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).

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 Oracle

Visual Expert for Oracle is a must-have solution for the maintenance of your Oracle code. It enables you generate documentation from the source code and creates reference manuals in HTML. You can also automatically generate the documents on a regular basis (scheduled tasks).

Commercial: Commercial
Free edition: No
Allows editing: Yes
Metadata stored in: External repository
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

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

Database Deployment Manager

Database Deployment Manager (DDM) tool is a multi-platform tool that allows database administrators and users to create database structures (tables, queries, etc.) using an object-oriented methodology that can be used to populate multiple databases. It further offers documentation of complete database structures.

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