Introduction to Directed Graph Markup Language ( DGML )

DGML, or "Directed Graph Markup Language" is what we are using in VSTS 2010 Architecture to render graphs like the one below:

The power of DGML is in its simplicity. Let me show you what I mean.

If you launch the VSTS 2010 CTP, open a project, click View->Architecture Explorer, then click the button shown below...
image_thumb8'll get a new dgml editor in the document well. You can then right click inside that document and select "View Code". Right click on the tab of the resulting editor and select "New Horizontal Tab Group". You'll have something similar to this:


If you add a Link element as a child element to the Links node, with a Source and Target attribute, you'll get something similar to this:


To add a few more elements, try this:


You'll notice the Nodes element isn't even needed to render the graph above. That is really all you need to know to visualize all kinds of data. Rest assured there is a lot more goodness to discuss about this technology, but the simplicity of it is one of the most exciting aspects as far as I'm concerned!

In my next post, I'm actually going to show you how, armed with just this little nugget of DGML information, you can visualize some Java code. Stay tuned!