How to Create AWS Cloud Architecture & Solution Architecture Diagrams Online

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For collaborative system design, solution architects, enterprise architects, cloud architects and business leaders need to work together on diagrams, data and viewpoints.

Enterprise architects take a strategic approach to managing the interplay of applications and systems in large organizations. They work closely with Solution Architects, who take a more focused, tactical view of technical, information or business operations.

We can liken this to a jigsaw puzzle. Enterprise architects concentrate on how all the pieces fit together. Solution Architects and Cloud Architects work on how a specific piece function to provide the required outcome. This might include virtual machine configurations, network topologies, operations, process diagrams, and more.

ABACUS supports these approaches and allows users to tailor diagrams and quickly switch between technical or business-friendly icons and styles.

Architects and business analysts can use connected data and diagrams to capture and model applications, systems, and related processes. They can maintain, analyze, review, and optimize those processes and present findings to stakeholders and users across the organization by sharing a URL for browser-based dashboards.

Architecture Shape Libraries

For example, Solution Architects often need to plan, manage, and create their own diagrams and other content. As a customer-facing team, part of good visual communication involves using symbols, graphics, icons, and notations specific to the practice of modern Solution Architecture.

It is important that graphics are high quality, and that standard graphic libraries such as AWS, Azure etc., are easy to use.

AWS Architecture Diagram using the AWS shape library in ABACUS embedded as tab in Microsoft Teams

Some diagramming tools import these images centrally into the product. In ABACUS, they can be managed in custom libraries, set up specifically for the Solution Architects or Cloud Architects and their teams. AWS and Azure shapes libraries are available as standard with ABACUS.

Company Specific Icons & Diagrams

Many companies also need to communicate with technical staff and management using a set of standard images, graphics or icons specific to their group or industry.

These standard shapes and notations make it easy for engineers and others to read diagrams.

A wide range of stencils and shapes available in ABACUS are designed around different architectural and technical requirements.

Solution Architects and Cloud Architects may also prefer to create a shape library with specific icons or graphics for routers, switches, and other components. Libraries allow architects to quickly build out the diagram using a chosen notation of graphics.

They also avoid the need to apply an underlying notation and then laboriously update the graphics later.

Diagrams and Icons for Technical or Business Presentations

Architects might also prefer to import their own shapes and stencils to extend a graphics library.

It is also useful to be able to switch easily from a technical notation to a set of simpler or more business-friendly icons as required.

This reduces any need to recreate diagrams using tools such as PowerPoint in order to present a polished diagram or visual with simplified icons to management teams.

Architects can “change the lens” and switch over to the diagram imagery which works best for their audience.

Diagram using the Azure shape library in ABACUS embedded as tab in Microsoft Teams

Modeling Language Options

Modeling languages and notations provide tools which fast-track Solution Architecture and design. In ABACUS these can be customized, combined and adjusted as needed.

Notations and frameworks used by Solution Architects available out-of-the-box in ABACUS include:

  • ArchiMate
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML)
  • Systems Modeling Language (SysML)
  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
  • Model-Driven Architecture (MDA)
  • TOGAF
  • Business Capability Modeling
Importing Visio Files

Teams can also convert existing Visio, UML and BPMN diagrams in ABACUS and “wire them up” to other elements in the architecture. Edits to these diagrams will flow through to the ABACUS repository, with no need to revise data and other artefacts manually.

Web-based Diagramming, Data and Dashboards

In ABACUS, dashboards, diagrams, and data catalogs can be edited in your browser. This encourages business units to collaborate and take ownership of their data, accessing it and updating their own diagrams and dashboards.

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