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DATAFLOW Designer allows you to define your System- and Software-Architecture using a simple data flow model language. The system can be decomposed into sub-systems until they are small enough to be handled.
The system item represents an abstracted top-level overview of the whole project that should be developed. A ‘System’ item is represented by a box with a blue title bar. The system item is unique and created automatically with the solution. System items cannot be added from the toolbox, but the latter represents the whole root diagram. They cannot be deleted, but they can be decomposed, and the position, size, name and its children can be changed. This level only provides a limited set of item types in the Diagram Toolbox (Common Items, Spacer Items and Hardware Interfaces).
Figure 1 - DATAFLOW Designer - System Item
Toolbox Items to Define a System
The following items are available in the Diagram Toolbox to define the system context and model the intended system:
Common items are mainly used for additional description of the model. They are not available for application code generation.
Box (rectangle box with label)
Figure 2 - Box Item with Property Inspector Window
Figure 3 - Text Item with Property Inspector Window
Figure 4 - Image Item with Property Inspector Window
Hardware Interfaces are used to describe the physical parts of the system, how they interact with each other and how they react to physical inputs from users or their environment. An external Hardware Interface is represented by a grey box with an icon for the selected hardware type and the name of the interface. Black lines on both sides indicate that the interface has been inherited from the parent container.
Figure 5 - Hardware Interface - Analog Input
Available Hardware Interfaces
The following "Hardware Interfaces" are available for modeling your system.
Figure 6 - Hardware Interfaces
Designing the System
To design your system, drag all the required items from the "Diagram Toolbox" to the diagram area.
- Use images or box items to describe surrounding systems
- Use text items to add descriptions to the system or its surroundings
Figure 7 - Add System Context Items
- Connect the interfaces, its sourrounding systems and users with Hardware Channels
- Double click the Hardware Channels to describe the intended interfaces
Figure 8 - Add Hardware Interfaces and Describe Channels
System Architecture as Result of the Design Process
Figure 9 - System Architecture
Please also read this article to find out more about how to do Sub-System-Architecture and System-Decomposition.