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

Redgate SQL Doc

Redgate SQL Doc is a simple tool for describing and generating documentation of SQL Server automatically. For tables, you can edit descriptions for columns, indexes, triggers, and constraints; for views, you can edit descriptions for columns, indexes, and triggers. Object lists and database summaries also include editable description data.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,PDF
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Automatic documentation with editable objects descriptions
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

Database Note Taker

Database Note Taker is free, making it easy to capture and share knowledge about your databases and simplify database documentation and data dictionary. It provides developers, support staff and even customers with quick and easy access to documentation.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Notifies about empty descriptions, shows edit history
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

ApexSQL Doc

ApexSQL Doc tool is a SQL database documentation tool that enables documenting SQL Server databases. It automates and schedules documentation unattended and provides fully customize documentation output.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,PDF
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Integration with Management Studio (SSMS), Database UML diagrams, Graphical dependencies
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

dbdesc

dbdesc is a powerful tool to help you document your databases. It can produce detailed documents describing your databases. It has a built-in extended property editor and documentation exporter.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF,RTF
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Extended property editor, Documentation exporter
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

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

SentryOne Document

SentryOne Document offers complete documentation for SQL Server databases and BI tools, including SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, Oracle, Hive, Tableau, Informatica, and Excel. In addition, it allows object description editing and documentation can be customized for different audiences, so users only see the most relevant information for their role.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,RTF
Metadata stored in: Documentation repository/file
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Lineage Analysis and Impact Analysis, include images
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

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

DBMaster

DBMaster provides an easy way to search and build documentation to data structures for all team members. It also provides built-in change synchronization.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML
Metadata stored in: Program repository
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Automatic database administration with generating and sharing custom reports
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Windows

Data Dictionary Creator

Data Dictionary Creator (DDC) is a simple application which helps you document SQL Server databases. It stores all the information in Extended Properties, so it's easier to keep the documentation in sync with the database as it changes.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML,MS Excel,MS Word
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Extended properties support
Runs on: (for desktop): Windows

SQL Data Dictionary

SQL Data Dictionary is an easy to use tool to generate a PDF or HTML listing of all tables and views in your SQL Server database. It provides column level detail on SQL Server primary keys, data types, and defaults along with descriptions that enable you to easily find missing indexes and incorrect column definitions.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: SQL Server extended properties
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Column level details, Description editor
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

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.