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How to: Add System Diagrams to Solutions 

You can begin designing application systems using System Designer by adding a system diagram to your solution. Each system diagram represents a single system definition. For more information about application systems, see Overview of Application Systems on System Diagrams.

NoteTip

If the solution contains an application diagram with defined applications, you can compose a system from selected application definitions. Composing a system from the application diagram creates a system diagram in your solution. For more information, see How to: Create System Diagrams.

You can add a system diagram in the following ways:

  • Add a blank system diagram.

  • Add an existing system diagram from another solution.

To add a blank system diagram

  1. On the Project menu, choose Add New Item.

  2. Under Categories in the Add New Item - Solution Items dialog box, choose Distributed System Diagrams.

  3. Under Templates, choose System Diagram.

  4. Name the diagram and click Add.

    System Designer displays an empty system diagram. The System View window displays any available definitions of applications and other systems. In Solution Explorer, the diagram appears with an .sd extension in the Solution Items folder. The document tab at the top of the diagram displays the diagram name and an abbreviation ([SD]) representing the designer.

If the solution contains an application diagram with defined applications, you can begin designing the system by adding applications to the system diagram. For more information, see How to: Design Application Systems on System Diagrams.

If the solution does not contain an application diagram, a blank application diagram is added to the solution. The System View window remains empty until you define an application on the application diagram or add another system diagram. After defining applications, you can continue designing the system. For more information, see How to: Define Applications on Application Diagrams.

NoteNote

If you do not define applications, you cannot continue designing the system. If applications defined on the application diagram do not display endpoints, you cannot define communication pathways within a system nor can you provide connection points or access to members of systems. When reused in other systems, a system requires connection points to connect with members of those other systems. For more information, see Exposure of Members in Application Systems and Communication within Application Systems.

To add an existing system diagram from another solution

  1. On the Project menu, choose Add Existing Item.

  2. In the Add Existing Item - Solution Items dialog box, browse and select the system diagram (.sd) file that you want to add.

    System Designer displays the system diagram and any existing members of the system definition. The system diagram also displays alert indicators on members to indicate any missing definitions until you add those definitions to the current solution. For more information, see Troubleshooting System Diagrams.

    In Solution Explorer, the diagram appears with an .sd extension in the Solution Items folder. If the solution does not contain an application diagram, a blank application diagram is added to the solution.

    NoteNote

    Visual Studio adds only a reference to the system diagram in Solution Explorer and does not copy the system diagram to the current solution directory. Therefore, any changes you make to the system diagram also affect the other solution.

After resolving missing definitions, you can continue editing and designing the system. For more information, see the following topics:

See Also

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