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

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

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

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

xSQL Documenter

xSQL Documenter provides comprehensive, uniform, and easily navigable database documentation in HTML and compiled CHM format. It can run as a console application, useful for automating the process of generating documentation for your databases on a schedule, or for integrating xSQL Documenter into your development process.

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

TechWriter for Databases

TechWriter for Databases is a documentation tool for databases that leverages the information locked inside your database to automatically produce database reference documentation for Access, MySQL, Oracle, SAS, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and DB2 databases.

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

DBMaster

DBMaster provides an easy way to search and build documentation to data structures for all team members. It also provides built-in change synchronization.

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

SchemaSpy

Free and open source tool that generates interactive entity relationship diagrams to HTML from database schema. Requires Java 5 or higher.

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

SchemaCrawler

SchemaCrawler is a free database schema discovery and comprehension tool. Using the tool, you can search for database schema objects using regular expressions, and output the schema and data in a readable text format. The output serves for database documentation and is designed to be diff-ed against other database schemas.

Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: CSV,HTML,JSON,Plain text
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

dModelAid

dModelAid is the perfect modeling tool for documenting a complex database design in a simple, interactive diagram. Your database project gets documented along the way, simplifying the learning process for new employees, team members and/or substitutes.

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

Vertabelo

Vertabelo is a database modeler that gives you the power of visual design of databases online and create and export documentation for your current model with just a few clicks.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,MS Word,PDF
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).