A tour of Structurizr

Here is a short tour of the major features that Structurizr offers, both in the cloud and on-premises versions.

Please note that some features described below are not available on the Free Plan.

Diagrams

Let's start our tour with a look at the core feature of Structurizr, which is the support for creating software architecture diagrams based upon the C4 model. Structurizr allows you to create a number of different diagram types, focused around static structure at different levels of detail, dynamic behaviour and deployment.

System Context diagram

System Context diagrams

Container diagram

Container diagrams

Component diagram

Component diagrams

System Landscape diagram

System Landscape diagrams

Dynamic diagram

Dynamic diagrams

Deployment diagram

Deployment diagrams

Features

While viewing a diagram, you can:

  • Start presentation mode.
  • Open the diagram key/legend, which is automatically generated for you.
  • Toggle tooltips, to show you additional information about the element or relationship under the mouse pointer.
  • Get the HTML code to embed the diagram in web pages, wiki pages, etc. Diagrams can also be embedded into Atlassian Confluence using the prebuilt macros.
  • Export the diagram and key/legend to PNG (suitable for printing, inserting into slides, etc).
  • Export the diagram and key/legend to SVG.
  • Export all diagrams to a single HTML page, for offline use.

Diagram key/legend

A diagram key/legend is created automatically, based upon the styles in the workspace.

Navigation

A collection of diagrams can be navigated in a number of ways:

  • Select a diagram from the dropdown list at the top of the page.
  • Press the Left/Right cursor keys to move to the previous/next diagram.
  • Double-click on an element with a + symbol to open the first diagram at the next level of detail (e.g. a container diagram for a software system).
  • Press the Space key to open the quick navigation dialog; use the Up/Down cursor keys to select a diagram, or start typing to find a specific diagram. Press the Enter key to navigate to the selected diagram.

Quick navigation

The quick navigation dialog lets you easily navigate a large collection of diagrams.

For more information

Documentation

Structurizr also provides support for attaching lightweight supplementary documentation to the software architecture model, using Markdown or AsciiDoc. Structurizr diagrams can be embedded, along with additional images (e.g. PNG, JPG and GIF format).

Documentation created using Structurizr

Supplementary documentation, created using Markdown or AsciiDoc.

Features

While viewing documentation, you can:

  • Filter the documentation to find pages that include a specific term.
  • Export documentation to a single HTML page, for offline use.
  • Navigation

    The documentation can be viewed section by section, or all together. Documentation can be navigated in a number of ways:

    • Select a documentation section from the dropdown list at the top of the page.
    • Press the Left/Right cursor keys to move to the previous/next section.
    • Press the Space key to open the quick navigation dialog; use the Up/Down cursor keys to select a section, or start typing to find a specific section. Press the Enter key to navigate to the selected section.

    Quick navigation

    The quick navigation dialog lets you easily navigate a large collection of documentation sections.

    Architecture decision records

    Because diagrams alone can't express the decisions that led to a solution, Structurizr allows you to supplement your software architecture model with a decision log, captured as a collection of lightweight Architecture Decision Records (ADRs) as described by Michael Nygard, and featured on the ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. Structurizr allows you to publish your ADRs to allow team members get an "at a glance" view of the current set of ADRs, along with facilities to make navigating them easier.

    Structurizr architecture decision records screenshot

    Get a quick "at a glance" view of the decisions.

    Structurizr architecture decision records screenshot

    And see the full detail of individual decisions.

    Navigation works the same way as documentation; using the dropdown list at the top of the page, the Left/Right cursor keys or by opening the quick navigation dialog with the Space key.

    Explorations

    Structurizr provides some additional visualisations, created automatically, that you can use to explore the software architecture model from a number of different perspectives. If your software architecture diagrams start to become too cluttered, these visualisations are often a good alternative.

    Static structure

    You can explore the static structure of the hierarchical elements in the software architecture model.

    Dependencies

    You can explore the dependencies between all, or a subset of, the elements in the software architecture model.

    Other features

    Some other important features include role-based access to workspaces, a workspace sharing link for access without being signed in, HTTP-based health checks and full-text search across all of your workspaces.

    Full-text search

    The full-text search allow you to easily locate diagrams or documentation across all of your workspaces.

    Pricing model

    Unlike typical software modelling and documentation tools, where the pricing is hundreds or thousands of dollars "per user", Structurizr's pricing is designed to be "per team", for whatever your own definition of a "team" is.

    "Per user" licensing tends to result in a common anti-pattern where a small number of people end up being responsible for updating diagrams, with the resulting diagrams often being manually exported to static images for inclusion in documentation or wiki pages. We think that good software architecture diagrams and documentation should be accessible by everybody on the team, rather than just those lucky few individuals who are fortunate enough to have licenses for tooling.

    Workspaces owned by a paid customer can be shared with free users, so you only need to purchase one subscription/annual plan for your team. See the pricing page for more details.