Recently I had to draw some solutions architecture diagrams, and searched some good tools for diagramming. I have used Visio, long time back, nice tool, but I wanted to stick to Ubuntu and didn’t like switching back and forth. I tried Dia and Umbrello but they couldn’t really content me.
What I really digged in a nice architecture diagram is mainly its simplicity (Simple way the complex scenarios are drawn), fresh, elegant and rich look, as for a diagramming tool, it has to be simple (don’t have to be an artist) and flexible (should be able to draw new shapes if needed etc)
Sometime back I have used “Pencil” to draw some wire frames for a web app I was creating, I really liked the tool, and the final look and feel of the diagram it created. Non of the advance diagramming tools generated such a rich look and feel. So I thought of creating few custom stencils to graduate Pencil from a wire-framing tool to a full fledged multipurpose diagramming tool.
I created Three stencils to draw most of the enterprise architecture diagrams, following diagram is a sample solutions architecture diagrams I created using Pencil, and the custom stencils I created.
The stencils I have created are,
- Some common computing icons
- Icons related to Gregor Hohpe’s enterprise integration patterns
- WSO2 Product Logos
So if you are interested go ahead download the stencils, and install them in “Pencil” and if you still haven’t tried “Pencil”, I highly recommend it.