"Diagrams as code", as featured on the ThoughtWorks Tech Radar, is becoming a popular way to create software architecture diagrams for inclusion in long-lived documentation. The benefits of creating diagrams from text are well understood - text is version controllable, easy to diff, easy to integrate into build pipelines, and automatic layout facilities allow authors to focus on content. But the majority of these tools (e.g. PlantUML and Mermaid) are focussed on diagramming, requiring you to create one text file per diagram, with only a limited ability to reuse diagram elements across multiple diagrams. At scale, this causes maintenance problems, leading to inconsistencies between diagrams.
This session will demonstrate the open source Structurizr DSL - a way to create a model of your software architecture using a textual DSL that's specifically targeted towards the C4 model. In addition to the basics, you'll also see how the DSL separates content from presentation (allowing you to render your diagrams with a number of tools), some approaches for modelling larger systems, and several options for enterprise-wide modelling (e.g. integration with Spotify's Backstage).
Simon Brown
Simon is an independent consultant specialising in software architecture. He is the author of “Software Architecture for Developers” (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility), the creator of the C4 model for visualising software architecture, and the creator of the Structurizr tooling. Simon is a regular speaker at international software development conferences, and travels the world to help organisations visualise their software architecture.