10 Best Data Modeling Tools To Manage Complex Designs

Explore the Best open source free and online Data Modeling Tools along with their Features:

What is Data Modeling?

Data modeling is the process of applying the techniques and methodologies to the data (data requirements) in order to convert it in a useful form. The process converts complex software design into a simple easy to understand diagram with the data flow.

In simple terms, whatever data we have, in order to store that data in a database, we have to convert it into a certain form (i.e. data model needs to be created). Thus Data Modeling tools will allow you to draw diagrams as it is easy to connect and understand data diagrammatically.

data modeling tools

Data modeling tools help us to create a database structure from these diagrams. Hence it becomes easier to connect data and form a perfect data structure as per our requirement.

Different tools support different operating systems and most of the data modelers support Windows operating system. While a few support Mac and Linux. Also, different tools support different databases.

These tools offer features like creation of data structure from diagrams, forward & reverse engineering, import & export facility, documentation, support for multiple databases, reporting etc. Some tools can be used online as well.

Some data model tools can be integrated with big data platforms like MongoDB or Hadoop Hive. These tools can also be called as big data modeling tools. Example of such a tool is ER/Studio.

Data modeling in the warehouse is nothing but using the data models to design the database conceptually, logically, and physically. Similarly, they are used for creating relational tables, primary & foreign key, and stored procedures.

Logical and Physical models: Physical model, in simple terms, is the real design of the database as per the requirements based on the logical modeling. Selection of the right data modeling tool depends on mandatory features, database support, operating system support, and price of the tool.


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In this article, we will explore the top data modeling tools in detail, along with their comparison.

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Most Popular Data Modeling Tools

Given below is the list of the most popular and frequently used paid as well as open-source free Data Modeling Tools.

Comparison Of The Best Data Modeling Software

Data Modeling toolsOperating SystemSupported DatabasesForward & Reverse EngineeringPriceBest For
ER/Studio
ER studio
WindowsFirebird,
Interbase,
Sybase,
Teradata,
Visual FoxPro, and Other Databases.

It supports many databases using ODBC/ANSI SQL.
BothER/Studio Data Architect: Starts at $1470.40 per user. ER/Studio Business Architect: $920 per user.Consistency in naming standards.
PowerDesigner
PowerDesigner
WindowsGreenplum,
Apache Hive,
HP Neoview,
Ingres,
Interbase,
NonStop SQL,
Red Bric Warehouse, SAP Business Suite, SAP Hana,
SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise,
SAP IQ,
SAP SQL Anywhere, Teradata and
Other Databases.
BothContact SAP account executive.Web-based Reporting, Link-and-Sync Technology, Impact Analysis.
Erwin Data modeler
Erwin
WindowsSybase and Other Databases.

It supports many databases using ODBC/ANSI SQL.
BothContact them for pricing details.Can work in cloud and in data warehouse with structured and unstructured data.
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler
Oracle
Cross-platformOracle,
MS SQL Server,
IBM DB2.
BothFree.It is a graphical tool.
Archi
Archi
Cross-platform------FreeModels and designs creation are easy.

**Other Databases: Access, IBM DB2, Informix, MySQL, Netezza, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server.

Let's Explore!!

#1) ER/Studio

er studio

ER/Studio is a tool for data architecture and database design.

Data architects, modelers, DBAs, and Business analysts find ER/Studio useful for creating and managing the database designs and reusing of data. It was developed by Embarcadero Technologies. The tool can automatically generate the code for the database.

The tool helps in representing the business concepts with full documentation of attributes and definitions.

Features:

  • It supports logical as well as physical designs.
  • The tool performs impact analysis, for the new changes at the database level.
  • It supports automation and scripting.
  • Supported presentation formats include: HTML, PNG, JPEG, RTF, XML, Schema, and DTD.
  • ER/Studio ensures consistency between models and databases.

Tool cost/Price details: ER/Studio Data Architect price starts at $1470.40 per user. ER/Studio Business Architect price is $920 per user and DB change manager price starts at $1622.40 per user.

Verdict: It is best suitable for maintaining the consistency in naming standards. The tool is best for logical as well as physical design. Meanwhile, comparing the model and actual database feature is very useful.

Website: ER/Studio

#2) PowerDesigner

power designer

PowerDesigner will help you to handle the complex data.

It offers a data modeling tool, link-and-sync technology, and metadata management. It will perform impact analysis for new technologies. You can create multi-model documents. It has a drag-and-drop mapping editor, for information mapping.

Features:

  • It can perform impact analysis for the integrated models on project or enterprise-wide.
  • It can create connections between requirements, data models, and business languages. It uses link-and-sync technology for this purpose.
  • For all modeling types, developers and enterprise architects can share data with secure metadata repository.
  • It provides web-based reporting.
  • It can create wizard-driven system documentation.
  • It supports an open software environment.
  • Supported file extensions for saving models include .bpm, .cdm, and .pdm.

Tool cost/Price details: Contact the SAP account executive.

Verdict: It is one of the best data modeling tools. It provides many out of the box functionalities. Impact analysis, link-and-sync technology, and web-based reporting are some of its most useful features.

Website: PowerDesigner

#3) Erwin Data Modeler

Erwin Data Modeler

Erwin provides three different solutions related to data modeling.

One is Erwin DM standard edition to create and apply visual data models from hybrid data infrastructures. Second is Erwin DM Workgroup Edition which has all the functionalities of the standard edition and some additional functionalities like centralized model management repository and change management with audit capabilities.

The third one is Erwin DM Navigator Edition which is for giving the ‘read’ access to Erwin data models and metadata.

Features:

  • It has a graphical interface to generate data models.
  • You can reuse model templates, domains, automation macros, naming and data type standards.
  • It supports collaborative modeling with a conflict resolution.
  • It provides change management feature which includes audit capabilities.
  • It has a centralized model management repository.
  • You can give access to read and analyze the data models and metadata, to other people in the organization
  • This tool also provides you with the facility to extract data from ERP, CRM, and other enterprise applications.

Tool cost/Price details: Contact them for the pricing details.

Verdict: This data modeling tool is used in every industry. It is used by government, healthcare, finance, retail, and many other industries. It can work with structured and unstructured data from cloud and data warehouse.

Website: Erwin Data Modeler

#4) Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

This tool is perfect for small, medium, and large sized companies.

It is a graphical tool and is available for free. It will help you to create, browse, and update different data models. It has forward and reverse engineering capabilities. You can use this data modeler in the cloud or in a traditional way.

Features:

  • It supports working with logical, relational, physical, multi-dimensional, and data type models.
  • Reverse engineering.
  • It allows you to do free diagram nesting, which means you can link diagrams from different models together.
  • Impact Analysis.
  • Support for reporting repository.
  • Generating reports.

Tool cost/Price details: Free.

Verdict: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a tool with all the required features and functionalities. It is available for free. It is a graphical tool and its reverse engineering feature is most useful.

Website: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

#5) Archi

archi

It is an open source tool that will help you in creating ArchiMate models and sketches. ArchiMate is a modeling language. It is open and independent and is used for enterprise architecture modeling.

Features:

  • It can be expanded through plugins.
  • It supports cross-platform.
  • It can be used for sketches.
  • It is an open source tool.
  • Support available for ArchiMate 3.0.1 model.

Tool cost/Price details: Free

Verdict: Creating models and designs are easy. However, it needs some improvement in integration with other tools.

Website: Archi

#6) SQL DBM

sql dbm

SQL database modeler will allow you to design SQL database online.

You can import the existing one and generate SQL scripts. It supports MS SQL server and MySQL. This tool provides a user-friendly UI which is very useful for creating and editing of the table. It supports collaboration. You can work with a team from anywhere.

Features:

  • It supports conversion of projects from MS SQL server to MySQL and vice versa.
  • It gives the facility to share projects. The shared projects can be used in presentation and documentation.
  • You can view the database design online.
  • It supports versioning. It creates a new version of the project when you save it. You can roll back to any version and can view any version anytime, anywhere. You can also label these versions.
  • Supports sharing of projects and its versions.
  • You can use different view modes.
  • It supports forward and reverse engineering.

Tool Price/Plan Details: Free.

Verdict: SQL DBM provides many features for free. It supports forward and reverse engineering. It allows you to select the themes between light and dark. You can create multiple subject areas for covering multiple details of the business needs. This tool is available in beta version.

Website: SQL DBM

#7) Database Deployment Manager

Database Deployment Manager

DBA uses this tool for creating tables, queries etc. The tool can be used on multiple platforms. It supports Microsoft Windows and Linux operating system. For database platforms, it supports CUBRID, MySQL, and SQLite. The tool is best for small, medium and enterprises.

Features:

  • The tool uses an object-oriented methodology for populating multiple databases.
  • Reverse engineering.
  • Tables are created using object-oriented programming concepts.
  • It has a document generator.
  • You can create data-types and use those for the columns of the table.
  • You can import tables from the database.
  • You can validate database designs

Tool Cost/Plan Details: Free

Verdict: It supports object-oriented as well as flat modeling for table structures. It provides a visual query builder. This tool allows you to load data from CSV files. Similar to these features, the tool provides many other useful features as well for free.

Website: Database Deployment Manager

#8) Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

With the help of this tool, you can create, verify, share ideas, workflows, charts, models and many other things. Its supported databases include DB2, Firebird, MS Access, MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.

This tool is for the Microsoft Windows operating system. You can use it on Linux OS via Wine and on Mac OS via CrossOver. The system can be used by small, medium, and large companies. The tool is useful for Project management as well.

Features:

  • It has built-in requirements management capabilities.
  • Reverse engineering.
  • Model-driven architecture.
  • Dynamic model simulation.
  • It supports many software development languages.
  • The tool provides complete traceability from requirement to deployment.
  • It has a WYSIWYG editor.
  • You can generate documentation.
  • Using this tool for project management, you can assign resources to elements, measure risks & efforts, estimate project size, and perform many other tasks.

Tool cost/Price details: Price starts at $229 per license.

Verdict: This graphical tool can work with large models and complex data. It is a multi-user system and offers many features at an affordable price.

Website: Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

#9) MySQL Workbench

mysql workbench

DBAs, Database Architects, and developers use this tool for data modeling, SQL development, server configuration, user administration, and backup. The system supports three operating systems, i.e. Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Features:

  • Forward and reverse engineering.
  • It enables you to create complex ER models.
  • Change management
  • Documentation.
  • It allows you to migrate RDBMS tables, objects, and data, from Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Sybase ASE, and from PostgreSQL to MySQL.
  • You can create, execute, and optimize SQL queries through visual tools.
  • SQL editor has features like auto-complete, syntax highlighting, and reusing SQL snippets etc.
  • Visual tools for configuring servers, backup & recovery, administering users, inspecting audit data and for viewing database health.
  • Performance dashboard to view the performance of MySQL applications.

Tool cost/Price details: Free

Verdict: This tool provides many advanced features for free. It has a user-friendly GUI. It can be used by developers and designers.

Website: MySQL Workbench

#10) IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

ibm infospher data architect

It is a collaborative tool for data modeling and design.

It can be used for Business intelligence, Master data management, and service-oriented architecture. You can use this tool for project management, application design, and data design. It helps in improving productivity, data governance, and business alignment.

Features:

  • It supports logical and physical data modeling.
  • Reverse engineering.
  • Supported databases include DB2, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Teradata source systems.
  • Import and export facility to import and export constant mappings to and from a CSV file.
  • Version control.
  • It supports native data querying.

Tool cost/Price details: Contact them for pricing details.

Verdict: It is a paid tool which supports forward and reverse engineering. The system can be used on Windows and Linux.

Website: IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

Additional Tools

#11) Toad Data Modeler:

It is the data modeler for the Microsoft Windows operating system. It provides a visual tool for creating, maintaining, and documenting databases. It supports logical and physical data models.

It assists more than 20 platforms for data structures. It enables you to compare and synchronize models. You can create complex SQL or DDL. It supports forward and reverse engineering and detailed reports can be generated.

Website: Toad Data Modeler

#12) Database Workbench:

This tool is for Windows operating system. This tool enables you to create multiple relational databases using SQL. Multiple database systems are supported by Database Workbench. It provides a visual tool to design the database and supports reverse engineering.

For stored routines, you can perform step-by-step debugging. It offers many other features like generating test data, import & export of data, printing database schema etc. Supported databases include MS SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Firebird, InterBase, SQL Anywhere, NexusDB, and MariaDB.

WebsiteDatabase Workbench

#13) Feature Selection Toolbox:

This tool is for selecting the feature (attribute or variable). It will help you in reducing data acquisition cost, improving the accuracy of data models, and performance of automatic decision rules.

Website: Feature Selection Toolbox

Conclusion

To conclude this article on Data Modeling Tools, we can say that ER/Studio is best for maintaining consistency between models and databases.

PowerDesigner supports a large number of databases. Erwin data modeler can work with structured and unstructured data from the cloud as well. Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free tool with good features and functionalities.

Archi is an open-source tool that allows the creation of ArchiMate models. SQL DBM is also a free tool with good features, but it is available in beta version. Database Deployment Manager is useful for object-oriented modeling. Sparx Enterprise Architect can work with complex and large data.

MySQL Workbench provides a user-friendly GUI. This was all about the top data modeling tools.

Hope this article will help you in choosing the right Data Modeling Tool!!

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