Decision Requirements Diagrams

In any DMN model, you start by creating a Decision Requirements Diagram (DRD). A DRD is the visual representation of a DMN model, known as a Decision Requirements Graph (DRG). A DRG can consist of one or more DRDs or diagrams.

You model Decisions in diagrams using a standard palette of components.

You can have multiple decisions in the one diagram or spread them over multiple diagrams to avoid complex decision models that are difficult to read.

Before you start modeling your decisions, get to know how diagrams work, how to format them, configure decision definitions, view decision structure and reports, and download decision models and images.

Tour the Design page

Before you start, get to know the DMN Design page. The Design page is where you model and edit decisions.

Cardanit DMN design page

  1. The header contains these elements:

    • Cardanit logo: click to go to the Home page.

    • Menu: Go to My Files, rename the project, and go to Simulations page which lists the simulations that have been run.

    • Project name

    • Share the project with others and access Version history, your profile and the help section.

  2. The Tab Menu goves you access to the Design page, the Logic page where you configure a decision table, and the Report page where you can view and download the decision report.

  3. The tools on the left of the toolbar are for editing and downloading the DMN model and diagram screenshots.

  4. The tools on the right enable you to go to full screen mode and hide the header.

  5. The Element Palette shows the components you can use in the diagram.

  6. Use to expand the element palette or to collapse it.

  7. The diagram tab bar at the bottom of the screen is where you manage diagrams.

  8. A diagram is where you create, map and edit your decisions.

  9. In the Panel gives you access to the decision structure, decision definitions and component attributes and the style section where you can customize the appearance of your diagram.

  10. Zoom in and zoom out or reset visualization.

Manage diagrams

You can add, rename and delete diagrams and move diagram tabs in the sequence you prefer.

You perform these actions in the diagram tab menu at the bottom of the screen.

managing BPMN and DMN diagrams from the diagram tab menu

Add a diagram

To add a diagram:

  • In the diagram tab bar, click .

    This places the diagram at the end:

You can also choose where to add a diagram: at the start, at the end, right or left.

  • In the diagram tab bar, click and select an option.

Rename a diagram

  1. Click , then click Rename.

  2. In the dialog box that opens, give a name to the diagram, then click Ok.

Delete a diagram

If you delete a diagram it can’t be restored.

  • Click , then click Delete.

Move diagram tabs

You can move diagram tabs in the sequence you prefer: left,right, to the start or end.

  • Click , then click Move right, Move left, Move to start or Move to end.

    Or select the tab and drag and drop into position.

Format diagrams

You can customize the appearance of components and labels to make your diagram clearer and easier to read.

To customize the style of a component in your diagram:

  • Select the component, then click Style in the Panel Menu.

    customizing the style of a component from the panel menu

If you don’t like your style changes, click Reset to return to the default style.

To select multiple components of the same type — for example, all the Decisions in the diagram:

  • Press Shift, then select all the components you want to format.

In the Style panel that opens, depending on the type of component you want to change, you have these formatting options:


Format the color of components.

Fill: color the inside of a component.

Stroke: color the outline of a component.


Format label text and paragraph styles.

Text: change the font type, font size, color and text style, align text and position.


Format the appearance of Knowledge, Information and Authority Requirements and Associations.

Color: Color the line.

Style: Choose between straight and elbow.

Radius: Change the curve radius.

Configure Decision Definitions

Definitions is the root container for all the components of a DMN decision model. Cardanit automatically detects and lists all the Definitions in the DMN model.

You add, edit and remove Definitions in the Definitions panel. Alternatively, you can configure Definitions using shortcuts in the Attributes panel of certain Elements.

The Definitions panel is divided into tabs.

configuring decision definitions in a DMN model from the Attributes panel

Open Definitions

  • Click anywhere in the diagram and in the Panel Menu, click Attributes.

Add a definition

This action is applicable to all Definitions except for Attributes.

  1. Open the tab of the Definition you want to add, then click Add.

  2. Select the Definition and complete the Definition fields.

Edit a definition

  • Select the Definition and edit the Definition fields.

Remove a definition

This action is applicable to all Definitions except for Attributes.

  1. Open the tab of the Definition you want to remove.

  2. Select the Definition, then click Remove.

Explore decision structure

The Structure panel displays all the aspects of a diagram in alphabetical order in a real time, synchronized tree structure.

When you add something to a diagram, the Structure panel updates in real time to reflect what you see in the diagram.

When you select an element in the diagram, the element is highlighted in the tree. Once you’ve selected an element you can open the Attributes panel to define its attributes.

Use Search to explore the structure and find a specific item in the diagram.

Structure Panel in Cardanit

View the decision report

Cardanit generates a comprehensive decision report that enables you to analyze processes offline in a familiar format.

The report is generated in real time and contains all the diagrams in the decision. It includes everything from Attributes and Definitions to diagram graphics and images.

Preview and download the process report on the Report page. You can download the decision report in Microsoft Word DOCX and Adobe PDF format.

Download report

  • In the Toolbar, click for DOCX or for PDF.

view process reports in Cardanit

Download DMN file

You can download diagrams as a DMN 1.3 XML file to back up your work or to use with other DMN-compatible software.

You download DMN 1.3 XML files on the Design page.

  • In the Toolbar, click .

Download diagram image

You can download an image of a single diagram or multiple diagrams as a PDF or PNG file.

You download diagram images on the Design page.

  1. In the Toolbar, click .

  2. In the dialog box that opens, select which images to download, the file format and show or hide project information and the watermark, then click Download.

download BPMN and DMN diagram images