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

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

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

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

DBDocumentor

DBDocumentor produces database documentation for the SQL objects in your database project. It generates a fully cross-referenced view of the SQL database, including where data is sourced from and what objects are modifying data in what other objects. These capabilities make DBDocumentor ideal for those wishing to learn the structure of a given database, or simply to document the database for future reference.

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

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

DeZign for Databases

DeZign for Databases is an intuitive data modeling tool that can help you model, create and maintain databases along with generating the documentation of the models.

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

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

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 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).