Why do we use 4

CodeFusion

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C4 - architecture diagrams

30.06.2020

We know and like UML, but we use it pragmatically. UML sequence diagrams are ideally suited for their specialist area (for the visualization of chronological processes). We also often use activity diagrams. Simple use case diagrams are helpful in the early stages of requirements engineering. We practically do not use class diagrams. We were often forced to use component diagrams to visualize the architecture of our applications. Somehow it never worked out well. We often had the impression that the complex rules of the UML notation of component diagrams and their level of detail are not optimal for a simple visualization of the software architecture. Fortunately, we found a better tool for this purpose. C4 model. This model enables the software architecture to be visualized on four levels: context, container, component and code. This is a very simple notation that allows us to delve into the architecture of the information system step by step. We start at a high level from the context of our software with the user and third party systems. From this level we can zoom in on containers (i.e. individual applications). The components are lower (definitely represented more simply than in UML component diagrams). If necessary, we can go to individual components to view the code structure (the C4 model does not define notation at this level - masochists can use UML class diagrams?). So far, C4 diagrams have been ideally suited for visualizing the architecture of the software we have created. What our programmers like is the ability to define all first three levels of C4 diagrams with simple source code. Yes, we don't draw our architecture. We write it!

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