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

DBDocumentor

DBDocumentor produces database documentation for the SQL objects in your database project. It generates a fully cross-referenced view of the SQL database, including where data is sourced from and what objects are modifying data in what other objects.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,Help,XML
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Documentation of SQL Server Reporting Services RDL files
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

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

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

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

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.