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System Analysis and

Design
Lesson 6

Dileeka Alwis
NSBM - School of Computing

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Data Flow Diagram (DFD)

• A pictorial model used to depict the flow of data through


the system and the processing performed by the system.

• It shows how data is captured, processed, stored and


distributed within a system.

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Difference Between DFD & Flow
Chart
• Processes on DFDs can operate in parallel (at-the-same-
time)
- Processes on flowcharts execute one at a time

• DFDs show the flow of data through a system


- Flowcharts show the flow of control (sequence)

• Processes on DFD can have dramatically different timing


(daily, weekly, on demand)
- Processes on flowcharts are part of a single program with
consistent timing

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Symbols in DFD
Process
represents a task that handles data within the
application. The task may process the data or
perform an action based on the data.

Data Flow
represents data movement within the application.
The direction of the data movement is
represented by the arrow.

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External Entity
represent any entity outside the application
that interacts with the application via an entry
point.

only interested in how data flows in to or from


the system to them.

Data Store
represent locations where data is stored.
Data stores do not modify the data, they only
store data.

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Guidelines for drawing DFD

Naming conventions:
Processes: Verbs
Data flows: Nouns
Data stores: Nouns
Entities: Nouns

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Processes

• Place in the center of the diagram.


• Must be numbered.
• Numbering must be consistent across all levels of
DFDs.
• Better to limit to 7 processes per DFD.

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Data Flows

• Arrow pointing to the direction of data flow.


• Must not be split.
• Loops are not allowed.

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Date Store

• Must be labeled with ‘S number’ or ‘D number’.

• Consistent across all diagrams and levels.

• Can not create or destroy any data.


• What comes out of a data store must first go into it through
a process.
• If a data store repeats on the same DFD, then an additional
line is added to it.

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External Entity

• For repeating entity a diagonal line is added to the


north-west corner of the rectangle

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Illegal Data Flows

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Illegal Data Flows


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Steps to create a DFD
• Draw a rough picture of the current system showing the sequence of
events.
• Identify the boundary of the system.
• The boundary will help to identify the External Entities.
• Identify the Data Stores.
• Split the text into individual tasks.
• Split a task into smaller instructions if possible.
• Identify the Inputs to each instruction, and the source of those
inputs.
• Identify the Outputs from each instruction, and the destination of
the output.
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Process Decomposition
The act of breaking a system into sub-components.

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Decomposition
Diagrams

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Levels of DFD

• Context Diagram
• Level 0 DFD
• Level 1 DFD

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Context Diagram
• The highest level DFD which should draw first.
• Represents the entire system as a single process connected to external
entities by data flows.
• It is used to clarify the scope of the system.
• It does not contain data stores.

• Include a title that states what system is being modeled.

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Context Diagram for Food Ordering
System

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Food Ordering System

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Level 0 DFD

• A lower level DFD - Second level from the top in the hierarchy.
• Shows how the major processes that comprise the overall
system are interrelated with external entities by data flows.
• Adds data stores.
• Data flows and external entities in level 0 diagram must match
exactly to those in the Context Diagram.

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Level 0 DFD for Food Ordering System

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Level 1 DFD

• A lower level DFD - Third level from the top in the hierarchy.
• One level 1 diagram is created for every major process on the
level 0 diagram.
• Shows all the internal processes that comprise a single process
on the level 0 diagram.

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Level 1 DFD of Process 1

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