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Future state architecture

What is future state architecture?

In tech, we don't just design and show the "as is" version of our architecture, but also want to communicate the future of our system(s) as a guide to get to our end goal. Even if the design changes over time (which of course it will) this can be a huge help to everyone understanding the technical journey the team will go on to achieve the goals of the business.

Designing future state in IcePanel

In IcePanel this can be done in a few different ways, but our recommendation is to remain in the same landscape and use a combination of Tags and your Diagram tabs to showcase your future version changes. This way you keep your shared model objects and can create specific views to show these different upcoming versions.

  1. Create different version tags
  2. Tag your objects and connections to show the "as is" vs your future designs
  3. Use separate diagram tabs to show your different views, options or stages to your design
  4. You can also use the hide tag feature to show a visual diff with the future state tags in the same diagram. This is done by hovering on the tag and clicking the eye icon.

You can also create frozen versions to show the evolution of your design using the versioning system inside IcePanel. This is great to create an "as is" view from a specific version of your system and refer back to it, seeing what has changed over time.

How to use tags and diagram tabs to show future design

How to use tags and diagram tabs to show future design

Showing this to your audience

Tours are a great way to showcase the steps involved in your future state design. Using the designs you've just created above, create a tour that shows the "As is" and then the future design.

  1. Create a new Tour
  2. Go to a diagram that shows the "As is" and future design together
  3. Turn tags on and hide the future tags
  4. Create your first step - This is your starting point
  5. Unhide tags to show the steps needed, creating tour steps as you go
  6. Finish with the "Future design" diagram as your last tour step, to show your end goal
  7. Play the tour to see if it makes sense to you

You could also just use the tags features yourself as you explain your design to others, and the diagram tabs to show this more clearly.

Huge model changes?

We recommend using separate landscapes if you are in the process of a huge architecture restructure, such as moving from monolithic to micro-service architecture. You can duplicate a landscape to reduce duplication if some of the model objects still exist in the new design.