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New Post 4/29/2008 5:47 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Context Diagram (and Data Flow Diagrams) 

Can anyone give a quick overview of a context diagram.  Is it the same as a Data Flow Diagram?

When are the best times to use it? (ie what is it good for?)

Thanks

 
New Post 4/30/2008 5:59 AM
User is offline VN
34 posts
9th Level Poster




Re: Context Diagram (and Data Flow Diagrams) 

Craig,

The Context Diagram is and is not the same as the Data Flow Diagram. It is the same regarding the look and feel, and it is not the same in everything else.

You may use a Context Diagram to scope the project as it provides a visual model of the interactions between the system you are going to build and the outside entities that interface with the solution. Such diagram is easily understood by the stakeholders and is used to get agreement on the scope under review.
The system to be build is represented as a circle in the middle and the external entities are represented as rectangles around it. For example the external entities could be Finance, Vendors, Marketing, Customers, etc.
The interactions between the system and the external entities (the processes) are represented as arrowed lines, pointing to the receiving party. The text next to each line briefly describes the interaction: provide promotional details, deliver supplies, request service, etc.

After the context diagram has been agreed upon, you may start with the Data Flow Diagram. You take a single process from the Context Diagram and decompose it in a Data Flow Diagram.

Both Context and Data Flow Diagrams are part of the structured analysis approach.

If you work with Use Cases you may replace the Context Diagram with the Use Case Model of the system and the Data Flow Diagram with a Sequence Diagram.

-Vessela

 
New Post 5/16/2008 9:25 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Context Diagram (and Data Flow Diagrams) 

A context diagram is a data flow diagram with just one function. 

Tony

 
New Post 8/19/2008 5:00 AM
User is offline Jim
15 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: Context Diagram (and Data Flow Diagrams) 

I often use two types of context diagrams:  one to document the work scope in the beginning of the project and another to document the product scope of the system to be developed.  The work scope context diagram looks at the business process as a single black box with its interactions with outside entities.  It acts as a communication tool that allows everyone invovled to agree on the work that is being looked at for the new system.  The product scope context diagram is more focused on the system to be developed.  It treats the system as a black box and shows the inputs and outputs to and from external entities.  Both are similar, but after doing some initial analysis, it may be determined that the product scope is smaller than the work scope.

 
New Post 8/27/2008 5:09 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: Context Diagram (and Data Flow Diagrams) 
Modified By Modern Analyst  on 8/27/2008 1:30:49 PM)

here is a presentation pack on how to deliver data flow diagrams (and some other stuff)

Structured Analysis Techniques
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: ssadm structural)
 
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