Data Flow Diagram Example: Supermarket App


While data flow diagrams are commonly used in modeling information systems, you can also draw DFDs for showing the flow of data within a mobile app. In this supermarket app example, a data flow diagram is created to show the major features (i.e. processes) provided by the app, the external entities these processes interact with and the data store that holds the data.

This data flow diagram example and template can be edited with Visual Paradigm Online, an online diagramming software. Click Use this Template to edit this DFD template, or click Create Blank to create a new one.

What is Data Flow Diagram?

Data flow diagrams are visual representations of how data will move within an information system such as, how data will move into a process, what will happen to it while it is there, how and where the data will emerge or its output, and where the changed data will be stored. Data flow diagrams can either be used to design and model new requirements, or to visualize existing systems for improvement or problem fixing. Many people confuse data flow diagrams with flow charts that show steps in a process. Keep in mind that a flow chart does not identify the inputs, the functions, or storage.

Why Data Flow Diagram (DFD)?

When it comes to conveying how information data flows through systems and how that data is transformed from process to be stored in the data stores, data flow diagrams are the method of choice over textual descriptions for the following reasons.

  1. The simple visual representation of Data flow diagrams are easier to understand by technical and nontechnical stakeholders
  2. DFDs can provide a high level system overview, complete with boundaries and connections to other systems
  3. DFDs can provide drill-down mechanism by multi-leveling of DFDs through top-down decomposition techniques.

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