flow diagrams: “Yourdon and Coad” and “Gane and Sarson” one, used for defining numerous visual representations of the data flows, as well as external entities, data stores and other processes within some system. There are the so-called “Logical Data Flow Diagrams”, which you can also create with the help of ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and drawing software. It is always very useful to capture the needed data flows, as they are known to be necessary for the system to operate. Thus, in order to describe all the needed processes and the needed data, any DFD, whether it is a logical one or a physical one, can be helpful and useful to make.

Another mentioning type of DFD is “Physical Data Flow Diagram”. It is also well known to be called as the “Current Physical Data flow diagram”, used for the purpose of showing the way in what some system is implemented. You can make any needed, having such vector stencils, as representations of the terms of “State”, “Start State”, “External Interactor”, “Oval Process”, “Object”, “Entity (Rounded Corners)”, “Entity Relationship”, “Stop State”, “Entity with ID and Location Mentioned (Rounded Corners)”, “Data Store”, “Entity”, etc. Within the “Gane-Sarson Notation” such terms as “External Entity”, “Process”, “Process (with location)”, “Top to Top Side connector”, “Data Store”, “Jump”, “Angled Corners”, “Side to Side connector”, “Top to bottom Variable connector”, “Bottom to Side connector”, “Side to Same Side connector”, etc. can be used.

The mentioned “Process” is known to be either a manipulation or work used for transforming some data, for performing some necessary computations, for making the needed decisions or for directing the data flows, which are known to be based on the definite business rules. Such processes can be illustrated with the aid of the circles or some rectangle (usually segmented) within some data flow diagram, including some process’s name as well as process’s number.

Any data flow is known to be a movement of some data between the following three constituents: the entity, the data store and the process. Such data flow is known to be portraying the interface between different components within the data flow diagram. Any flow of data within some data flow diagram is known to be named in order to reflect the nature of the data itself which is being used. Any data flow, which is represented with the help of an arrow, is known to be annotated with the data name.


The process is the manipulation or work that transforms data, performing computations, making decisions, or directing data flows based on business rules. Processes can be drawn as circles or a segmented rectangle on a DFD, and include a process name and process number.

DFD, Process

Pic. 1. DFD, Process

Data Stores

A data store is where a process stores data between processes for later retrieval by that same process or another one. Data stores are usually drawn as a rectangle with the righthand side missing and labeled by the name of the data storage area it represents, though different notations do exist.

DFD, Data Store

Pic. 2. DFD, Data Store

Data Flow

Data flow is the movement of data between the entity, the process, and the data store. Data flow portrays the interface between the components of the DFD. The flow of data in a DFD is named to reflect the nature of the data used. Data flow is represented by an arrow, where the arrow is annotated with the data name.

DFD, Data Flow

Pic. 3. DFD, Data Flow

External Entities

An entity is the source or destination of data. The source in a DFD represents these entities that are outside the context of the system. Entities are often represented as rectangles. Entities are also referred to as agents, terminators, or source/sink.

DFD, External Entities

Pic. 4. DFD, External Entities

The Data Flow Diagrams solution from the Software Development area of ConceptDraw Solution Park provides three vector stencils libraries for drawing DFD using the ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and vector drawing software.

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

Data Flow Diagram Symbols

Pic. 5. Data Flow Diagram (DFD) Symbols

The design elements library "DFD, Gane-Sarson notation" contains 12 symbols of Gane-Sarson DFD notation.

DFD Gane Sarson notation symbols

Pic. 6. DFD, Gane-Sarson notation symbols

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

DFD  Yourdon Coad notation symbols

Pic. 7. DFD, Yourdon and Coad notation symbols

There are many other nuances about creating data flow diagrams, but once you have ConceptDraw DIAGRAM software as well as ConceptDraw STORE application downloaded from this site in order to use its Data Flow Diagrams solution, you can always make any needed DFD within only a few minutes using the pre-made examples and templates of such drawings.

Among the mentioned layouts, you can find the following: “DFD – Model of Small Traditional Production Enterprise”, “DFD – Process of Account Receivable”, “Data Flow Diagram (DFD)”, “DFD — CERES”, “DFD — Coad/Yourdon Object Oriented Analysis Model”, “DFD — Last Resort Hotel Book Room Process”, “DFD — Interaction between IDMA and Preprocessor”, etc.

The available stencil libraries from the mentioned solution allow all ConceptDraw DIAGRAM users to get such design elements which represent: “External Entity”, “Angled connectors”, “Process”, “Process (with Location)”, “Jump”, “Top to Bottom Variable connector”, “Side to Side connector”, “Bottom to Side connector”, “Top to Top Side connector” and “Side to Same Side connector” from the “Gane-Sarson notation” library; “Class and Object”, “State”, “Data Store”, “Generalization and specialization structure”, “Whole-part structure”, “Condition”, “Loop”, “External interaction”, “Data process”, “Multiple process”, “State”, “Multi-state”, “Stop state”, “Process (offset)”, “Process”, “Center to center flow”, “Class”, “Data store”, “Loop on center”, “Instance” and “Message” from the “Yourdon and Coad notation” library.

Try the mentioned tools to create smart and professionally looking dfd for your own use.

DFD Library — Design elements *

Pic. 8. DFD Library — Design elements

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


Social Media Response DFD Flowcharts - diagramming software ( Mac PC ) →

Diagramming software for Mac and PC - create flowcharts and presentations for Social Media Organizing.Social Media Response DFD Flowcharts - diagramming software ( Mac PC ) *
Picture: Social Media Response DFD Flowcharts - diagramming software ( Mac PC )
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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 DIAGRAM 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 DIAGRAM — 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 DIAGRAM — 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 tools.Process Flowchart
Picture: Process Flowchart
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How to Create a Social Media DFD Flowchart →

In order to be successful, you have to promote your business on the market. One of the ways for planning this promotion is to create a social media DFD Flowchart which will contain all the details of your business strategy. Social media is a very influential tool, and it's a mistake to ignore it. The following flowchart represents a best way to estimate social media posts, and gives a strategy of responses. This flowchart is designed in the format of cross-functional flowchart. With this format, we can divide the process into three distinct phases. This approach helps to generate well-considered and balanced response on social networks activities. Using ConceptDraw solution for Social Media Response, your reaction to social media posts will positively mirror the values and mission of your business.How to Create a Social Media DFD Flowchart *
Picture: How to Create a Social Media DFD Flowchart
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Database Flowchart Symbols →

Data base diagrams describes inter-related data and tables. It describes roles and relationships, internal and external dependencies, data exchange conventions and structures of knowledge domain. ConceptDraw Software provides number of data-base chart libraries including major 49 vector symbols. Use these DFD flowchart symbol libraries to design data-base structure and models, use it to design data base process-oriented models, or simple data-oriented models. The are special drawing tools for making data flowcharts, data process diagrams, structured analysis diagrams, and information flow diagrams.Database Flowchart Symbols *
Picture: Database Flowchart Symbols
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Accounting Flowchart Symbols →

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, a bar or a gym, there are common concepts for any of them. One of those concepts is accounting, and to facilitate the work with the figures, you can use accounting flowchart symbols and create a clear and representative scheme. You can create flowchart for auditing, tax accounting and even for planning your own budget. A graphical tool for displaying successive processes is flowchart. This method is mostly suited to represent an accounting process. The sequence of steps in the accounting process usually consists of standard accounting procedures, that can be depicted by using a minimal number of symbols, applied for the basic flowcharting. The advanced opportunity to create professional Accounting Flow charts is provided by ConceptDraw Accounting Flowcharts solution. It includes contains a library of accounting flowchart symbols used when drawing the accounting process flow.Accounting Flowchart Symbols
Picture: Accounting Flowchart Symbols
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Types of Flowcharts →

A flowchart is a simple but very functional tool when it comes to understanding a workflow or to removing unnecessary stages from a process. When drawing flowcharts, keep in mind that there are four common types of flowcharts, like document flowcharts and data flowcharts that show control over a data or document flow over a system. To show controls on a physical level, use system flowcharts. In addition, to show controls in a program, you can draw a program flowchart. This flowchart diagram represents the piece of an article editing process, that involves the author and editor. It was created using the Basic Flowchart notation that consists from the basic flowchart symbols. The start and the end of the process are indicated with "Terminator" symbols. The "Process" symbols show the action steps consisting from making edits and searching for a compromise, when the author does not agree with the suggestions of the editor. The "Process" symbol is the general symbol in process flowcharts. The "Decision" symbol indicates a branching in the process flow. There are two branches indicated by a Decision shape in the current flowchart (Yes/No, Disagree/Agree). This basic flowchart can be used as a repeating unit in the workflow diagram describing the working process of some editorial office.Types of Flowcharts *
Picture: Types of Flowcharts
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Data Flow Diagram Process →

When you are a beginner in software development, you make a lot of mistakes. Developing logical models, or data flow diagrams is a way to see the the whole project and all the processes clearly. And some novices, unfortunately for them, miss modeling stage at the beginning of project life cycle, and get into troubles as the project grows. This image represents the data flow diagram applying symbols of Yourdon and Coad notation. This DFD depicts the data flow inside an organization department deals with receivables. The icons of standard Yourdon and Coad notation provides possibility to draw professional looking and well- readable DFD for business documentation. This data flow diagram was designed with the help of ConceptDraw DIAGRAM and its Data Flow Diagrams solution. The solution delivers three vector graphic libraries including elements of Yourdon and Coad and Gane-Sarson notations.Data Flow Diagram Process *
Picture: Data Flow Diagram Process
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How to Create Flowcharts for an Accounting Information System →

It can be tough to get straight into business papers and processes.Otherwise, you can learn how to create flowcharts for an accounting information system and visualize these documents. Accounting diagrams are clear and easy to understand for all the participants of the process. There are symbols used for creating accounting flowcharts using ConceptDraw DIAGRAM and its Accounting Flowcharts solution. Accounting flow charts are a special kind of flow charts. Actually a variety of flowcharts are often used to facilitate many aspects of a workflow of accounting department. Accounting flowcharts are utilized to support creating accounting documentation, to depict positions responsible for fulfillment of each phase of accounting workflow.How to Create Flowcharts for an <br>Accounting Information System *
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