I have a figure contains a web server as well as database symbols and I would like to create it using latex. Is there a way to approach it in latex? I am still new in learning tikz package but I included what I have tried to achieve this figure. The figure is as follows:

enter image description here

The current work I did to achieve this graph is as follows:


\usetikzlibrary{shapes.geometric, arrows}



\tikzstyle{startstop} = [rectangle, rounded corners, minimum width=3cm, minimum height=1cm,text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB2]

\tikzstyle{process} = [rectangle, minimum width=3cm, minimum height=1cm, text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB1]

\tikzstyle{arrow} = [thick,->,>=stealth]

\begin{tikzpicture}[node distance=2cm]

\node (pro1) [process] {Process 1};
\node (dec1) [process, below of=pro1] {Decision 1};
\node (pro2a) [process, below of=dec1, yshift=-0.5cm] {Process 2a};
\node (pro2b) [process, right of=dec1, xshift=2cm, startstop] {Process 2b};
\node (out1) [process, below of=pro2a] {Output};
\node (stop) [process, below of=out1] {Stop};

\draw [arrow] (pro1) -- (dec1);
\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- (pro2a);
\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- (pro2b);

\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- node[anchor=east](pro2a);
\draw [->] (dec1) -- (pro2b);
\draw [<-] (pro2b) --  (dec1);
\draw [arrow]  (pro2a) --  (out1);
\draw [arrow] (out1) --  (stop);



The original source of the two symbols is taking from this online tool in the network category as shown in the following figure: enter image description here

Thank you

  • 1
    If you can find clip art for your symbols, not a problem. Use TikZ or one of its many children. – John Kormylo Apr 6 '18 at 3:17
  • 1
    Please add a minimal working example (MWE) of what you've tried so far. – CarLaTeX Apr 6 '18 at 5:07
  • 1
    Show what you have tried. – Henri Menke Apr 6 '18 at 7:03
  • 1
    @HenriMenke Thank you for your comments. I am still new in using this package but I included the current try I did to achieve this figure. – User505 Apr 6 '18 at 11:41
  • 1
    @User505 Great! Please remember to always add what you have tried in all your future questions as well. I voted to reopen and you should recieve an answer shortly. – Henri Menke Apr 6 '18 at 12:04

For node positioning, you could also use a TikZ matrix.

If you call it m, you could refer its cells as m-row_number-column_number.

For the style setting, see here: Should \tikzset or \tikzstyle be used to define TikZ styles?.

Of course, you will put your images instead of example-image-a and example-image-b.

\usetikzlibrary{fit, backgrounds, matrix, arrows.meta}
        rectangle, rounded corners, minimum width=2cm,  
        minimum height=1.5cm,text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB2
        rectangle, minimum width=2.5cm, minimum height=1cm, text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB1
        blue, dashed,-{Stealth[length=6pt]}


    % blocks
    \matrix[matrix of nodes,
        row sep=4ex,
        column sep=5.4em,
        column 2/.style={nodes={process}},
        ] (m) {
        & Text &&[-3em]\\
        |[inner sep=0pt]|\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-a} & Text &&\\[-2ex]
        & Text & |[startstop]| Text & |[inner sep=0pt]|\includegraphics[height=.5cm]{example-image-b} \\[7ex]
        & Text &&\\
        & Text &&\\
    % block background
    \begin{scope}[on background layer]
        \node [draw, fit=(m-1-2)(m-3-2), fill=cyan!5, inner sep=10pt] {};
        \node [draw, fit=(m-4-2)(m-5-2), fill=cyan!5, inner sep=10pt] {};
    % vertical arrows
    \foreach[evaluate=\myblock as \mysucc using int(\myblock+1)] 
        \myblock in {1,2,...,4}
        {\draw[arrow] (m-\myblock-2) -- (m-\mysucc-2);}
    % horizontal arrows
    \coordinate (a) at ([yshift=2ex]m-2-2.west);
    \draw[dasharrow] (a) -- (m-2-1.east|-a) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (b) at ([yshift=-2ex]m-2-2.west);
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-2-1.east|-b) -- (b) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (c) at ([yshift=2ex]m-3-2.east);
    \draw[dasharrow] (c) -- (m-3-3.west|-c) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (d) at ([yshift=-2ex]m-3-2.east);
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-3-3.west|-d) -- (d) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \draw[dasharrow] ([yshift=4ex]m-3-3.east) -| (m-3-4);   
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-3-4) |- ([yshift=-4ex]m-3-3.east);

enter image description here

  • Thank you very much for your answer the exact same think. – User505 Apr 7 '18 at 8:52
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    @User505 Thank you, we are always happy to answer questions with a MWE! – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 8:57
  • I would like to ask you about how can I modify the length of the dashed arrow if the text above it was a little bit long like (texttexttexttext) which line I should modify – User505 Apr 7 '18 at 9:28
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    @User505 You could increase the column sep=5.4em, but you have to shorten the process blocks afterward, otherwise you have an Overfull hbox warning. Another solution could be node[midway, above, align=center]{Texttext\\texttext}. If this comment doesn't help you, don't hesitate to ask a new question! – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 9:39
  • 1
    @User505 Yes, you can, of course! In the first row of the matrix, where there is &[-3em] put &[-6em] or any other value you like. We are here to help :) – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 11:28

You can easily box a group of nodes using the fit library. To place nodes relative to each other you should use the positioning library (the below of=<node> syntax is actually undocumented and has limitations). Your clip arts can be embedded using nodes containing a simple \includegraphics.


  process/.style = {draw,fill=blue!20,minimum width=3cm,minimum height=1cm}

  \node[process]             (n1) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n1] (n2) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n2] (n3) {Text};
  \node[draw,fit=(n1) (n2) (n3)] {};

  \node[left=of n2] (l1) {\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-a}};
  \draw[dashed,->] (n2) to[bend left] (l1);
  \draw[dashed,->] (l1) to[bend left] (n2);

  \node[process,right=of n3] (r1) {Text};
  \node[right=of r1] (r2) {\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-b}};
  \draw[dashed,->] (n3) to[bend left] (r1);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r1) to[bend left] (n3);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r1) to[bend left] (r2);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r2) to[bend left] (r1);

  \node[process,below=of n3] (n4) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n4] (n5) {Text};
  \node[draw,fit=(n4) (n5)] {};

  \draw[->] (n1) -- (n2);
  \draw[->] (n2) -- (n3);
  \draw[->] (n3) -- (n4);
  \draw[->] (n4) -- (n5);



enter image description here


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