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).

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

DbWrench

DbWrench helps in creating and modifying databases quicker and easier. It streamlines many common database tasks and generates HTML documentation of database designs.

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

DbSchema

DbSchema facilitates to design, document and manage SQL and NoSQL databases. It is an intuitive designer for complex databases and provides documentation in HTML and PDF formats with interactive diagram vector image.

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

SQLGate

SQLGate is an integrated database management and development solution that simplifies the construction and operation of databases. It allows you to generate database documentation containing details of all objects created in the database.

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

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

DBDesigner 4

DBDesigner 4 is a visual database design system that integrates database design, modeling, creation, maintenance and documentation into a single, seamless environment.

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

MS SQL Maestro

MS SQL Maestro is a complete and powerful database management, admin, development, and documentation tool for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Using its support for extended properties feature, you can add text, such as descriptive or instructional content, add input masks, and add formatting rules as properties of objects in a database.

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

GenesisOne

GenesisOne is a database documentation tool that enables documenting all of the major SQL Server components. It has the ability to document database in exactly the way the users require and provides high-speed documentation creation of the complete database structure.

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

ExPEditor

ExPEditor is a tool that facilitates the management of extended properties of objects of a SQL Server database and generates a database description in Word format.

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

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

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).