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.

DbWrench

DbWrench helps in creating and modifying databases quicker and easier. It streamlines many common database tasks such as editing database items directly in the diagram or in SQL script, etc.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Diagram database editing, Entity relation diagram, Column templates, HTML documentation
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,Windows

Base One Data Dictionary

The BFC Database Library is built on a Data Dictionary, which provides a complete description of record layouts and indexes of the database, for validation and efficient data access. You can use the data dictionary for automated database creation, including building tables, indexes, and referential constraints, and granting access rights to individual users and groups.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Documentation repository/file
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Detailed Database Description
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Data Dictionary Generator

Data Dictionary Generator can be used to generate data dictionary, compare database schema and spell check schema.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: -
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Free data dictionary tool
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

Oracle JDeveloper

Oracle JDeveloper is a free integrated development environment that simplifies the development of Java-based applications addressing every step of the application lifecycle. Through this tool you can perform offline database development, model existing database tables to create a new view offline, generate changes back to the database, and document your database.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: Documentation repository/file
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Free data modeling tool, Entity relation diagram, Reverse engineering
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,Windows

ModelRight

ModelRight is a database design and data modeling tool. It provides the documentation of your database with richly formatted notes, definitions, comments, and revision notes.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relation diagram, reverse engineering, compare models, innovative user-interface
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

KeepTool

KeepTool contains tools designed to streamline design, administration and program development. With the KeepTool DB Doc tool, you can generate appealing documentation of your database in HTML format for entire schema.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: SQL editor, Reverse engineering database, Entity relationship diagram, Compare database
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

MagicDraw

MagicDraw is the award-winning business process, architecture, software and system modeling tool with teamwork support. It includes the entity-relationship diagram, SQL database modeling/diagramming and DDL script generation/reverse features. Its automatic report generation engine rapidly-produce comprehensive, professional requirements, software design documentation, elements of MagicDraw data dictionary, and other types of reports.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF,RTF
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: User-friendly visual interface, fast database modeling, Work collaboratively on the same model, Automatic report generation
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,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 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

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

PLDoc

PLDoc is an open-source utility for generating HTML documentation of code written in Oracle PL/SQL. Working similarly to JavaDoc, it parses PL/SQL packages, object types, functions, procedures, and triggers, finding and editing comments of definitions and building HTML format technical documentation for your project.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Program metadata
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Open-source documentation tool, Analogous to javadoc for Java
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.