How to Build Salesforce Diagrams

Notes based on “How to Build Salesforce Diagrams” post on Salesforce Architects page.


  • Diagrams are a key part of architecture work, helpful for communicating ideas to many different kinds of stakeholders, with many different needs
    • A single diagram typically cannot convey meaning to every possible stakeholder
    • Salesforce developed this guidance to empower everyone to build accurate and understandable Salesforce diagrams with a predictable, standard look and feel

Diagram Styles

  • Most diagrams only convey meaning to a specific set of stakeholders, for a specific purpose
    • Can be difficult to know what type of diagram best supports a given scenario
    • Clarifying the intent of the diagram you’re trying to create is a critical first step in creating something that will resonate with your intended audience, informing the appropriate style to use
    • Two styles outlined below: Marketing, Strategy, & Sales, and Documentation & Implementation

Marketing, Strategy, & Sales

  • Purpose: Help viewers understand concepts or a vision for a solution
  • Audience: Business & Executive Stakeholders, Technical Influencers
  • This style can show:
    • What is the big picture?
    • Why are we doing this?
    • Why would we do this?
    • What is the business value of products or solutions?
  • This style cannot show:
    • An implementation ready view
    • Technical specifications
    • Product documentation

Documentation & Implmentation

  • Purpose: Help viewers understand an implementation or product-related technical detail
  • Audience: Delivery Teams, Technical Stakeholders
  • This style can show:
    • How do we build [x] capability or solution?
    • How does [y] product work with [x] products?
    • What are the details of [y] product or implementation?
    • What work was done to build [x]?
  • This style cannot show:
    • A business capability focused view
    • Business value / ROI of products or solutions

Diagram Levels

  • Once you are clear about intentions and audience for the diagram, decide what details support your purpose
    • Salesforce introduces a concept of levels to help separate different kinds of details into easy to choose categories
      1. The Big Picture: highest complexity, little granularity, no fine detail
      2. Piece of the Whole: medium complexity, very little granularity, 1 or 2 fine details
      3. Process or Interaction View: low complexity, some granularity, some fine detail
      4. The Double Click: least complexity, finest granularity, specific detail
    • Moving down the levels (1 -> 4) you “zoom in” to greater detail and reduced surface area or scope

Marketing, Strategy, & Sales

Example Templates for Marketing, Strategy, & Sales

  1. The Big Picture
    • Scope: “Art of the possible,” Digital transformation scenarios
    • Use cases: Marketecture, Business Capability Map, Blueprint, Value Map
  2. Piece of the Whole
    • Scope: A single business capability solution overview
    • Use cases: Solution architecture
  3. Process or Interaction View
    • Scope: A business process in support of a single capability
    • Use cases: Business process, process flow, user journey
  4. The Double Click
    • Scope: Fine-grained detail about a single process
    • Use cases: A step or portion of a business process, process flow, data flow, user journey

Documentation & Implmentation

Example Templates for Documentation & Implmentation

  1. The Big Picture
    • Scope: System landscape or solution overview
    • Use cases: System Landscape
  2. Piece of the Whole
    • Scope: A subset of a system landscape or solution
    • Use cases: Integration Layer
  3. Process or Interaction View
    • Scope: Limited view of products or technologies in a solution, focused on showing more complex detail
    • Use cases: Authentication Flow
  4. The Double Click
    • Scope: Most narrow view, focused on showing fine-grained details
    • Use cases: Data Model (ERD/UML)