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Application to help build diagrams

I'm looking for some tool to help me present high level view of an application to the developers.

I want to be able to generate a kind of 'bird view' of the architecture and interacting systems.

For example, I would like to show the boundaries of a software component (external API that are presented by the software, other component that are called) I would also like to be able to explain interaction between the software and the database.

So the result would be a mix of simplified UML, entity-relational mapping, and some architecture and network topography.

I've tried to do that in Visio and Word (version 2010 for both) but I'm struggling a lot, spending too much time trying to find a not too much offending theme, fighting with the layout manager or with the embedded logic rule (like the UML palette of visio that is not very friendly for stamping around).

As a result of using visio, I spend too much time for even a very simple chart (like component packaging) and once it's done I don't want to open it again to do any changes.

I want something that's looking nice but not with flashy colors, that is simple to use and that layout boxes in a simple but efficient manner.

Do you know any tool that would let me do that ?

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marked as duplicate by Daniel Andersson, slhck, Sathya May 16 '12 at 7:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
    
that's a lot... My thread should be closed. –  Guillaume May 15 '12 at 8:12
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2 Answers

I use UML2 OMG metamodel for the Eclipse platform. There are about a dozen modeling tools for Eclipse if you happen to use it. I prefer Eclipse over other IDEs because of the fact that there are literally 100s of plugins available

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I've read a bit of the wiki and it is looking very complex for my need... I'm already using plantUML for sequence and intellij for class diagram. I'm more looking for a kind of 'visio for dummy'. –  Guillaume May 15 '12 at 7:59
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I'm answering my own question.

I have scanned the answers given in the similar thread (thanks Daniel for the aggregation work) and tried this one: 'Vue'.

After a quick play, I'm considering it as my new love for creating diagram !

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