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Auto-Refreshed Diagrams

After generating your own Tailored Diagrams, customizing and reorganizing them, Cloudockit will now automatically refresh your architecture diagrams.

AUTHOR

Pascal Bonheur

READING TIME

5 min

Cloudockit now allows you to define your own layout of your architecture diagrams using our new Tailored Diagrams feature. Once you have created your own tailored diagram, you will be able to customize and reorganize your diagrams and Cloudockit will refresh your customized diagram within changing the metadata

Step 1: Generate Your Architecture Diagram

For the first step, using the Cloudockit SaaS version, you simply need to generate your diagram using a Tailored Diagram template you previously created.

Please note that the Auto-Refreshed Diagrams feature must be used with Tailored Diagram templates and cannot be used with other types of diagrams. We are working to add many built-in Tailored Diagram templates in order for you to be able to use the Auto-Refreshed Diagram feature without having to create your own Tailored Diagrams.

Step 2: Customize & Reorganize Your Diagram

Once you receive your generated Tailored Diagram, open it with Microsoft Visio and start to play with it.

For example, you can move shapes to create your preferred layout like moving shapes to avoid crossing arrows or change the layout the way you want.

All the shapes have a Unique ID that will allow Cloudockit to find the shape during the refresh even if you move it around.

You can also add your own shapes and links within your diagram. As an example, you can reorganize the following Azure Virtual Machine diagram:

You can also remove shapes that you no longer want to see. To do so, it is important to HIDE a shape instead of removing it otherwise Cloudockit will consider that the component you removed is new and will regenerate it next time. To hide the component properly, create a new layer from the top bar menu, and create a layer named Deleted with the Visible checkbox unchecked. Afterward, you can select a shape or group of shapes and Assign them to the Deleted Layer.

By doing this, you can also display deleted shapes when you want. You can also do the same with links.

Step 3 – Save Your Architecture Diagram

Once you have done all your modifications, you can save your diagram, it is ready to be refreshed.

Step 4 – Refresh Your Diagram

To refresh the diagram, you need to navigate to the diagram pane, shown below, and upload the diagrams you have modified.

The next time you click on Generate, you will see that Cloudockit has automatically refresh your diagram without changing your layout.

The refresh diagram feature has the following behavior:

  • All of the metadata of the shapes will be updated with the latest values coming from the current scan
  • The shapes you move will not be repositioned to keep your layout intact
  • The shapes you deleted (hidden in a not visible layer to be exact) will stay hidden
  • The shapes you have created manually will not be changed
  • The new shapes (new VM, new links, etc.) will be added in the right-hand side of the diagram and will use the Tailored Diagram layout to do the layout.

One toll to rule them all