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Dataflow is the movement of data through a system comprised of software, hardware or a combination of both.
Dataflow is often defined using a model or diagram in which the entire process of data movement is mapped as it passes from one component to the next within a program or a system, taking into consideration how it changes form during the process.
Dataflow design is done through specialized software called dataflow diagrams (DFD) which are specially designed to graphically map how data is transmitted throughout a system.
The dataflow diagram is important in the architectural design of a system since it defines what kind of data is needed in order to start or complete a specific process.
Using a dataflow diagram is part of the dataflow modeling process.