A Deployment Diagram models the run-time architecture of a system. It shows the configuration of the hardware elements (nodes) and shows how software elements and artifacts are mapped onto those nodes.
A Node is either a hardware or software element. It is shown as a 3-dimensional box shape, as below
A node instance can be shown on a diagram. An instance can be distinguished from a node by the fact that its name is underlined and has a colon before its base node type. An instance may or may not have a name before the colon. The following diagram shows a named instance of a computer.
A number of standard stereotypes are provided for nodes, namely «cdrom», «cd-rom», «computer», «disk array», «pc», «pc client», «pc server», «secure», «server», «storage», «unix server», «user pc». These will display an appropriate icon in the top right corner of the node symbol
An Artifact is a product of the software development process. That may include process models (e.g. Use Case models, Design models etc), source files, executables, design documents, test reports, prototypes, user manuals and so on.
An artifact is denoted by a rectangle showing the artifact name, the «artifact» stereotype and a document icon, as follows.
In the context of a deployment diagram, an association represents a communication path between nodes. The following diagram shows a deployment diagram for a network, showing network protocols as stereotypes and also showing multiplicities at the association ends.
Node as Container
A node can contain other elements, such as components or artifacts. The following diagram shows a deployment diagram for part of an embedded system and showing an executable artifact as being contained by the motherboard node.
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