It goes without saying that these days we’re all at the mercy of technology. So complete is our reliance on technology, that even the smallest blip in the system can often result in significant business losses. Because of this, it’s imperative for any organization to accurately architect its business processes in order to maintain near-zero failures and superior fault-tolerance. Precise architectural diagrams that clearly outline both the current and future states of a particular field are vital, whether that field be SDLC, Civil Engineering, Physical Sciences, or any other.
But this is easier said than done. Creating precise architectural diagrams not only requires specialized skills but also requires the right diagramming tools. This article focuses on a variety of user-generated video tutorials that aim to help you more easily create diagrams using draw.io.
Learn Diagramming with draw.io – Beginner Level Tutorials
This video makes a great starting point by outlining the various functionalities, features, and elements of draw.io. Instead of offering a tutorial on how to draw a diagram, this video essentially explains what you can achieve through draw.io. It briefly outlines the benefits of such advanced features of the platform as Threat Modeling, Graphviz, Dynamic Data Set Links.
And, if you happen to already be an experienced diagram maker, this video makes a good case for why draw.io should be your diagramming platform of choice.
Video: Getting Started With The Open Source & Free Diagram tool draw.io
Once you’ve been introduced to the basics, this video is the perfect tutorial to help you start making your own diagrams with draw.io. The video offers a walkthrough of the basic building-blocks for creating functional component groups for planning and design, and it explains the usability of prominent symbols, connectors, and diagram formatting.
A simple yet insightful guide to a variety of text formatting and object alignment options is also included in the video. If you’re a beginner in diagramming, this video is a great starting point for learning the basic diagram elements as well as showing exactly how you can create a diagram with draw.io.
Quick Tip: While you go through the video, try repeating the steps in real-time to get a simulated hands-on tour of draw.io.
Video: Draw.io (aka draw.io) Basics
Flowcharts are the foundation of documenting process flow. They help with enhanced problem solving by providing visual clarity, quality control, and fine-tuning analysis. The right flowchart precisely captures every element of a process (inputs and outputs), conditions, related split paths, and flow sequence. Flowcharts can simplify documentation flow by providing a diagrammatic illustration of the solution model. Like other diagramming tasks, though, creating a flowchart also requires the right skills and tools.
This tutorial explains how you can efficiently create a variety of flowcharts through draw.io. As might be expected, it shows you how to capture the document’s flow, which is one of the most critical aspects of a flowchart. Important symbols, connectors, and rule conventions are all touched upon in this tutorial in order to help you create a precise top-down flow of steps for completing a process.
Video: Creating a Simple Flowchart in draw.io (Draw.io) Tutorial
Domain-Specific Diagramming Tutorials
The importance of diagramming and modeling is often ignored when it comes to BAs (Business Analysts). One key aspect of a successful BA is the ability to capture client requirements in a way that makes the identified gaps and required solutions easily relatable. Through efficient wireframes, diagrams, and models, a BA is expected to prepare precise specifications and mockups as the first step to efficient due-diligence.
Without going into too much of an introduction, this video cuts to the chase by going straight into the important features and templates that a BA can exploit with draw.io. Even if you’re not a BA, creating and sharing process-flow diagrams for collaboration is a fundamental Agile practice, and this video covers that process. If you are a BA, this video is a great resource for explaining why you should start using draw.io as an essential tool for analyzing business and building advanced technical solutions.
Video: Draw.IO Tutorial – Tools for Business Analysts
Atlassian’s Confluence is a collaboration tool that allows remote teams to interact in real-time while making it easy for team members to organize tasks among themselves. Using draw.io’s out-of-the-box integration with Confluence, you can import custom shape libraries to easily create centralized diagrams. What’s more, the efficiency of collaborating within an extended remote team can also be enhanced through draw.io’s robust revision handling that synchronizes with Confluence pages.
This tutorial comes in handy for anyone looking to create, import, and export custom shape libraries or add elements and assign user permissions for team collaboration within your Confluence Instance. The tutorial also shows you how to create your personal Confluence Scratchpad to store your own shapes. For detailed tutorials on customizing draw.io interface, templates, and shape libraries for the Confluence server, you can also explore this advanced tutorial playlist.
Video: Use custom shape libraries and the scratchpad in draw.io for Atlassian Confluence (Server)
Website Wireframe is a visual prototype representing the blueprint of web pages’ frameworks, related navigation, and their layouts. Before developing a website, a UX Designer creates a wireframe focusing on the site’s functionality, aesthetics, and usability. Since it acts as the foundation of a website’s interface, navigation, and informational design, creating a wireframe is much more complicated than it sounds.
This video demonstrates how you can use draw.io templates to develop website wireframes quickly and efficiently. With a quick walkthrough of mockup buttons, containers, graphics, and web elements, you’ll learn how to use draw.io to effortlessly create an impressive wireframe.
Quick Tip: Start with creating a website mockup using one of Draw.io’s wireframe Templates to get a quick hands-on of the available features, containers, and symbols.
Video: Creating a Website Wireframe in draw.io
Advanced Diagramming Tutorials
An Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD) is a vital step in the development of an application database. Optimized application performance is often achieved by building a high-throughput database design Conceptualizing and designing a database, then, is an important first step in creating a flawless Application Architecture.
This video tutorial demonstrates how you can use draw.io to create efficient ERDs in order to illustrate the logical flow of information within an application by outlining entity structures, corresponding attributes, and relationships within the database. You’ll also learn to define keys (primary and foreign), change cardinalities, and create relationship lines. Finally, the tutorial explains advanced levels of building a relationship flow among weak entities that help you logically design the schema holistically.
Video: Creating Entity Relationship Diagrams using Draw.io
Network Computing is often considered the most complex element of IT Infrastructure, not only because it runs on a plethora of hardware peripherals, but also because it employs equally complex topologies and protocols in order to function as intended. Efficiently designed network diagrams help document a network’s layout accurately, thereby aiding effective network planning, design, and management.
This is an advanced network diagramming video. It’s a two-part series the first part of which explains the basics of network diagrams with draw.io. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how you can use draw.io to link your objects to custom destinations (local or public URLs) and export them while preserving links. A key takeaway of this video is learning to use diagram elements to open programs, such as Putty, SSH clients, RDP, Registry Editor, and more. This knowledge comes in handy, specifically when you creating an interactive network design that takes diagramming to the next level. It’s certainly a tutorial that should not be missed if you’re into diagramming.
Video: Advanced Tutorial: Draw.io Launch Custom Programs from your Diagram! (Part 2)
In Business Information Systems, a Data Flow Diagram (DFD) helps you graphically map out information flow through various systems and processes. DFDs are a significant part of information architecture since they enable required structural analysis and information flow blueprints.
Through this tutorial, you’ll learn to use draw.io to create DFDs that illustrate information flow within business processes. The video walks you through the steps of creating a Context Diagram and a Level-0 Diagram, which essentially lays the groundwork for advanced DFD Level diagrams. The tutorial takes the use case of a ‘User Registration’ to demonstrate the flow of information between a user and the system when the user creates a new account. As a bonus, the video creator has also shared the XML Stencil, which you can use to get going more quickly.
Quick Tip: Be sure to give special attention to Level-0 diagramming, as it is essential to note that the labels, shapes, and connectors correctly outline input/outputs, storage points, and information routes between specific entities of a business process.
Video: How to Draw Data Flow Diagram at draw.io (aka draw.io)
A Unified Modeling Language (UML) Component Diagram is an advanced diagram created by System Architects that illustrates the cross-functional hierarchy of a more extensive and complex system framework. Since Component Diagrams cover both physical and logical components, including database, hardware, middleware, network, security, etc., they are often referred to as the master blueprint of a system.
This tutorial starts by explaining the fundamentals and different UML Diagram types that are most commonly used. While going through the video, you’ll learn to use draw.io to create a hybrid component/class diagram that illustrates component dependency while learning how dependency inversion makes it possible. What makes this video stand out from the rest is that the creator has gone to great lengths to explain the rudiments of a Component Diagram while also demonstrating how to create one.
Video: Creating Component Diagrams with Draw.IO
Precise diagrams help communicate intent, map out the logical structure, and aid in planning architectural frameworks for business processes. Draw.io’s web-based open-source tool not only makes creating a diagram easy, it also assists in efficient collaboration through multiple out-of-the-box integrations. With a comprehensive list of domain-specific in-built libraries, you can use draw.io to create diagrams for all levels of complexities.
Finally, we’d like to thank all the video creators listed above for their contribution in creating these tutorials. If you have similar insightful videos to share or are looking for a specific tutorial, please leave us a comment.