Data dictionary tools

List of tools that enable design and building of data dictionaries.

Data Dictionary is a set of important information about data used within an organization (metadata). This information includes names, definitions, and attributes about data, owners, and creators of assets. Data Dictionary tools provide insights into meaning and purposes of data elements. They add useful aliases about the scope and characteristics of data elements, as well as the rules for their usage and application.

Dataedo

Dataedo enables you to catalog, document and understand your data with Data Dictionary, Business Glossary and ERDs. It enables to document your relational databases and share documentation in interactive HTML.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,MS Excel,PDF
Metadata stored in: Documentation repository/file
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: ER diagrams, metadata repository, schema change tracking, organizing with modules, documenting missing FKs, custom fields, description suggestions, documentation progress tracking, rich text with images
Runs on: (for desktop): Mac OS,Windows
Database Web Table Diagram
Dataedo Web Table Columns
Database Web Business Glossary

dbdesc

dbdesc is a powerful tool to help you document your databases. It can produce detailed documents describing your databases. It has a built-in extended property editor and documentation exporter.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF,RTF
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Extended property editor, Documentation exporter
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

DTM Schema Reporter

DTM Schema Reporter is a documenting tool for database schema. With DTM Schema Reporter, you can analyze and audit database structure, create schema documentation, create a hard copy of the structure snapshots, etc.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Excel,MS Word,PDF,Plain text,RTF,XML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagrams
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

DBDocumentor

DBDocumentor produces database documentation for the SQL objects in your database project. It generates a fully cross-referenced view of the SQL database, including where data is sourced from and what objects are modifying data in what other objects.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,Help,XML
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Documentation of SQL Server Reporting Services RDL files
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

ERBuilder Data Modeler

ERBuilder Data Modeler allows developers to graphically design databases by using entity relationship diagrams, and automatically generates the most popular SQL databases.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Entity relation diagram, Reverse engineering database, Data Definition Language (DDL) script
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

ER/Studio

ER/Studio Data Architect helps to easily reverse- and forward-engineer, compare and merge, and visually document data assets across multiple platforms and data sources. The Data Dictionary is a feature of ER/Studio that allows the sharing of many objects including domains, defaults, rules, and attachments. Using the Data Dictionary you can enforce standards, promote reuse, and build a common framework across all models.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Documentation repository/file
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Data modeler, Entity relation diagram, Model sharing
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Xcase

Xcase is a complete database design tool engineered to help you accomplish all your database-related tasks – from database design to modeling to daily modifications – with greater speed and higher quality. It provides access and edit feature for all meta-data attributes (including your own) using customizable browsers and attribute inspectors and provides a fully customizable data dictionary which allows you to include user-defined attributes.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: CSV
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Fast and accurate database modeling tool
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect is a fully featured database modeling platform that enables the user to work with their Physical Data models at all stages, from design right through to the implementation of the live database. With Enterprise Architect, a data dictionary can be created that defines data elements, including details such as names, aliases descriptions and allowable values.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagram, Integrated modeling platform, visual execution analysis, code generation, reverse engineering and scripting
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,Windows

SQL Manager

SQL Manager simplifies and automates your database development process and design, explore and maintain existing databases, build compound SQL query statements, manage database user rights, and manipulate data in different ways. The functionality of Create Report Wizard allows you to create simple database objects reports in a few clicks.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Simple management of all MySQL objects, Advanced data manipulation tools, Report designer with clear in use report construction wizard
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

DbSchema

DbSchema facilitates to design, document and manage SQL and NoSQL databases. It is an intuitive designer for complex databases. It allows editing tables or columns directly in the layout, by double-clicking them.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagram, Reverse engineer schema from database, Relational data browse, SQL editor
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,Windows

DatabaseSpy

Altova DatabaseSpy is the unique multi-database query, design, and database comparison tool that even generates elegant charts directly from query results. The tool lets you can examine tables and relationships in an existing database, edit tables to better suit your needs, or even can add entire tables and specify all their column attributes and relationships to other tables from scratch.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF,RTF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Graphical database design, Complete DDL scripts for database schemas, Data visualization and charting, Advanced database reporting with charts, Database content editor
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Key functionality of Data Dictionary tools is to give users the ability to document data. Moreover, very important is the possibility to create a collection of multiple repositories, based on different system engines. For a better understanding of the data, some tools allow visualization of the data structure using ERD (Entity-Relationship Diagrams).

From the organization's point of view, a community module within a data dictionary tool proves to be useful. It facilitates the proper information flow, as well as provides sharing opinions on specific objects among the members of an organization.

Nowadays, data discovery and understanding becomes crucial for proper organization performance. There are many benefits to using Data Dictionaries, such as:
• helps avoid data inconsistencies problems,
• it allows introducing unified nomenclature used in the project,
• Make data searchable, and understandable,
• Create a single source of truth about the data from different repositories,

The prepared list includes simple, open-source data dictionaries as well as more advanced software.