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).

SQL Documentation Tool

SQL Documentation tool is a documentation tool that provides automatic documentation of entire SQL Server databases. It documents the main entities in a database, including tables, views, functions, stored procedures, triggers, table indexes, dependency information, DTS packages, and full text indexes. The transact SQL code associated with views, stored procedures and triggers is also included with the documentation.

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

Data Dictionary Creator

Data Dictionary Creator (DDC) is a simple application which helps you document SQL Server databases. It stores all the information in Extended Properties, so it's easier to keep the documentation in sync with the database as it changes.

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

DBDocumenter

DBDocumenter is an interactive free and open source tool designed to generate SQL Server (2000, 2005, 2008) documentation.

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

XIA Configuration Server

XIA Configuration Server is an automated network documentation tool that helps you keep track of your IT infrastructure. It supports servers and workstations, AD, Exchange, Clusters, IIS, SQL, DNS, and more.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: -
Export: PDF,XML
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: No

SQL Data Dictionary

SQL Data Dictionary can generate a professional quality document of the tables, views, procedures, and functions in your SQL Server database down to the column level details. It includes indexes, foreign and primary keys, and usage by stored procedures and functions. It also includes an easy to use description editor to quickly allow you to add additional documentation directly into the database.

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

DB>doc for Microsoft SQL Server

DB>doc for Microsoft SQL Server is a free and open-source tool for generating documentation for Microsoft SQL Server (2008 and 2008 R2) database. The tool will map database structure, read information about tables, views, constraints, etc., combine them with available descriptions and generate documentation in various formats.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: No
Metadata stored in: -
Export: HTML,WikiPlex,XML
ER Diagram: No
Dependencies: No

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

EZ Data Dictionary

EZ Data Dictionary is a user-friendly data dictionary tool for business and technical end users. Documenting database through EZ Data Dictionary provides better results as compared with Excel. It allows users to review database elements and definitions in a friendly environment and provides better communication between systems professionals and end-users.

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

Turtle SQL

Turtle SQL is a free and open source tool designed to generate the SQL Server (2005, 2008, 2012) documentation.

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

SQL Schema Explorer

SQL Schema Explorer is a open-source tool that creates a dynamic website visible only to you that gives you effortless access to the tables, relationships and data in your database.

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

Visual Expert for SQL Server

Visual Expert for SQL Server provides solution for the maintenance of your SQL Server Code. You can visualize objects and dependencies of your SQL Server Code and generate documentation from the source code.

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

Document! X

Document! X provides automatic documentation of SQL Server, Access, Oracle and other OLE DB databases. The generated database documentation is an accurate and comprehensive documentation set covering Schemas, Tables, Columns, Indexes, Relationships, Views, Stored Procedures, Triggers, etc.

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: Yes
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: Database comments/extended properties
Export: XML
ER Diagram: No
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).