Database documentation tools

List of tools that allow the documentation (e.g. with descriptions) of schema of your databases.

Database documentation is a set of descriptions of the data, that facilitate management, maintenance, and retrieval of resources. Documentation can take many forms, however, it usually acts as a data catalog that holds detailed information about the table schema, all relationships, data types, etc. Description of datasets as well as single data objects also is referred to as metadata (data about the data).

Dataedo

Dataedo enables you to catalog, document and understand your data with Data Dictionary, Business Glossary and ERDs. It enables to document your relational databases and share documentation in interactive HTML.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: HTML,MS Excel,PDF
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes
Database Web Edit
Database Web Search
Database Web Table Diagram
Database Web Export

Redgate SQL Doc

Redgate SQL Doc is a simple tool for describing and generating documentation of SQL Server automatically. It eliminates the tedious and time-consuming manual documentation tasks and enables you to satisfy audit requirements by keeping complete documentation.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

dbForge Documenter for SQL Server

dbForge Documenter for SQL Server is a universal software solution that helps automate the creation of your database documentation. It extracts an extensive database info including a wide range of SQL object types, their details and properties, inter-object dependencies, and DDL codes.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

Database Note Taker

Database Note Taker is free, making it easy to capture and share knowledge about your databases and simplify database documentation. It provides developers, support staff and even customers with quick and easy access to documentation.

Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: HTML
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: No

ApexSQL Doc

ApexSQL Doc tool is a SQL database documentation tool that enables documenting SQL Server databases. It automates and schedules documentation unattended and provides fully customize documentation output.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

dbForge Documenter for Oracle

dbForge Documenter for Oracle is a handy visual tool for documenting Oracle databases. The tool includes a wide range of options to set up, customize and fine-tune the generated documentation and allows automating Oracle database documenting with the command-line interface.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is a visual tool for database architects, developers and DBAs. MySQL Workbench provides data modeling, development, administration, and documentation tools for MySQL.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

dbdesc

dbdesc is a powerful tool to help you document your databases. It can produce detailed documents describing your databases. Now dbdesc includes a built-in report engine and report viewer to easily browse database documentation.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF,RTF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

dbForge Documenter for MySQL

dbForge Documenter for MySQL is a handy MySQL and MariaDB documentation tool that automatically generates documentation of an entire MySQL database in HTML, PDF, and MARKDOWN file formats. The tool allows users to customize the generated documentation up to their needs with help of a bunch of options and settings.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

Elasoft SqlSpec

SqlSpec is a database documentation tool that generates documentation about all the objects (tables, views, stored procedures, triggers, indexes, constraints, functions, etc) in your database. It has both GUI and command-line interface. It enables you to generate entity-relation diagrams.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

SentryOne Document

SentryOne Document offers complete documentation for SQL Server databases and BI tools, including SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, Oracle, Hive, Tableau, Informatica, and Excel. In addition, the documentation can be customized for different audiences, so users only see the most relevant information for their role.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word,RTF
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

Spectral Core Documenter

Spectral Core Documenter is the easiest way to generate detailed documentation of your database. All tables, procedures, functions, triggers, and user-defined types are listed with every detail.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: No

Leadum DBScribe

DBScribe is a SQL documentation tool that automatically creates comprehensive technical documentation of every detail of your database schema. DBScribe SQL documentation tool helps prevent from long routing documenting work and synchronization with database changes, enabling to perform precise database documentation.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Word
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

Yohz DB Doc

DB Doc is the documentation tool for PostgreSQL databases. It customizes the layouts to your needs and automates the documentation generation process os that you could even generate your database schema documents every hour, ensuring you'll always have the most up-to-date details.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML,PDF
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: Yes

DTM Schema Reporter

DTM Schema Reporter is a documenting tool for database schema. With DTM Schema Reporter, you can analyze and audit database structure, create schema documentation, create a hard copy of the structure snapshots, etc.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: CHM,HTML,MS Excel,MS Word,PDF,Plain text,RTF,XML
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

Database documentation tools support data management by creating helpful descriptions, meaningful aliases, and annotating data assets with additional elements. The tools capture all the relevant information about the metadata and make it available to the users in a convenient way (tabular or graphical). The features of documentation tools can vary widely. The tools allow users to:
• Facilitate datasets with meaningful descriptions/aliases,
• Create relational diagrams,
• Advance search of resources,
• Track schema changes,
• Document repositories from various sources, through compatibility with many database engines,
• Automatic documentation export to user-friendly formats and easy-to-share formats (HTML, PDF, Excell )

Developers (especially those working on the backend) are constantly faced with questions from non-IT teams or customers about what a given object means. This is because creating and maintaining documentation is not a top priority. However, using documentation tools has many benefits such as:
• Help Data stewards quickly discover database schema,
• Data becomes understandable for non-IT members,
• Documentation as a single source of truth about the data is available to everyone
• Easier implementation for new people working on the repository,

We have selected database documenters that, we believe, are truly noteworthy. We have included both, open-source tools and advanced, professional software (offering trial versions).