Easily learn Data Flow Diagram (DFD) with this step-by-step DFD tutorial. This free DFD guide covers everything you want to know about DFD. 4 Data Flow Diagram. Abstract Data Flow Diagram (DFD) is widely used for structured software analysis and design. It is also widespread in the field of business. An example of part of a data-flow diagram is given below. Context diagrams — context diagram DFDs are diagrams that present an overview of the system.

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What is Data Flow Diagram (DFD)? How to Draw DFD?

Up to this point, your diagram should look something like this. To rearrange a connection line, place your mouse pointer over where you want to add a pivot point to it. Meanwhile the Process Order process also receives customer information from the database in order to process the order.

Here are some examples of data stores: Turn every software project into a successful one. Once the order arrives in the customer’s hands, the Issue Receipt process begins. Create a data flow from Transaction data store to Ship Good process.

In this section we are going to make some changes to the connectors to increase readability. Let’s create a data flow from Issue Receipt process to Customer external entity.

Enter order information has the caption of flow. So let’s create a data flow from Transaction data store to Issue Receipt process. Click and drag it to where you need. But since this data flow is quite self-explanatory visually, we are going to omit it here. For this reason, people used to draw external entities on the edge fkletype a diagram.


The completed diagram above looks a bit rigid and busy. Create a data flow from Ship Good process to Inventory data store. Name the data flow receipt. Now we’ll model the database accessed by the system.

What is Data Flow Diagram (DFD)? How to Draw DFD?

Right click on System and select Decompose from the popup menu. It shows how information enters and leaves the system, what changes the information and where information is stored.

What will we do in this tutorial? You are welcome to download a free day evaluation copy of Visual Paradigm to walk through the example below.

Name it updated product record. Diagram from user story Generate Activity Diagram from user story. DFD Diagram Notations Now we’d like to briefly introduce to you a few diagram notations which you’ll see in the tutorial below. Please bear in mind that the level of details for decomposing particular function really depending on the complexity that function. To elaborate further from that, we drill down to a level 1 diagram with lower level functions decomposed from the major functions of the system.

Once a transaction is stored, the shipping process follows. An external entity can represent a human, system or subsystem. Visual Paradigm is focused – it has the requisite tools to get the job done without adding extraneous functionality, bloated code, and “noise” into the process. EnterpriseProfessionalStandardModeler.


The software we are using here is Visual Paradigm. Progression to level 3, 4 and so on is possible but anything beyond level 3 is not very common.

What is Mind Mapping? Try Visual Paradigm Free. Create a data flow from Process Order to Transaction. Now we’d like to briefly introduce to you a few diagram notations which you’ll see in the tutorial below. Every element should remain unchanged, except that the System process from which this new DFD decomposes is now gone and replaced by a blank space to be elaborated.

Connectors in the diagram are now in curve lines.

You have just finished drawing flietype level 1 diagram which should look something like this. A data flow represents the flow of information, with its direction represented by an arrow head that shows at the end s of flow connector. Instead of creating another diagram from scratch, we will decompose the System process to form a filetpye DFD. A process can be decomposed to finer level of details, for representing how data is being processed within the process. Press and drag out the Resource Catalog button at top right.

Enter Context as diagram name and click OK to confirm.