The main difference between activity diagram and flowchart is that an activity diagram is a UML behavioral diagram that represents the workflow of the step-by-step activities of the system whereas a flowchart is a diagram. graphic that represents the sequence of steps to solve a problem.
UML stands for Unified Modeling Language. It is different from other programming languages as it does not use any encoding. Furthermore, it is a visual modeling language for visualizing, building, and documenting software. Most importantly, it provides a pictorial representation of the software. Therefore, any user can easily learn it. An activity diagram is a UML diagram. A flowchart, on the other hand, is a graphical diagram that represents an algorithm.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is an Activity Diagram
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is a Flowchart?
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the difference between activity diagram and flowchart?
– Comparison of key differences
Activity diagram, algorithm, flowchart
What is activity diagram?
An activity diagram is a UML behavior diagram. It represents how each activity flows one after another. An activity is a kind of system operation. In addition, activity diagrams help an organization’s business and development teams understand system processes and behaviors.
Figure 1: Activity Diagram
Above is an activity diagram for a simple employee detail entry system. The black circle represents the start node of the activity diagram. Each step is an action; The first step is to enter the username and password. Also, the diamond symbol represents a decision node. If the username and password are correct, the user can enter the employee details. If they are wrong, the user must enter the correct username and password. After entering the employee details, the user can log out. Finally, the end node represents the termination of the diagram.
What is a flowchart?
An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure to solve a given problem. A flowchart is a schematic representation of an algorithm. In computer programming, the flowchart helps to write an algorithm to solve the problem.
Figure 2: Flowchart
The flowchart above calculates the area of a triangle. The oval symbol represents the start of the flowchart, while the rectangle represents a process. The first rectangle is the variable area initialization process. The diamond denotes an input or output operation. The operational input is to enter values for base and height. The next step is a process. It is the calculation of the area of the triangle. The next step is an output operation. Therefore, a diamond represents the impression of the variable area. Finally, the oval symbol ends the flowchart. Throughout the activity diagram, the arrows represent the sequence of steps.
Difference Between Activity Diagram and Flowchart
An activity diagram is a graphical representation of step-by-step activity and action workflows with support for choice, iteration, and concurrency. In contrast, a flowchart is a schematic representation that illustrates a solution model for a given problem. Thus, this is the main difference between activity diagram and flowchart.
Also, an activity diagram helps to understand the business process or workflow of the system, while a flow chart helps to analyze and design a program.
Another difference between activity diagram and flowchart is that an activity diagram is associated with UML while flowchart is associated with programming.
The main difference between activity diagram and flowchart is that activity diagram is a UML behavioral diagram that represents the workflow of the step-by-step activities of the system while flowchart is a graphical diagram. which represents the sequence of steps to solve a problem. Although both have similar symbols, there is a clear difference between activity diagram and flowchart.
1. “UML Activity Diagram Tutorial.” Lucidchart, September 6, 2018, available here.
2. “What is a flowchart.” Lucidchart, September 6, 2018, available here.