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.

SQL Power Architect

SQL Power Architect data modeling tool has many unique features geared specifically for the data warehouse architect. It is a powerful database utility that not only builds diagrams of databases, but also provides data dictionary language output, which can be used to build database solutions.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Connects to multiple source databases concurrently, Compares data models & database structures and identifies discrepancies, Generates source-to-target visual Mapping Reports, Forward/reverse engineers PostgreSQL, Oracle, MS SQL Server & more
Runs on: (for desktop): Mac OS,Windows


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

ERDesigner NG

Mogwai ERDesigner is an entity relationship modeling/design tool (ERD). It handles tables, relations, views, domains, custom types, indexes, and comments and can generate schema documentation.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: 2D & 3D editing mode, Schema compare, Entity relationship diagram, Central repository for all models
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.