Database design tools

List of tools that allow for the design of a database.

Database design is a set of activities aimed at improving the development, implementation, and maintenance of an enterprise data management system. Its main goal is to reflect the outline of the database system into real models: physical and logical. Database designers determine what data is to be stored inside the database, and how objects are to be related to each other.

Visual Paradigm

Visual Paradigm provides a tool to create and communicate visual database design with professional ERD tool.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: No
ER Diagram: Yes

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
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: No
ER Diagram: Yes

DbSchema

DbSchema is a intuitive designer for complex databases, visual interaction and documentation.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: No
ER Diagram: Yes

RazorSQL

RazorSQL is an SQL query tool, database browser, SQL editor, and database administration tool. It provides visual tools to create, alter, describe, execute, and drop database objects such as tables, views, indexes, stored procedures, functions, triggers, and more.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: No
ER Diagram: No

ERDesigner NG

The Mogwai ERDesigner is an entity relationship modeling/design tool(ERD). It is open source tool designed to make database modeling easier and support the developer in the whole development process, from database design to schema and code generation.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

Astah

Astah's modeling tools allow you to visualize the essence of your ideas and software designs. Quickly and effortlessly build diagrams that create a clear understanding among teams. Build UML, ER diagrams, Data Flow Diagrams, Flowcharts, mind maps, and more in the most powerful modeling software.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

ModelSphere

Open ModelSphere is a complete data modeling tool covering conceptual, logical, and physical modeling. With its reverse engineering functionality, it allows graphical visualization of your relational database's architecture, thus making modifications easy. Open ModelSphere allows the generation of SQL scripts to create a database from your model as well.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

SQL Power Architect

SQL Power Architect data modeling tool has many unique features geared specifically for the data warehouse architect. It allows users to reverse-engineer existing databases, perform data profiling on source databases and auto-generate ETL metadata.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

SQuirreL SQL

SQuirreL SQL Client is a graphical Java program that will allow you to view the structure of a JDBC compliant database, browse the data in tables, issue SQL commands, etc.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

Gleek.io

Gleek.io diagram maker is freemium text-to-diagram tool for developers and software architects. It enables the visual design of database online, in the cloud and from any browser. Create informal, UML, or entity-relationship diagrams - using just your keyboard.

Desktop/Cloud: Cloud
Generate DDL scripts: No
Free edition: Yes
ER Diagram: Yes

The database design process can be very complicated. The more complex the system, the more sophisticated the tool is needed. Their functionality can vary greatly, however, core features include:
• creating and editing database objects,
• database architecture modeling,
• visualization of a database schema,
• tracking relationships between entities,
• grouping logically related objects into clusters,
• diagrams overview.

Database designer tools enable building graphical models and generating DDL scripts on their basis. The script describes data and relations between entities in the designed database. Furthermore, the tools enable reverse engineering (visualization of the model from the SQL script).

Key factors of creating a reliable and well-organized database are:
• a properly designed data structure,
• establishing what data should be stored in particular objects,
• how objects should be related to each other.

All of them can be improved by using the relevant Database design tool. Additionally, some of them allow the visual representation of data using ERD, makes it easier to visualize even more complex schemas.

Without proper software, development is based on raw code. This increases the risk of errors at the initial stage. The tools allow users to edit the visual layout using simple drag-and-drop functions. With a user-friendly interface, browsing the structure is possible even for non-IT people.

We have created a list of tools that support the process of creating database structure and its content. Our list includes free database design tools as well as advanced, more professional data management tools.