Before you can start adding icons to the canvas, an Administrator of your BlueDolphin environment must download icons sets from Templates > Collections in the library:
- For the ValueBlue set of icons, the relevant collection is BlueDolphin Default Shapes.
- For the Google Cloud Architecture set of icons, the relevant collection is Google Cloud Architecture Icons.
- For the AWS Architecture set of icons, the relevant collection is AWS Architecture Icons.
- For the Azure Public Service set of icons, the relevant collection is Azure Public Service Icons.
- For the Healthcare set of icons, the relevant collection is Healthcare Icons.
- For the EDGY set of icons, the relevant collection is EDGY Shapes.
Shapes and icons
You are now able to add a large variety of shapes to a view. Let your creativity run free to create as clear and attractive visualizations as possible.
There are numerous different shapes at your disposal in the ValueBlue section:
EDGY is an Open Source tool for collaborative Enterprise Design developed by Intersection Group.
It was designed to help people create better enterprises and inspired by enterprise modeling languages such as ArchiMate®.
The healthcare set of icons is intended for the users from the healthcare industry. It allows you to build systems, projects or patient journeys with illustrative infographics.
BlueDolphin supports adding architecture icons to your views. Having the icons readily available in the view editor makes it easy to build architecture diagrams in BlueDolphin without having to search for images elsewhere. This enables anyone, including non-architects, to create views for a visual representation of a landscape or solution.
If your cloud architecture is based on Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure or AWS components and services, the standard sets of icons help to make a clear and effective visualization of your architecture. It can then be further shared throughout the entire organization. As the icons are consistent and recognizable, all stakeholders involved will be able to understand the structure, keep themselves up-to-date and provide feedback.
Example of a Google Cloud Platform architecture
In the example below, we provide an architecture diagram which depicts an Internet of Things (IoT) environment and sensor stream ingest and processing built on Google Cloud Platform. The devices that do not have direct Internet connection are accessed via gateway (middle tier). An IoT gateway acts as a network router and provides an additional security for both the network and data. Finally, the Google Cloud Platform is the place where data is stored, processed and analyzed.
We have divided the blank canvas by using rectangles from the free shape library to visualize the different zones within the cloud instance and the boundaries between them. Additionally, in the two rectangles on the left, we have used free shapes for the devices which are not part of the Google Cloud Platform. The links between different elements on the canvas show the data flow and which components of the solution interact with one another.
Example of an AWS architecture for optimizing fleet utilization
Example of a Microsoft Azure architecture for a serverless web application
Draw your architecture diagrams
To start building your own architecture diagram, from the list of available sets, select the one that you need. The list of icons is sorted by category and in alphabetical order. The individual icons within categories are also sorted in alphabetical order.
You can scroll through the icons or search by typing in the category or icon name in the search box. Click on an icon from the selection and then click on the canvas where you want to have it placed. When you drop the icon on the canvas, the name below the icon will be copied too. After an icon has been placed on the canvas, you can customize the name label. The below options are available:
- Change the name
- Change the text color and size
- Move the name label
- Delete the name label
Most free shapes functionalities apply also to the sets of architecture icons. You cannot, however, rotate or color the icons. Resizing is allowed and it will always preserve the aspect ratio.
Adding to a view, removing from a view, or other changes pertaining to icons on a view will not be captured in the view history.
Architecture icons are not included in the import and export of AMEFF and BlueDolphin AMEFF files.
When navigating away from Views or reloading a page, the selection will always show the last used icon set. The Recently used category is always shown at the top of the list and can contain up to 10 icons that you used last.
By clicking on an object, you can easily change its content/text, shape, color, and font size.
By right-clicking the shape (the actual shape instead of the white/free space), you change the layer and text options. Content/text is always presented horizontally.
For Architecture and data views, you can flip free shapes horizontally and vertically. Use the keyboard shortcuts or the right-click menu to access the options. If a free shape contains a text, the text remains as is after mirroring.
For Architecture and data views, it is also possible to rotate free shapes. Click on a free shape and hover over one of its four corners. After the rotate icon appears, hold it and rotate the shape in any direction.