Deployment diagrams

In UML, deployment diagrams model the physical architecture of a system. Deployment diagrams show the relationships between the software and hardware components in the system and the physical distribution of the processing.

Deployment diagrams, which you typically prepare during the implementation phase of development, show the physical arrangement of the nodes in a distributed system, the artifacts that are stored on each node, and the components and other elements that the artifacts implement. Nodes represent hardware devices such as computers, sensors, and printers, as well as other devices that support the runtime environment of a system. Communication paths and deploy relationships model the connections in the system.

An example deployment diagram

Deployment diagrams are effective for visualizing, specifying, and documenting the following types of systems:

Because deployment diagrams focus on the configuration of the runtime processing nodes and their components and artifacts, you can use this type of diagram to assess the implications of distribution and resource allocations.

Note: Deployment diagrams are distinct from component diagrams. A deployment diagram shows components and artifacts in relation to where they are used in the deployed system. A component diagram defines the composition of components and artifacts in the system.
Note: Deployment diagrams are distinct from deployment topologies, a different type of model. For information on deployment topologies, see Modeling deployment topologies.

The following topics describe model elements in deployment diagrams: