Modelling vs Diagramming

Before we get into designing container diagrams we should talk about the difference between a model and a diagram.

Session outline

Connect: Diagramming and modelling tools you know

What do you use to make architecture diagrams? Add notes with names of tools to a shared whiteboard. Put a plus marker by any which you have used.

Concept: Modelling

Present the main ideas outlined in Diagramming vs Modelling

Intro to Structurizr

Structurizr is an example of a modelling tool. I found I could get a free account to try it out. This was sufficient to begin to understand what a modelling tool is and how it differs from a diagramming tool. Give people a brief demo of how to use the tool to create a Context diagram and where to find the documentation.

There is a starting position in the DSL with some styling set up, which you could give them.

Concrete: Model Instavoiced

Ask them to create a model that will produce the Context diagram which they came up with in the previous session Simon Brown’s 4C model - Intro.

If they have time, they could go on to model a Container diagram too.


Compare the diagrams produced by the different groups. If you like, show them a sample solution from the Instavoiced materials repo

Have them note down any facts they want to remember about architecture modelling.