DSL and code

It’s possible to use both the DSL and a code-based library together - perhaps you want to define a basic model via the DSL, and use automatic extraction to add components to the model. To do this, define your workspace using the DSL as normal, for example:

workspace {

    model {
        s = softwareSystem "Software System" {
            webapp = container "Web Application"
            database = container "Database" {
                webapp -> this "Reads from and writes to"

    views {
        container s {
            include *
            autoLayout lr


Since the DSL parser is written in Java, you can use it directly by adding a dependency on the structurizr-dsl library, which is available on Maven Central:

  • groupId: com.structurizr
  • artifactId: structurizr-dsl

You can then write a Java program that parses your DSL definition, and extends the workspace further; for example:

StructurizrDslParser parser = new StructurizrDslParser();
parser.parse(new File("workspace.dsl"));

Workspace workspace = parser.getWorkspace();
Container webApplication = workspace.getModel().getSoftwareSystemWithName("Software System").getContainerWithName("Web Application");

// add components manually or via automatic extraction

// add a component view
ComponentView componentView = workspace.getViews().createComponentView(webApplication, "Components", "Description");

Please note that the Structurizr for Java library is designed to be append only, so it’s not possible to remove/modify elements/relationships that already exist in the model.

Other languages

Ports of the “Structurizr for Java” library are available for a number of other programming languages - see https://structurizr.org/#authoring for links. Although you can’t use the DSL parser directly, you can achieve the same effect with the following steps:

1. Convert your DSL workspace to the JSON format

This can be done using the Structurizr CLI export command:

structurizr export -workspace workspace.dsl -format json

2. Load the JSON file, and add to the workspace

A Structurizr for .NET version of the above example is as follows:

FileInfo fileInfo = new FileInfo("workspace.json");
Workspace workspace = WorkspaceUtils.LoadWorkspaceFromJson(fileInfo);
Container webApplication = workspace.Model.GetSoftwareSystemWithName("Software System").GetContainerWithName("Web Application");

// add components manually or via automatic extraction

// add a component view
ComponentView componentView = workspace.Views.CreateComponentView(webApplication, "Components", "Description");