When you think of solution architecture, you probably think of Cloudformation or Terraform scripts that define massive infrastructure applications for various customers. You probably also think of lots of bash or cloud-init scripts that define what packages various VM instances will pull and install or what docker images to spin up in a Kubernetes architecture.
While these are all definitely important, the number one tool I’ve found myself using is this one: Flowchart Maker & Online Diagram Software diagrams.net (formerly draw.io) is free online diagram software. You can use it as a flowchart maker, network diagram…app.diagrams.net
That’s right, without the ability to sit in a room with customers and a whiteboard I’ve had to quickly learn how to use draw.io to run customer engagement and working session.
This simple tool allows for incredible things.
If you’re a consultant, you can talk through and map out a customers’ enterprise environment on the fly. I’ve seen some consultants attempt to take notes and then translate into slides, but I’ve found live-diagramming to be a far more effective method if you have the practice and speed with the draw.io tools.
If you’re architecting a real solution then you can rest assured that your diagram will be accessible by anyone down the line as draw.io is open source and even has desktop applications if your solutions need to be kept off of the Internet and out of a browser. The tool also has many icons for AWS and Azure built-in that you can simply search for.
If you’re an application designer, the tool has many tools available for wire-framing applications and can even be cleverly used to make interactive quick-and-dirty UI prototypes to show off to customers.
Get started today and make sure a useful diagramming tool is in your toolkit!
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