Context Diagram

> Edraw Knowledge > Context Diagram
Posted by James Freeman |

Part 1: What is Context Diagram

Well, let’s start by defining what it is first.

A context diagram “is the highest level in a Data-flow Diagram (DFD) showing the relationship between a system and other external entities.” The external entities can be external data stores, organizations, systems, etc. Every context diagram must have a context bubble, which is first drawn in the center of the chart.

NOTE: This visual representation diagram is perfect for data analysts since both the DFDs and Context Diagrams were created for systems analysis and design purposes.

Part 2: Purpose and Benefit of Context Diagram

Since a Context Diagram is a specialized version of DFD, therefore, it has two chief purposes, which are:

a. Created to help system analysis
b. It perfect for system design

Some of its benefits include:

i. It is beneficial to several audiences, including system developers, data analysts, business analysts, and stakeholders.
ii. It can be expanded with ease by simply adding different levels of DFDs
iii. To understand the context diagram, you don’t require any technical knowledge
iv. Since it features limited notation, it is quite easy to draw and amend it
v. It displays the system’s scope and boundaries, including its other interfacing systems

Part 3: Context Diagram Symbols & Elements

The elements of a context diagram include:

1. Product: This is the core and the critical element of a context diagram, and it is represented by a circle. A product, therefore, denotes a system, process, or business entity being focused on.


2. External entities/agents: This represents external systems, organizations, or people who consume data or provide data to your product. A square or rectangle, therefore, denotes this symbol.


3. Data flow: This symbol is represented by an arrow, which means or shows how data interact with its external entities.


Part 4: What to do Before Creating Context Diagram

Before you embark on creating a context diagram, you need to know or do the following things:

  • Read or create a story-This is the essential step because you need to read and understand the available data about a system’s processes or search and create one if not available. So, do research and find necessary information about that system since they are the basis of designing a context diagram.
  • Classify public entities-Is it Internal or External? And create a table for the classified entities while numbering them systematically.
  • Within the table you made, point out how data flows to and from in that system.
  • After that, you need to sketch a bubble diagram.
  • After examining it, start organizing the components left in a sequential order
  • Assemble the activities into their good process bubbles, then follow the steps below to create your context diagram.
  • Part 5: How to Make Context Diagram in EdrawMax

    EdrawMax is an online multipurpose chart maker that can be sued to create several types of graphs or visual diagrams. It is one of the best optical diagram makers, thanks to its interactive interface with an easy-to-use workspace.

    Follow the steps below to design your diagram with EdrawMax:

    Step 1: Click "New" on the left navigation pane and the "Flowchart" and wait for it to load. After it is done loading, click on “Data Flow Diagram,” and a new page will load. In there, you will see several templates, but most of them are not for Context text, so you will have to create from scratch.


    Step 2: To look for available templates to modify, head back to the homepage, and on the top navigation pane, click “Templates” and then search for the keyword “Context Diagram.” Let it load, and then browse through the templates and select the one you like. Click on “Use Immediately” and modify it to meet your requirements.


    Step 3: Export your finished diagram by clicking on “File”  “Export” and choose a format you will like to have it in.



    All-in-One Diagram Software
    Create more than 280 types of diagrams effortlessly
    Start diagramming with various templates and symbols easily
    • Superior file compatibility: Import and export drawings to various file formats, such as Visio
    • Cross-platform supported (Windows, Mac, Linux, Web)
    Security Verified | Switch to Mac >>
    Security Verified | Switch to Linux >>
    Security Verified | Switch to Windows >>
  • Learn How to Make a System Context Diagram
  • Part 6: Tips for Making a Perfect Context Diagram

    Here are some of the essential tips to ensure that you make a context diagram that stands out.

  • It is always recommended that you begin by drawing the context bubble at the middle of the canvas.
  • Only list the external entities that are directly connected to the system when listing them
  • Show the relationship between a unit and a system using a line that runs from the company to the system.
  • Ensure you describe the external components’ relationships as a unit by integrating them into a system.
  • Part 7: Context Diagram Example

    The example below shows a simple way of how you can design your context diagram. The noticeable features of this Online Community context diagram are:

  • Context bubble: Every context diagram core is made of a context bubble which in this case is represented by “Online Community.” When designing your diagram, it is essential to Keep in mind that the context bubble should always be in the middle of the chart.
  • Relationship:The diagram has specified the relationship by using the arrows and explaining what each stands for. For example, there are two relationships between the online community and Advertisers, which are “Ad Revenues,” which flows from advertiser to online community, and the "Ad Slots,” which flows from the online community to advertisers.
  • External systems: In this diagram, Community users, Content Creators, Advertisers, and Community Manager represent the external systems.
  • conetxt-diagram-example

    download EdrawMind
    main page

    Get Started! You Will Love This Easy-To-Use Diagram Software

    EdrawMax is an advanced all-in-one diagramming tool for creating professional flowcharts, org charts, mind maps, network diagrams, UML diagrams, floor plans, electrical diagrams, science illustrations, and more. Just try it, you will love it!