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.

Anchor Modeling

Anchor Modeling is an agile database modeling technique suited for information that changes over time both in structure and content. It provides a graphical notation used for conceptual modeling similar to that of entity-relationship modeling, with extensions for working with temporal data.

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

RISE

RISE is a software suite for model driven information system development, packed with features and functions needed to build your information model and to turn it into a complete information management solution. You can generate your entire information solution including database, web services, and documentation.

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

pgModeler

pgModeler is an open source tool for modeling databases that merges the classical concepts of entity-relationship diagrams with specific features that only PostgreSQL implements. It helps to easily create and edit database models with a simple and intuitive interface.

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

Valentina Studio

Valentina Studio is a database management tool that helps to create, administer, query, and explore Valentina DB, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and SQLite databases for FREE.

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

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

DB-Main

DB-Main is an easy-to-use data modelling and data architecture platform. It is a generic CASE tool dedicated to database applications engineering, and in particular to database design, reverse engineering, re-engineering, integration, maintenance, and evolution.

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

ModelRight

ModelRight is a database design and data modeling tool. It is used by data modelers, database developers, and database architects to create, visualize, and document their databases as an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD).

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

pgDesigner

pgDesigner is an open source program for graphic design database for PostgreSQL. It has an easy to use interface and comprises of different handy features to support database development, management, and reverse engineering in a graphical way.

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

X-TEA Modeler

X-TEA Modeler helps you write models and plans of enterprise systems. Its editor helps you to write specifications of tables, functions, and also to create/alter tables in your database.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: No
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

ERD Concepts

ERD Concepts is a database designer and SQL query tool for all major databases. It helps to create a professional and visual attractive Entity Relationship Diagram with domains, tables, foreign keys, views, stored procedures, and more. Your base ERD design is alternatively used to generate DDL scripts to create the actual database.

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

Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect is a fully featured database modeling platform that enables the user to work with their Physical Data models at all stages, from design right through to the implementation of the live database, for a wide range of database management systems such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
Free edition: No
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.