Deployment Diagram Overview
Deployment diagrams are the blueprint of the information system you are constructing. They are the physical implementation of the logical design that you have created. We will use the UML v. 2 notation. Typically there will be three different hardware/software environments that the software will move through during its creation on its way to its final resting place - DEVELOPER, STAGING, and PRODUCTION environments. The STAGING environment should be an exact duplicate of the PRODUCTION environment, while the DEVELOPER environment probably will not be.
A UML 2 deployment diagram depicts a static view of the run-time configuration of processing nodes and the components that run on those nodes. In other words, deployment diagrams show the hardware for your system, the software that is installed on that hardware, and the middleware used to connect the disparate machines to one another. You want to create a deployment diagram for applications that are deployed to several machines, for example a point-of-sales application running on a thin-client network computer which interacts with several internal servers behind your corporate firewall or a customer service system deployed using a web services architecture such as Microsoft's .NET. You want to create a deployment diagram for all but the most trivial of systems.
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