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

Elasoft SqlSpec

SqlSpec is a database documentation tool that generates documentation about all the objects (tables, views, stored procedures, triggers, indexes, constraints, functions, etc) in your database. It has both GUI and command-line interface. It enables you to generate entity-relation diagrams.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: CHM,HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Documents also Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Server
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

xSQL Documenter

xSQL Documenter provides comprehensive, uniform, and easily navigable database documentation in HTML and compiled CHM format. It can run as a console application, useful for automating the process of generating documentation for your databases on a schedule, or for integrating xSQL Documenter into your development process.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: CHM,HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Dependency diagrams, Data model diagrams, Custom extended properties
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

erwin Data Modeler

erwin Data Modeler (erwin DM) is a data modeling tool used to find, visualize, design, deploy and standardize high-quality enterprise data assets. It helps to create & maintain sound relational database designs and data dictionary of those models.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Data modeling, Entity relation diagram, Forward & Reverse Engineering
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,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

WinA&D

WinA&D is a comprehensive tool for system analysis, requirements management, structured analysis and design, object-oriented modeling with UML and data modeling of information systems. It supports code generation, integrated code browsing, linked text specifications or foreign documents and data dictionary.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: System models & simulation, code generation from models, models from code, custom project reports
Runs on: (for desktop): 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

Alation

Alation data dictionary defines and describes technical data terms. Data terms could be database schemas, tables, or columns. Once connected to data sources, Alation automatically indexes data and populates catalog pages. For example, a column catalog page shows the technical column name, a business title name, the data type, and popularity. Additional context can be added to the data dictionary, for shared understanding across the organization.

Desktop/Cloud: Cloud
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: MS Excel
Metadata stored in: -
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: ML auto-suggested business glossary terms
Runs on: (for desktop): -

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.