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I don't know I am posting this question. in the right place. I thought I could post it on stackoverflow but this places looks more suitable for this question.

I am wondering that how much drawing a a blueprint/sketch of the architecture of a project before starting to actually build it would help? could it be useful? what are your experiences on this. I am about to dive into a big project on my firm and I just wanna explore the options before getting into it.

Also, is there some online tools which are specifically designed for that kind of purposes so that I can do this kind of stuff on my machine instead of on a paper.

  • are you asking about visual design? How the various components integrate with each other? use cases? or what? – Meade Rubenstein Apr 4 '11 at 1:11
  • What is "blueprint sketch of a project"? – yegor256 Apr 4 '11 at 5:39
  • @tugberk: A project consists of a lot of aspects. If you don't say, no one will know what your target is (budget planning, time plan,resource..) – Hoàng Long Apr 4 '11 at 10:05
  • @Hoang there won't be much programmer working on the project. just two. we will be using .net 4, web forms and mvc together, ms sql, windows server 2008 r2 and iis 7. – tugberk Apr 4 '11 at 10:34
  • It seems like your question is related to drawing architectural design diagrams. Is that correct? – ashes999 Apr 4 '11 at 15:13
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I don't have much experience with this in terms of tools. I find architectural diagrams really useful, especially with complex interactions and multiple systems.

I had one project that required JQuery, Silverlight, and PHP all rolled together. I stuck to pen and paper and drew up some interaction diagrams (UML is really useful for cases like this) to make sure I understood the workflow.

Hence, I would say stick to pen and paper if you can. Google Docs has some online drawing functionality, if you're interested in having it available online.

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Since I started out as an AutoCAD drafter for architectural firms designing buildings, I am a big fan of software architectural diagrams because I tend to be a graphically oriented person. However, not everyone agrees with me on that. This seems like another "6 month" type of question - draw whatever information now that you think will be critical 6 months into the future.

When it comes to tools, I can get a lot of mileage out of Visio but I am really comfortable with the software. You can do really good diagrams with Balsamiq Mockups that have a rough look-and-feel that offer the right image for an early project.

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