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.

dModelAid

dModelAid is the perfect modeling tool for documenting a complex database design in a simple, interactive diagram. It offers smart visualization features to help you design the database structure and to identify potential errors before any code has been written. Your database project gets documented along the way, simplifying the learning process for new employees, team members and/or substitutes.

Desktop/Cloud: Cloud
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

DeZign for Databases

DeZign for Databases uses ERD and data models to graphically design databases and automatically generates the most popular databases.

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

DbDesigner.net

DbDesigner with a friendly and fast UI helps in designing a database without writing SQL. You can start from scratch just like creating a UML diagram or import an existing database. Then you can use our powerful features to save time and reduce errors. You can share and collaborate with your team. When you are finished, you can generate an SQL script in one click.

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

Moon Modeler

Moon Modeler is a visual database design tool for both relational and noSQL databases. The key features include the visual design of hierarchical structures, MongoDB script generation, various display modes, possibility to add custom notes to the diagram, and more. For PostgreSQL, MariaDB and MongoDB reverse engineering features are available.

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

DBeaver

DBeaver is a free multi-platform database tool for developers, SQL programmers, database administrators and analysts.

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

Model Xtractor

Model Xtractor is a software utility designed to inspect modeling for traditional or enhanced ER models, with support for most relational database platforms.

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

ERBuilder Data Modeler

ERBuilder Data Modeler allows developers to graphically design databases by using entity relationship diagrams, and automatically generates the most popular SQL databases.

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

Adminer

Adminer is a tool for managing contents of MySQL databases, formerly known as phpMinAdmin. It is a full-featured database management tool written in PHP.

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

DB Browser for SQLite

DB Browser for SQLite (DB4S) is a high quality, visual, open source tool to create, design, and edit database files compatible with SQLite.

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

TablePlus

TablePlus is a native tool with an intuitive interface that you can use to create, query, edit, and save your databases in a very fast and secure way.

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

Navicat Data Modeler

Navicat Data Modeler is a powerful and cost-effective database design tool that helps to build high-quality conceptual, logical, and physical data models. It allows to visually design database structures, perform reverse/forward engineering processes, import models from ODBC data sources, generate complex SQL/DDL, print models to files, and much more.

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

HeidiSQL

HeidiSQL is a useful and reliable tool designed for web developers using the popular MySQL server, Microsoft SQL databases and PostgreSQL. It enables you to browse and edit data, create and edit tables, views, procedures, triggers, and scheduled events.

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

Toad Data Modeler

Toad Data Modeler enables developers, DBAs, and designers to create, maintain, and document quality database designs and structures across various database platforms.

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.