The Complete Guide To Understand IDEF Diagram

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1. What is The Integrated Definition (IDEF)?

IDEF refers to a modeling language family that encompasses a wide variety of uses, ranging from functional modeling to data, simulation, object-oriented analysis/design, and information gathering. The IDEF methods are described from IDEF0 to IDEF14.

IDEF (Integrated Definition) is a graphical technique in process simulation used to apply processes and engineering applications.

IDEF was conceived by the United States Air Force and developed in the mid-1970s. It was developed as a primary tool for recording business processes and evaluating them. Now, this technique is used as a rigid framework for the study of an organization, the capturing of "as-is" process models, and the simulation of business community operations.

IDEF diagram

1.1 The Benefits of Using IDEF

Here are the advantages of using IDEF as a form of process modeling, discussed with examples of:

  • IDEF can be seen in virtually any sense, business, or development field possible;
  • Also, without technical knowledge, IDEF diagrams are easy to understand and read;
  • IDEF presents a systematic framework for naming procedures, graphs, and offering input in depth;
  • IDEF0 incorporates a large amount of knowledge and links other pieces to show their effect on the operation;
  • IDEF0 lets you see the importance of the performance of the mechanism and make sure the specification is realistic.

1.2 IEDF Modeling Languages

IDEF0 Function modelling
IDEF1 Information modelling
IDEF1X Data modelling
IDEF2 Simulation model design
IDEF3 Process description capture
IDEF4 Object-oriented design
IDEF5 Ontology description capture
IDEF6 Design rationale capture
IDEF7 Information system auditing
IDEF8 User interface modelling
IDEF9 Business constraint discovery
IDEF10 Implementation of architecture modelling
IDEF11 Information artefact modelling
IDEF12 Organization modelling
IDEF13 Three schema mapping design
IDEF14 Network design

2. What is The IDEF0 Diagram?

There is a wide variety of diagramming techniques, such as flowcharts and data flow diagrams, but none are both rigorously specified and non-proprietary.

IDEF0 was developed from the Structured Analysis and Design Technique (SADT), a well known graphical language. Efficient IDEF models help simplify device development and facilitate effective collaboration between analysts and customers.

IDEF0 is useful in defining the scope of analysis, especially for functional analysis. As a collaboration mechanism, IDEF0 uses streamlined visualization tools to facilitate industry expert engagement and collaborative decision-making.

As an analytical tool, IDEF0 lets the modeler define the functions. The functions include executing the required matters, checking the correctness of the current system, and checking the existing system's mistakes.

The IDEF0 diagram's "box and arrow" diagrams display the function as a box, and the interfaces as arrows entering or exiting the box to or from the function.

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

2.1 How the IDEF0 Works?

IDEF0 is a fundamental process in many respects. One example of this is that the technique includes only one form of package. Like in other methods, each box represents a single method, but IDEF0 is different in the use and location of arrows. There are two other types of arrows, as well as traditional inputs and outputs, which represent 'controls' and 'mechanisms.'

Mechanisms are the tools and equipment required to complete the cycle. IDEF0 principles intended to strengthen connectivity include:

  • Diagrams based on original boxes and graphics with arrows;
  • The English language marks identify boxes and arrows as well as glossary and language to specify the precise meanings of the elements in the diagram;
  • The incremental discovery of detail uses a hierarchical structure, with the main functions at the top and subsequent subfunction stages showing a well-bounded breakout;
  • A "node map" provides a simple index to locate the information inside the diagram hierarchy structure;
  • Limited information on any successive feature is no more than six subfunctions.

2.2 The Strengths and Weaknesses of IDEF0

The main strength of IDEF0 is that the approach has proved successful in describing the role modeling framework operations, the initial organized analysis coordination objective for IDEF0. Activities can be represented by their ICOMs (inputs, outputs, controls, and mechanisms).

Furthermore, the definition of a system 's operations can be quickly optimized in more and more detail until the concept is as concise as appropriate for the decision-making function at hand.One problem with IDEF0 is the propensity to view the IDEF0 models as reflecting a series of events.

While IDEF0 is not designed for the simulation of operation sequences, this is simple to do. The behaviors can be put within a decomposition and linked to a left to right sequence. It is normal to order the tasks left to right, as it is easier to draw the action boxes and object associations.Therefore, operation sequencing may be incorporated in the IDEF0 model without any purpose.

2.3 The Components of IDEF0 Diagram

The following is the main components of an IDEF diagram:

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax
  • Arrow: A guided line consists of one or more arrow segments, which models an open framework or channel that conveys data or artifacts from source to use;
  • Box: A rectangle used to represent a function, including a name and number;
  • Context: The current context a function is operating in;
  • Node trees: Tree-like node constructs rooted at a selected node, and used to represent a complete IDEF0 decomposition in a single diagram.

3. The IDEF Diagramming Tool

EdrawMax, as an all-in-one diagramming tool, can make over 200 kinds of diagrams, including IDEF0, IDEF1, IDEF2.

It is easy to use with intuitive interface, predefined symbols, automatic formatting toolkit, and accompanied by a plethora of well-designed templates and examples. Simply dragging and dropping, your diagram is done. Furthermore, EdrawMax supports to import and export in multiple formats, including Graphics, PDF, PS, Html, Visio, SVG and so on.

4. How to Create IDEF Diagram in EdrawMax?

Step 1: Open EdrawMax, click ‘FlowChart’ and select IDEF Diagram.

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

Step 2: Once selected, you can choose a template or the option for a blank canvas.

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

Step 3: Create your IDEF diagram from the wide range of shapes, colors, and grids available. Don’t forget to add your text.

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

Step 4: Save and export your diagram to any file type you wish to. As EdrawMax is compatible with multiple file types.

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

4.1 The Example of IDEF0 Diagram

IDEF diagram
Source:EdrawMax

This IDEF0 diagram example depicts the schedule into a shop with components like supply parts, assets to perform functions like remove and replace.

5. Conclusion

In the IDEF0 diagram, the limited number of boxes on the map, with many levels, will result in a deep hierarchy, which suggests that while individual process diagrams are easy to comprehend, it can be challenging to grasp the other diagrams that come from numerous breakdowns as a whole.

Creating detailed IDEF0 diagrams with minimal effort in EdrawMax, since it is a two-dimensional technical diagramming software that helps create the flowcharts, organizational charts, mind maps, and more. Plus, it is free to try!