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

Leadum DBScribe

DBScribe is a SQL documentation tool that automatically creates comprehensive technical documentation of every detail of your database schema. It provides description editor for tables (table, columns, indexes, foreign keys, triggers), views (view, columns), stored procedures (stored procedure, parameters), functions (function, parameters, columns), defaults, rules. Description data is saved using SQL Server extended properties.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Wizard and command line interfaces with highly customizable templates for professional-looking documentation styles.
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Yohz DB Doc

DB Doc is the documentation tool for PostgreSQL databases. The tool allows you to edit and update database object comments directly in DB Doc. It customizes the layouts to your needs and automates the documentation generation process so that you could even generate your database schema documents every hour, ensuring you'll always have the most up-to-date details.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: -
Export: CHM,HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: PostgreSQL comments
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Customizable layout
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

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

TechWriter for Databases

TechWriter for Databases is a documentation tool for databases that leverages the information locked inside your database to automatically produce database reference documentation.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,PDF,RTF,XML,XPS
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: -
Notable features: Ability to organize topics into a hierarchical table of contents
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Vertabelo

Vertabelo is a database modeler that gives you the power of visual design of databases online. It allows the user to generate metadata of the database and write comments for the database objects.

Desktop/Cloud: Cloud
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Cloud database design, reverse engineering, document sharing
Runs on: (for desktop): -

Visual Paradigm

Visual Paradigm provides a tool to create and communicate visual database design with professional ERD tool. It allows the user to create customize template to generate a data dictionary for the class models and its attributes in your project.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagram, Reverse engineering, SQL script
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,Windows

Toad Data Modeler

Toad Data Modeler enables developers, DBAs, and designers to create, edit, maintain, and document quality database designs and structures across various database platforms.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF,RTF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagram, Model customization, Easy migration
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

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

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

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

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.