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.

Aqua Data Studio Entity Relationship Modeler

Aqua Data Studio Entity Relationship Modeler (ER Modeler) helps in designing database models and uses the Forward Engineer feature to model entities and convert them into SQL Scripts, or Reverse Engineer existing databases to visualize a database model.

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

erwin Data Modeler

erwin Data Modeler (erwin DM) is a data modeling tool that lets you create and maintain sound relational database designs.

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