Database Answers Logo Lady Gabriella Windsor, a Model (Click for Wikipedia entry)
Home About Us Ask a Question Careers Clients Contact Us Data Models Tutorials Site Map
Data Modelling Tools   
Here's a short list of our Favourite Data Modelling Tools and here is an excellent discussion about Modelling Tools on LinkedIn, which makes PowerDesigner the most popular product.

Wikipedia has published a Comparison of Data Modelling Tools which is worth a look - and thanks to Erick Calder for telling us about it.

There's a short note about about Data Modeling and Database design at the bottom of the page.

if you have any specific recommendations or comments, please Email me

On April 27th. 2014, I came across an interesting discussion on LinkedIn about the future of ERwin (after the takeover by Embarcadero).
ERwin has announced an integration with Casewise for enterprise architecture and business process modeling.
PowerDesigner has a more complete vision than either.

Cloud-based Modelling Tools
Please email me on if you know of any other Cloud-based Tools - thanks a lot !!!
Review of 5 Tools Robert Sheldon N/A Excellent coverage of 5 Online Tools (including Vertabelo)
SQLDbm SQLDbm Free Sample Data Model

Turanto Turanto "Please call for prices" Comes with a Portfolio of 8 Applications.
Vertabelo Vertabelo $9, $29 or $99/month Powerful product with very flexible features.
'In-Premise' Modelling Tools
AquaData Studio ER Modeler AquaFold $400 A Free 14-day evaluation copy can be downloaded.
The purchase price includes 12-month support. After the first year, support can purchased for 35% of the original license price.
"Discounted licences are available for qualified Academic users and Free licenses are available for qualified Open Source Software (OSS) Developers."
Altova Database Spy Altova $499 or $999 One of a broad range of Tools. Thanks to Graham Lattin for telling me about the change in the link.
Archimate Open Group Free Trial available Archmimate is described as an Enterprise Architecture Modelling Tool, which would be great ;-). Unfortunately, the download is for documentation and not for the product !!! It looks like Archimate is a specification for which a number of Vendors have developed Modelling Tools. Here's Wikipedia's entry for Archimate.
Argo UML Tigris Free - Open Source For Modelling UML Diagrams - but not for the faint-hearted.
Astah ER Diagrams Change Vision Free to Students. An Annual licence is $119/year and a Perpetual Licence is only $199. A Free Community version is available.
Astah is a total System Design tool supporting UML, ERD,DFD, Flowchart, Mind Map, CRUD and Requirement diagrams)
Azzurri Clay Azzuri (Japan) Free From Japan -Open Source Plug-In for Eclipe - Reverse Engineering and generates SQL.
Pro version costs 35,000 Japanese Yen (about $150) !!
Borland Together Borland No prices on the Website Offers UML but not ERDs - Described as "Visual Modeling for Software Architecture Design".
The Website offers information on Model-Driven Development.
CA Gen Computer Associates No prices on the Website Provides Model-Driven support for Agile Development. Has a UK Partner in Response Systems.
Case Studio 2 Acquired by Toad (see below under Toad Data Modeler) CharonWare FreeDownload Trial, then $175(Lite) or $369(Full) Looks impressive - supports an unusally wide range of Databases, including Firebird, MaxDB,Postgres - if you try it, please me have your comments.
Here's a "5-Star" Review from Dan Horn.
CASEWise CASEWise   Aimed at Business Process Modelling, but has links to DataArchitect.
ConceptDraw CS Odessa $179 (50% off) For ERD, UML, ORM, FlowCharts, etc. - Free Download Trial is available. I like the appearance of the diagrams this Product produces and this is an important consideration for me.
DataArchitect Sybase $2,000 If you are buying for the company, buy this one.
DataArchitect is part of Power Designer, which is described below.
DataArchitect TheKompany   This product has disappeared - thanks to Matthijs Willemstein for letting me know.
If you have any news or suggestions for replacements, please let me know.
Database Design Studio Chilli Source Lite at $80 , Professional at $299. and maybe Educational at $39. Lite supports ERD Modeling and Forward Engineering and Professional adds support for Reverse Engineering.
Database Designer MicroOlap $125 Specially for PostgreSQL and includes Reverse Engineering.They give it away Free if you mention it in your Blog.
DB Constructor Robert Schambach Free/$150 Here's a glowing reference at the FreeDownloadCenter Web Site.
DBDesigner 4 Free (Donations welcome) Open Source and highly recommended if you work with MySQL.
DBDesigner-Fork Free A Fork of DBDesigner 4 (see above)- generates SQL scripts for Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and FireBird.
DBForge for MySQL Devart From $59.95 dbForge Studio for MySQL offers a universal MySQL and MariaDB client for database management, administration and development. With the help of this intelligent MySQL client the work with data and code has become easier and more convenient.
Devart's MySQL GUI tool provides utilities to compare, synchronize, and backup MySQL databases with scheduling,
and gives possibility to analyze and report MySQL tables data.
Here's an example of a DB Forge Data Model :-
DB Main Rever Free for the Data Modeller, with add-ons available at typical prices of 1,000 Euros or US Dollars. Produced in Belgium, with documentation in English and French.
Offers a very impressive range of features, including :-
"... meta-modeling components that allow its users to develop new functions and extend its repository"
DBSchema Concrete Software, Romania Free download and then only $45 to buy. Reverse Engineer Oracle and other Databases using JDBC connections.
Can also generate SQL to create Databases from a Data Model.
DBVisualiser Minq Free evaluation and then only $129 to buy,($103 for Education). Helpful for DBA work, like performance monitoring.
A Finalist for 'Best Data Access Tool 2005' in the Java Developers Journal Readers Choice Award and included in the BEA WebLogic Workshop.
Free version available with "the basic level of features that most users require".
DB Wrench Nizana $149 "Forward and Reverse Engineer, Affordable, Easy to Use."
Dezign Datanamic Offers a Free download or starts at $259 to buy. A recent upgrade offers significantly improved features.
Supports Forward and Reverse Engineering for about 20 different Databases.
If you are buying for yourself, buy this one
Here's an example of a Dezign Data Model :-
Dia Hosted by Sourceforge Free - Contributions suggested "Dia is software for drawing diagrams similar to Visio", such as UML. It's Open Source with many authors. Install it from here
Druid From SourceForge   Generates SQL Scripts and Java classes.
Thanks again to Josh Bosh.
Enterprise Architect Sparx Systems Free Download - then $135 to $239 From Australia - supports UML and very affordable, and has an entry in Wikipedia.
Entity Framework Add-on IdeaBlade $995+/developer "Makes Microsoft's Entity Framework easier to use"
ER One Soft Builder Free Sample of a Data Model
ER Creator Model Creator About $100 Includes a Tutorial and a Trial version.
ER Diagrammer KeepTool $240 Free download is available and a User Forum is supported.
ERD Concepts 5 ERD Concepts $179 Euros (single-user) A Free download is available.
ER/Studio Embarcadero $1,500 up to $7,500 (!!!) In response to a helpful comment from Daryl Purcell I have added a link to US prices and UK prices.
ERwin CA Technologies There is a Free Community Edition, and a price list is in the Online Store. One of the Market Leaders - an enterprise solution with a particularly powerful Model Manager for large teams, especially useful when operating from different locations.
Here's an example of an ERwin Data Model :-
Experience Electronic Exerience Free Trial then 90 Euros (about $50)  
FastTracks Code Patterns   Works only with UML and Ruby on Rails
GenMyModel GenMyModel Free !!! A beautiful Web Site "GenMyModel is an innovative online UML tool for software architects and developers.
It allows to create UML-compliant diagrams, export and generate code from your web browser.
Gliffy Gliffy Free option available The ONLY Online Modelling Tool I have found - unfortunately it only does UML at the moment.
Google WWW SQL Designer Ondrej Zara (Czechoslovakia) Free Open Source Good-looking sample Data Model.
G-TEA Data Architect Calopus (UK) Free Community version available An interesting and (currently) a unique Cloud-based Modelling Tool
Happy Fish Polderij NV. (in Dutch) $89 Renamed ERD Concepts.
HiberObjects Object Generation Free An open source UML Tool for creating Class diagrams that supports Reverse Engineering
IBM InfoSphere Data Architect IBM $5,570 !!! Provides reverse and forward engineering facilities for a range of databases, also ERD and UML Modelling.
ImportER MySQL Datanamic Excellent value at $55 Reverse Engineering for MySQL
Innovator MID Free trial then no price details available Looks good.
It says it supports UML and ERD.
In the web site, it says :-
"With the addition of the IDEF1X-Notation also for Entity-Relationship-Models, Innovator is for the first time provided with a unified graphical presentation for both, the Entity-Relationship as well as the Data Base Diagrams."
Here's an example of an Innovator Data Model :-
KeepTool KeepTool $300 / 300 Euros Can Reverse Engineer Oracle Databases to create Data Models - Comments and experiences welcome.
MagicDraw No Magic   Award-winning UML Modeller and very popular with Java enthusiasts.
Mega Database Builder Mega   Looks like a great product with a wide range of features BUT there is no price information on their Site and they offer an evaluation version but you can't download it - instead they will contact you to discuss your requirements !!!
ModelRight ModelRight Free Trial, then $495 for DB2, Oracle and SQL Server, $295 for MySQL and PostgreSQL, and $195 for Access. An enthusiastic user is David McKelvey from Richardson,Texas, who says “As a pure Database Physical Modeling Tool, nothing else comes close."
MySQL Workbench MySQL Free with MySQL (also Free) Looks good and offers Reverse Engineering.
Navicat Data Modeler Navicat Starts at $79 for a non-commercial version Looks good with a comprehensive range of versions.
pgModeler pgModeler from Brazil $10 pgModeler - PostgreSQL Database Modeler - is an open source data modeling tool designed for PostgreSQL.
Very impressive Web Site - offers 4 Social Networks
"Combines ERD features with Postgres extensions".

Here is a sample Model in pgModeller:-
Objecteering Free download trial Looks good with a comprehensive range of features, including UML support.
OmniGraffle Omni Group Free download trial For Mac only
Open ModelSphere Model Sphere Free Open Source and UML
Oracle Designer Oracle $200 Available from the Oracle Technology Network (Free to join).
Oracle says "Oracle Designer is our model-driven development tool based on the principles of Information Engineering."
Oracle J-Developer Oracle Free Download UML diagramming is part of J-Developer.
Also available from the Oracle Technology Network.
Oracle says "Oracle JDeveloper is an integrated development environment with end-to-end support for modeling, developing, debugging, optimizing, and deploying Java applications and Web services."
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler Oracle Free Many thanks to Tuomas Kassila in Finland for telling us about this.
Oracle says :-
SQL Developer Data Modeler is a Free data modeling and design tool, for ERD and Multi-dimensional modeling, with forward and reverse engineering. It imports from and exports to a variety of sources and targets.
In a discussion on LInkdedIn, Kent Graziano said :-
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler has a Logical Modeling diagrammer that gives you the option of three different notations and the ability to turn various display options on and off.
You also have an option to use box-in-box for sub types (if you like that style), so it is very usable.
ORM Designer Inventic Offers a Free trial then costs $140 or 99 Euros. Thanks to Ludek Vodicka in Czechoslovakia.
PG Designer From John.   Open Source - for PostgreSQL.
Thanks again to Josh Bosh.
Platinum Repository Computer Associates   This is a Repository, rather than a Modelling Tool, with a 'Where-used' facility, and it lets you add entity types,such as Business Function, Business Role and Script.
Pony ORM Pony No price details available - in fact no details of any sort. A very happy User says "a fantastic data modelling tool"
Poseidon GentleWare   Comes highly recommended, good for UML, and has an open-source Free version.
Power Designer Sybase $2,000 If you are buying for the company, consider this one.
ProVision now renamed to OpenText MetaStorm Free Trial, but prices not avalable on the Website. Includes Frameworks, such as Zachman, and also Reference Models, such as Customers, Finance and Telecomms, and an interesting 3-D Architecture
RevJ SourceForge Free Open Source This Object Source product generates ERD Data Models from SQL. It is a way of understanding complex SQL that you might have 'inherited' from somebody else.
Please Email me if you have any comments on RevJ.
Rhalotel DB Diagram Mgr
98 Euros/$100  
RM Bench
Byte Refinery
Free Trial then $120 "Graphical Modelling of Relational Databases in Eclipse".
Used to be about $14,000 but check with Silwood Safyr is more than a Modelling Tool. It sits between an ERP like SAP and a Modelling Tool like ERWin.
It provides a very useful and powerful Metadata manipulation package which allows you to extract metadata from ERPs such as SAP, Salesforce, J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel and Oracle E-Business Suite which can then be 'reverse engineered' into a Modelling Tool like ERwin, to see the Data Model.
Schema Spy (command line) or Schema Spy GUI (Point and click)
Schema Spy
Free May not exactly be a Data Modelling Tool.
On the Web Site, it is described as a "Graphical Database Schema Metadata Browser" and a tool to investigate the validity of a Data Model.

The Web Site also says :-
"Do you hate starting on a new project and having to try to figure out someone else's idea of a database?
Or are you in QA and the developers expect you to understand all the relationships in their schema?
If so then this tool's for you.

A Contributor to the LinekdIn Data Architecture Group said :-
"Schemaspy would be nice for Reverse Engineering as it outputs in HTML and you can zip the file and send it around to people. "I have used to to view what is inside a schema, quickly.
It helps you to quickly generate the data model and visualize entities as per 'Degree of Separation' , too.
Very flexible, and quick, it is just a 'jar' file to which you pass your database credentials and it does the job.
SilverRun Data Modeller (now Open ModelSphere)
SmartDraw SmartDraw $50 !!! Recommended - Promoted as a UML Drawing Tool with impressive support.
Sparx Enterprise Architect Sparx Systems Free Download - then $135 to $239 From Australia - supports UML and very affordable, and has an entry in Wikipedia.
SPSS Clemetine IBM   IBM recommends this for Data Mining.
SQL Developer Diagram Editor   Free Not to be confused with Oracle's SQL Developer.
Offers a range of attractive features and has some glowing references.
SQL Maestro SQL Maestro Group Freeware Please let me know if you have any experience with this product.
SQL Manager EMS Free Trial available  
SQL Power Architect SQL Power Free (Open Source) Here's an example of an SQL Power Data Model :-
Squirrel Squirrel Free Open Source
StarUML SourceForge Free "The Open Source UML/MDA Platform" (from Korea).
System Architect IBM $3,000-5,000 per seat. In an evaluation, I found this product very difficult to use, the diagrams were very ugly and it crashed too often for me to recommend it. Downloads available for Evaluation.
Toad Data Modeler Quest Free Download, then $479 Price is 30% off to CASE Studio 2 customers
From the makers of Toad, and based on CASE Studio 2 – Includes 24x7 support, runs on over 40 DBMSs, and you can create ER & Data Flow diagrams, reverse engineer and generate SQL Scripts.
Together (from Borlande) Borland No prices on the Website Offers UML but not ERDs - Described as "Visual Modeling for Software Architecture Design".
The Website offers information on Model-Driven Development.
Toolkit for Conceptual Modeling (TCM) University of Twente, Holland Free and Downloadable Very interesting combination of Tools, including UML.
Thanks to Tony Adams for suggesting a better link here.
Umbrello SourceForge Free Open Source UML Modeller
Visio Microsoft Trial CD available Many Versions- Standard($199),Technical($399),Professional($399) and Enterprise($999)
Visual Paradigm Visual Paradigm Free Community Edition, also Free trial. Produced by a Hong Kong-based company - supports ERDs and UML, imports Visio
Vertabelo Vertabelo Free trial and then $12 or $48/month - $99 or $399. "Design your database Online"
Visual Thought CERN (Godfathers of the Internet)   Give it a try for UML.
THANKS AGAIN to Josh Bosh, Milwaukee's most beloved Web specialist, for providing this link.
Win A&D Excel Software No price information on the Web Site Unusually offers products for MAC as well as Windows - UML Modelling as well as ERD.
xCase Resolution Software $800 (Download Trial available) "xCase is a complete database design and maintenance tool including archiving and model compare and merge across different DBMSs".
X-TEA X-TEA Free Data Modelling Tool includes Data Model Slideshows, Dataflows and designs.
Here is a sample Model :-

Lady Gabriella Windsor, a Model  (Click for Wikipedia entry)
Useful Links :-
Discussion Group InfoAdvisors Data Model Group
Portal Data Management Centre Directory of Data Modelling Resources (Highly Recommended)
Portal DM Review Search for 'Data Models'
Portal Journal of Conceptual Modelling Worth Checking out

A short note about about Data Modelling and Database Design ...
Data modelling and database design are two very different activities.
For data modelling, the question you are asking is :
1) What does the world being modelled look like ?  
   In particular, you are looking for similarities between things. 
   Then you identify a 'super-type' of thing which may have sub-types. 
    For example, Corporate Customers and Personal Customers

   If, for example, supplier contacts are conceptually different things from customer contacts, 
  then the answer is that they should be modelled separately.  
  On the other hand, if they are merely sub-sets of the same thing, then treat them as the same thing.

2) For database design, you are answering a different question:-
   "How can I efficiently design a database that will support the functions of the proposed application or Web Site ?" 
   The key task here is to identify similarities between entities so that you can integrate them into the
   same table, usually with a 'Type' indicator.
   For example, a Customer table, which combines all attributes of both Corporate and Personal Customers.
   As a result, it is possible to spend a great deal of time breaking things out when creating a Data Model, and 
   then collapsing them back together when designing the corresponding database.
Dan Horne writes about Case ...

"I have found Case Studio to be an outstanding tool in its market niche. 
It supports a wide variety of databases, although I've only use it with Oracle, 
where I have found it to be excellent.

It's a bargain at $299, and with additional licenses costing only $89, it is well 
within the budget of most organizations that do not require an enterprise solution. 

I've been searching for a data modelling tool for some time, but most are not within 
my price range, and are generally aimed at larger companies. 

The competitive products I have found are marginally cheaper, but do not support the 
fundamental features I need such as the reverse engineering of existing databases.

The only weakness is the documentation, which is included as a help file.

Some topics such as exporting the diagrams to a graphic file are not covered, and there is 
no detail on writing templates to enhance and extend the system. 

Likewise, Data Flow Diagrams are barely touched on.

Nevertheless, I am very pleased with my purchase. 

Case Studio deserves to be much better known than it is.


Dan Horne"

© 2017

Home About Us Ask a Question Careers Clients Contact Us Data Models Tutorials Site Map