The Terrastruct Blog

Terrastruct is 1.0

February 19, 2021

Terrastruct launched on January 5, 2020 [0] to address a hole in developer tools – a diagramming tool that was made for developers. The popular choice to create software architecture diagrams is with general-purpose tools. The problem is that often, when trying to map this intricate, layered model of the architecture that engineers have in their heads to a static image, it gets very messy, unsuitable as documentation or even presentation. The alternative is that they try to keep it clean by removing critical details and cutting non-essential edge case flows. But the details and handling edge cases are the core of what an architecture is meant to convey.

Instead, Terrastruct is designed to handle complexity by breaking a diagram apart. Each layer maps to layers of abstractions, and there’s room to define individual scenarios to describe every sequence of events or edge cases as needed. The tooling makes it easy to create these sorts of diagrams, and the presentation has intuitive navigation to view them. [1]

Now, after a year of iterating from the initial launch, Terrastruct is now “1.0”. It’s stable, and people enjoy diagramming on it. Hundreds of software architecture diagrams are created and shared every week, by individual developers, teams, and organizations. And they’re diagrams that are only possible on Terrastruct.

Terrastruct 1.0 UI

Notable changelog since launch

  • Complete redesign of the UI
  • Undo/redo
  • Autosave
  • Autolayout
  • Full set of flowchart shapes
  • Full set of connectors
  • Automatic connection pathing
  • Syncing to a Github repository
  • Hand-drawn mode
  • Hundreds of hand-picked icons suited for software diagrams
  • Live collaboration
  • Granular permissioning
  • Password-protection for shareable diagrams
  • Google image search in-app
  • Upload images
  • Templates
  • Comments
  • Dark mode
  • Full coverage of standard diagramming features (snap alignments, distribute spacing, etc)
  • Special elements for defining database tables and classes
  • Code snippets
  • Keyboard shortcuts

Notes

  • [0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21958986
  • [1] For more detail on unique features: here
  • [1] Perhaps in the future that’s an area where AI can be applied – that final 20% to making a diagram aesthetically pleasing.
  • [2] For a more in-depth story of getting to 1.0: here
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