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

Ataccama Metadata Management & Data Catalog

Ataccama Data Catalog & Business Glossary tool provides automatic mapping of terms to real data sources in the Data Catalog during profiling, ensuring the Data Catalog is always up-to-date and synced with the Business Glossary.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: No
Export: CSV
Metadata stored in: Program respository
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Notable features: Automated Mapping of Business Terms, Up-to-date Business Glossary, Data Discovery on Multiple Sources
Runs on: (for desktop): 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

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

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

DbSchema

DbSchema facilitates to design, document and manage SQL and NoSQL databases. It is an intuitive designer for complex databases. It allows editing tables or columns directly in the layout, by double-clicking them.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
ER Diagram: Yes
Export: HTML,PDF
Metadata stored in: Database metadata
Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Notable features: Entity relationship diagram, Reverse engineer schema from database, Relational data browse, SQL editor
Runs on: (for desktop): Linux,Mac OS,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.