Overview

LeanIX Enterprise Architecture application was built to be the single source of truth for enterprise architecture Management, bringing transparency of IT landscapes to all contributors and democratizing architecture knowledge. With the Free Draw and Data Flow diagram editors, LeanIX provides advanced visual modeling capabilities. Diagram editors will be indispensable tools for Enterprise Architects as they require the ability to visually represent the organizations' IT landscape or specific areas with particular emphasis.

In this documentation, you will learn why and how Free Draw and Free Flow diagram editors are helpful, what are the various features and how to use the editors to model the enterprise architecture.

What are diagrams, and why are they needed?

Diagrams are a means of constructing visual models of the structure of enterprise architecture. They help understand important aspects of enterprise architecture from various perspectives by enabling you to work with Inventory items and interactively visualize the architecture and data flow from their own point of view.

The larger an organization, the greater the complexity of its IT environment. Diagrams are essential for managing complex architecture by breaking down and visualizing the structure into smaller scopes. They allow you to define their own boundaries and domains, allowing them to focus on specific aspects of their enterprise architecture. Diagrams assist individuals in making better decisions.

Benefits

  • Diagrams support you in visualizing architecture quickly and efficiently to understand how various architectural elements are connected and to illustrate the flow of data through Interfaces.
  • Diagrams in LeanIX enable leveraging data from the Inventory. They keep visualizations up to date by reflecting any changes made in the Inventory. Learn more on how data from Inventory is synchronized here: Updates from Inventory.
  • Create as-is and target architecture pictures appealingly and more understandably and use them for effective communication.
  • You have the ability to customize aspects of architecture by adding shapes and images not yet represented in the Inventory and thereby visualize models that are not yet there.
  • Use diagrams to explore the architecture more flexibly than the reports, with more detailed drill-downs and dependency visualization.
  • In diagrams, you also have the flexibility to include and work with all Fact Sheet types simultaneously to explore different relations.
  • Access Fact Sheets from within the diagram: Keep architecture diagrams and Inventory data all in one place.
  • Create Fact Sheets and establish relations from within the diagram to create Inventory data.
  • Use diagrams to document different points in time of your architecture by developing and saving different versions of the progress.

LeanIX Diagram editors

LeanIX offers Free Draw, Data Flow, and Lucidchart to create diagrams:

  • Free Draw is a feature that enables you to create custom diagrams and visual representations of their enterprise architecture. It offers the flexibility to design diagrams from scratch using different shapes, symbols, and connectors.
  • Data Flow, on the other hand, focuses on illustrating the flow of data within an environment. You can add applications and their interfaces to gain a better understanding of how data moves within their architecture.
  • The Lucidchart integration allows you to seamlessly work with diagrams within the Lucidchart application, enhancing the diagramming capabilities.

Diagram Editor Layout

Both Free Draw and Data Flow have a similar layout.

  1. On the left side of the drawing canvas is a shape library with logical shape groups (e.g., General, Advanced, Flowchart). Expand or collapse each shape library by clicking its name.
  2. The format panel on the right side holds options and properties to arrange and style shapes, connectors, and text to build the diagrams.
  3. The Menu and Toolbar are located on the top. Some of the menu entries will not be selectable depending on what you have selected in your diagram.

Shapes representing any architectural element, descriptive text, or lines to connect shapes can be added to the canvas via drag and drop. They can be arranged, and their color and style can be changed from the options available in the format panel and toolbar.

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Since the LeanIX Diagram Editors are based on the capabilities of the editor from draw.io, for more detailed instructions, please read draw.io Documentation. However, the diagrams are stored in a LeanIX workspace and are integrated into the Inventory functionality.

Explore and learn on the following pages the features of the two Diagram Editors and how to use them.

Diagram Permissions

Diagram permissions for members and viewers are as follows:

ActionsMemberViewer
Create new diagramYesYes
Edit a diagramDefault diagrams and shared diagrams that users lack write permission for can be edited after saving them as new using the Save as option. Once saved, the new diagram becomes the user's own and hence can be edited

Shared diagrams that users have write permission for can be edited
Default diagrams and shared diagrams that users lack write permission for can be edited after saving them as new using the Save as option. Once saved, the new diagram becomes the user's own and hence can be edited

Shared diagrams that users have write permission for can be edited
Delete a diagramYes:

User’s own diagrams

Shared diagrams for which the user has write permission

No:

Shared diagrams for which the user doesn’t have write permission

Default diagrams
Yes:

User’s own diagrams

Shared diagrams for which the user has write permission

No:

Shared diagrams for which the user doesn’t have write permission

Default diagrams
Share a diagramYesYes
Add to collectionNoNo

Diagram Views

When working with diagrams, you can select a specific view in the Views list to tailor the visualization to your needs. You can select fact sheet fields, fields on relations, fields on related fact sheets, and tags from Single mode tag groups.

Selecting a Diagram View

Selecting a Diagram View

In addition to standard diagram views, you can create custom fact sheet fields and tag groups that can be applied as views in diagrams.

  • Custom fact sheet fields: Custom fields do not automatically appear in diagram views. To show a custom field in diagram views, in the fact sheet configuration, select a field, navigate to the Options tab in the sidebar indicated by the gear icon, enable the Include in views toggle, then save the changes. This option is only available for certain field types. For more information, see Showing Fact Sheet Fields in Filters and Views.

    Options Tab in the Field Configuration Sidebar on the Fact Sheet Configuration Page

    Options Tab in the Field Configuration Sidebar on the Fact Sheet Configuration Page

  • Tag groups: Non-empty tag groups of the Single mode automatically appear in diagram views. You can create more tag groups to show them in diagram views. For more information, see Tagging.