Sep
25
2023

Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Deployment Diagrams

bigquery-performance-optimization-tips-img
  1. Mastering UML Diagrams – Introduction to UML
  2. Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Class Diagrams
  3. Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Object Diagrams
  4. Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Component Diagrams
  5. Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Deployment Diagrams
  6. Mastering UML Diagrams: Structural Diagrams – Package Diagrams
  7. Mastering UML Diagrams: Behavioral Diagrams – Use Case Diagrams
  8. Mastering UML Diagrams: Behavioral Diagrams – Sequence Diagrams
  9. Mastering UML Diagrams: Behavioral Diagrams – Activity Diagrams
  10. Mastering UML Diagrams: Behavioral Diagrams – State Machine Diagrams
  11. Mastering UML Diagrams: Behavioral Diagrams – Communication Diagrams
  12. Mastering UML Diagrams: Interaction Diagrams – Timing Diagrams
  13. Mastering UML Diagrams: Interaction Diagrams – Interaction Overview Diagrams
  14. Mastering UML Diagrams: Advanced UML Topics

Welcome to the fifth installment of our series on mastering UML diagrams. In this article, we’ll explore Deployment Diagrams, an integral component of UML’s structural diagrams. Deployment diagrams provide a visual representation of how software and hardware components are deployed within a system’s infrastructure. We’ll delve into the fundamentals of deployment diagrams, explain their symbols and notations in detail, and provide two real-life examples using PlantUML to cover all the essential elements. 

Deployment Diagram Fundamentals

Deployment diagrams are a critical part of the Unified Modeling Language (UML) that enable you to model the physical deployment of a system’s components. This includes both software and hardware components, as well as their relationships within a real-world infrastructure. Deployment diagrams are instrumental for system architects, developers, and system administrators, offering insights into the practical aspects of system deployment.

Here are some key fundamentals of deployment diagrams:

– Nodes: Nodes represent physical or virtual entities where system components are deployed. These nodes can be servers, workstations, routers, cloud resources, or any other relevant infrastructure element.

– Components: Components represent software modules, applications, or services that run on nodes. They emphasize the relationship between software artifacts and hardware nodes.

– Artifacts: Artifacts are physical files or data used or produced during system development and deployment. They can be linked to components to illustrate their dependencies on external resources.

– Deployment Relationships: Deployment relationships, depicted as dashed lines with arrowheads, define how components and artifacts are deployed onto nodes. These relationships show the allocation of software to hardware.

Symbols and Notations in Deployment Diagrams

To effectively create and interpret deployment diagrams, it’s crucial to understand the symbols and notations used:

– Node: Nodes are represented as rectangles or cloud shapes with the node’s name written inside. Rectangular nodes typically represent physical entities, while cloud-shaped nodes represent virtual or cloud-based resources.

– Component: Components are displayed as rectangles with the component’s name written inside. Arrows extending from components to nodes indicate deployment relationships, showing where the components are deployed.

– Artifact: Artifacts are illustrated as rectangles with a folded corner, often labeled with a file name or data type. Dashed lines connect artifacts to components, indicating dependencies.

– Deployment Relationships: Deployment relationships are depicted by dashed lines with an arrowhead pointing from the component or artifact to the node. These lines define how components and artifacts are deployed onto nodes.

Symbol examples

– Line Types

deployment-diagrams-1-line-types

– Relationships

deployment-diagrams-1-relationships

– Interfaces

deployment-diagrams-1-interfaces

– Nesting

deployment-diagrams-1-nesting

– Mixed

deployment-diagrams-1-mixed

– All symbols

deployment-diagrams-1-all

Modeling Hardware and Software Deployment

Deployment diagrams offer the flexibility to model both hardware and software deployment within a system. Here’s how to approach each aspect:

Hardware Deployment

1. Identify Nodes: Begin by identifying the physical or virtual nodes where your system will be deployed. This may include servers, workstations, routers, cloud-based resources, or any other relevant infrastructure elements.

2. Represent Nodes: Create nodes on your diagram and label them with their names. Use rectangular shapes for physical nodes and cloud shapes for virtual or cloud-based resources.

3. Deploy Hardware Components: Draw components to represent the hardware components of your system, such as servers, routers, or specialized hardware devices. Use deployment relationships to link these components to the nodes where they are deployed.

Software Deployment

1. Identify Software Components: Identify the software modules, applications, or services that make up your system.

2. Create Components: Draw rectangles representing these software components and label them accordingly.

3. Deploy Software Components: Use deployment relationships to connect the software components to the nodes where they will be deployed. This illustrates how software is distributed across the infrastructure.

4. Link Artifacts: If your software components depend on specific files or data, represent these as artifacts and link them to the relevant components using dashed lines. This clarifies the dependencies on external resources.

Real-Life Examples Using PlantUML

Let’s illustrate deployment diagrams with two real-life examples using PlantUML, a textual UML diagramming tool. In these examples, we’ll cover various symbols and notations.

Example 1: Web Application Deployment

example-1-web-application-deployment

In this diagram:

  • We define node types using !define with URLs to external sprite images.
  • We create nodes for the Internet, Web Server, Application Server, Database Server, and User.
  • We show the connections between these nodes to represent the flow of communication.

You can customize this diagram by changing the labels, URLs, and node relationships as per your specific web application deployment architecture. You can also replace the sprites with your own icons if needed.

Example 2: IoT System Deployment

example-2-deployment-diagram

In this IoT system deployment diagram:

  • We define node types using !define with URLs to external sprite images representing IoT devices, gateways, and the cloud.
  • We create nodes for IoT Devices, Gateway, and Cloud Platform.
  • We also represent Sensors and Actuators as subcomponents of the IoT Devices node.
  • We show the connections between these nodes to represent the flow of data and commands.

You can customize this diagram by changing the labels, URLs, and node relationships according to your specific IoT system architecture. You can also replace the sprites with your own icons if needed.

Conclusion

Deployment diagrams are crucial for understanding how software and hardware components interact within a system’s physical infrastructure. By comprehending the symbols and notations used in deployment diagrams and mastering the art of modeling hardware and software deployment, you can effectively plan, design, and manage the deployment of complex systems. Whether it’s a web application or an IoT network, deployment diagrams offer invaluable insights into the physical architecture of your software systems.