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.

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

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


Atlan's data dictionary allows you to document databases, data warehouses, data lakes and BI tools in one easy interface. It uses automation to generate pre-configured critical data quality metrics and automation to help propogate column descriptions through your data ecosystem. Using Atlan's interface, you can easily update table descriptions, column descriptions, assigns owners and stewards and attach a powerful readme to every object. Atlan also allows you to capture relationships such as primary key, foreign key relationships, lineage and more.

Desktop/Cloud: Cloud
ER Diagram: No
Export: -
Metadata stored in: Graph Database
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Automated data dictionary, column level search, visual frequency, versioned data dictionary
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.