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.

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

ERDPlus

ERDPlus is a web-based database modeling tool for creating entity relationship diagrams, relational schemas, star schemas, and SQL DDL statements. It automatically converts ER diagrams into relational schemas and works with most contemporary RDBMS tools.

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

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. It enables data professionals to better manage data models and metadata in complex and dynamic enterprise environments.

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

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

DbVisualizer

DbVisualizer is the universal database tool for developers, DBAs, and analysts. It is aimed to simplify database development and management. It provides tree-based navigation through database objects and let multiple objects to be displayed side-by-side.

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

DBDesigner 4

DBDesigner 4 is a visual database design system that integrates database design, modeling, creation, maintenance, and documentation into a single, seamless environment.

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

dbDiffo

dbDiffo is a free online database schema designer and provides unlimited tables and projects creation services.

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

DTM Data Modeler

DTM Data Modeler is an easy-to-use tool allowing you to work both with logical and physical data models in the form of an entity-relationship diagram. The program can create database schema objects directly in the database and can create SQL scripts corresponding to the model taking into account the specified settings.

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

DB Designer Fork

DB Designer Fork is a fork of the fabFORCE DBDesigner 4 and a premium database design tool. It integrates entity relationship design, front-end, and SQL exporting.

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

Jeddict

Jeddict is an open source development platform that simplifies development tasks of creating complex entity relationship models. It provides forward & reverse engineering capabilities, import models from existing database, generate complex SQL/DDL, and much more.

Desktop/Cloud: Desktop
Generate DDL scripts: Yes
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.