Diagrams as Code (PlantUML)


Is a picture really worth a thousand words? What if that picture was a diagram?

A colleague recently introduced me to Diagrams as Code, using PlantUML, and in this post we explore the concept of diagrams-as-code, and how to use PlantUML.

Diagram Methods

Let’s start with some background. Diagrams should engage their audience, informing them and encouraging collaboration. Understanding the knowledge and needs of your audience is critical to creating a successful diagram.

We adjust the diagram to suit the audience, using different views of people / process / technology to inform and engage them. Often, we will draw multiple views of the same system to suit the needs of different audiences, as per Figure 1.

Multiple Views of the Same System

Figure 1 – Example of Multiple Views of the Same System to Suit Different Audiences

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