Drawing ERDs (Entity Relationship Diagrams)


Drawing ERDs (Entity Relationship Diagrams)


Creating diagrams for Simple Entity Relationships (ERD)

Following feedback from many users, particularly Salesforce Admins, the requirement was raised for the ability to modify line types and create simple Entity Relationship Diagrams within Elements. They are intentionally simple, still using the single activity box – in which you are clearly entering the object rather than an activity. The relationships are built using flow-lines. To change the type of relationship you select a line, select ‘Override selected theme’ in the right panel, click on ‘line form’ and select the Start or End point you want to change the line to.

Example of Simple ERD created in Elements describing the relationships around the ‘Commentable Item’ Object:


Simple ERD with right panel Line Form open


In Elements Pro, the implication is that you can build a Map which is a single diagram ERD of specific system components (e.g. Salesforce custom Objects).  On the diagram each Salesforce Object is an activity box.   Each activity box can link back to the Salesforce Object in the Ref Model.   Which is pretty cool…



ERD line definitions and Extending the ERD in Elements

For a more complete picture of the notation, see the example and ‘Cheat sheet’ created by Vivek M. Chawla in 2013. Click on the image to launch his post and print a pdf version of the cheat sheet.

ERD Symbols Cheat Sheet - Vivek Chawla

Some people may choose to create more comprehensive ERDs including field types, for which we have consciously made no specific provisions. If you really want to you can enrich the model with Data Tables, notes or simply putting a line of underscores in the text and then a list of field types. Some people have used Resources to capture fields but this will pollute your Resource Library with a bunch of fields.

Options for extending ERDs

If you have feedback, questions or good examples of how you are using this, feel free to click on the chat icon or email success@elements.cloud

Here is an example of a section of our own ERDs – covering part of Product Development, using the resources in this case to show the systems used:

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