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).

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.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

Toad Data Modeler

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

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

AnySQL Maestro

AnySQL Maestro is the premier multi-purpose admin tool for database development and management which include editing, grouping, sorting and filtering abilities. It provides Generate Database Report Wizard through which you can create HTML or PDF report for the database structure of the selected object in the whole or partially.

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

ERDesigner NG

Mogwai ERDesigner is a free and open source entity relationship modeling/design tool and also generates schema documentation in different formats. It was designed to make database modeling as easy as it can be and to support the developer in the whole development process, from database design to schema and code generation and documentation.

Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
Export: HTML,PDF,RTF
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

pgDesigner

pgDesigner is an open source data model designer for PostgreSQL. It comprises of different handy features to support database development, management, and reverse engineering in a graphical way. Besides that, it supports model documentation in HTML, PDF, and TXT formats. The generated documents contain, in a textual and descriptive content of the project, the objects contained therein each with its respective properties and configurations.

Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,PDF,Plain text
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

MagicDraw

MagicDraw is the award-winning business process, architecture, software and system modeling tool with teamwork support. It includes the entity-relationship diagram, SQL database modeling/diagramming and DDL script generation/reverse features. Its automatic report generation engine rapidly-produce comprehensive, professional requirements, software design documentation, and other types of reports in HTML, PDF, and RTF formats.

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

Database Designer for PostgreSQL

The Microolap Database Designer for PostgreSQL is an comprehensive CASE tool with intuitive graphical interface allowing you to perform database structure modeling, generation and modification focused on PostgreSQL. It generates powerful reports that describe all the database objects within your diagram.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: JSON,PDF
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

SQL Manager

SQL Manager simplifies and automates your database development process and design, explore and maintain existing databases, build compound SQL query statements, manage database user rights, and manipulate data in different ways. The functionality of Create Report Wizard allows you to create simple database objects reports in a few clicks.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: HTML,PDF
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

Apricot DB

Exports the detailed report in the Excel format.
Exports diagrams in PNG and PDF format.

Commercial: Free
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: MS Excel,PDF,PNG
ER Diagram: Yes
Dependencies: Yes

DrawSQL

DrawSQL helps dev teams create beautiful schema diagrams to document their database entity relationships. The app has a strong focus on crafting a delightful user experience, with keyboard shortcuts and a modern app design so you can create your document at the speed of thought. It currently supports MySQL, PostgresSQL and SQL server. It also has an extensive library of over 200+ database schemas of popular open-source packages, useful as inspiration when architecting a new app feature.

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

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).