Top 10 Database Design Tools to Build Complex Data Models

Introduction to free open source Database Design Tools:

In this article, we will take a look at the top Database Designing Tools that are available in the market.

Good database design is a pre-requisite to work with the database in an efficient way as it reduces the maintenance efforts, minimizes chances of error-prone tasks, provides a mechanism of a good communication channel among the users and overall reduces time and efforts of the users to perform a task.

These Database Designing tools provide assistance in building complex data models with ease along with undertaking the effective measures to make a high-performance database.

Database designing tools

Different Phases of Database Designing

Database designing includes a lot of phases to get it completed in an effective way. Database designing is performed in connection with the application design.

The important phases include:

#1) Collecting Requirements and their analysis: In this phase, the requirements are collected and their analysis is done. The requirements can be data related as well as functional requirements.

#2) Initiating Conceptual Design: After the requirements are collected, a creation of conceptual schema for the database takes place, the result of which is an ERD i.e. Entity-Relationship Diagram or UML Class Diagram.

#3) Initiating Logical Design: Here, designing of relational schemas takes place. This simply means that the concept of primary keys and foreign keys comes into the picture as a part of this phase.

#4) Moving towards Normalization Process: After completion of the logical design, the normalization process is followed to remove the redundancy from the database i.e. to avoid duplication of the data in a database.

#5) Physical Design: Finally, the physical design of the database takes place. In this, it’s important to know which database system (DBMS) is to be used. Also, the data which is to be stored in the database is also added inside the database.

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Top Most Popular Database Designing Tools

Given below is a list of the database tools that are used for Database Designing.

#1) Visual Paradigm ERD Tools

Visual Paradigm ERD Tools Logo

This is the top-most Database Design tool that helps in designing of the database by following a powerful approach of Entity Relationship Diagram Tools (ERD). ERD is the baseline of any database.

This has the vision to turn any project into a very successful one by complementing the features like Enterprise Architecture, Visual Modeling, Mind Mapping and much more. This is available in all the major Editions – Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler, and Community.

Visual Paradigm is one of the leading and recognized providers of Business and IT Transformation Software Solutions. The software of Visual Paradigm is adopted by many big organizations including Fortune 1000 Companies.

Visual Paradigm ERD Tools are mainly used for personal usage focusing on non-commercial purposes. This is best suitable for UML Modeling.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#2) Vertabelo

Vertabelo Logo

This is one of the top-most Database Design tools for designing your database online. This uses the power of Visual Modelling which reduces the pain of manual creation of a dozen of tables in the database.

This provides powerful features of distributed teams support, beautiful UI and an effective mechanism for designing a clean database design with ease. Vertabelo is a private organization with a strength of 11-50 employees and this specializes in Online Database Tools.

This is a Commercial product which is preferably used by Business Customers. For smaller projects, it's free service can be used but obviously, users need to pay for working with the professional one which is quite complex as well in its usage.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#3) Lucidchart

Lucidchart Logo

This is one of the most widely used Database Design tools which will help you in quickly creating database diagrams online with its collaborative database design tools.

This provides assistance to teams for designing a properly functioning database. This provides efficient features of Database Modeling, Flexible pricing and is Designer-friendly as well.

Lucidchart supports cloud-based feature and hence it does not requires any downloads and its web-based service allows its users to collaborate for working on real-time projects. This is very easy to use by supporting various import file features and others.

This is very popular among business for diagramming purposes. This was established in 2008 and has come a long way and has also received Start2Cloud Editor’s Choice Award.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#4) SQL Server Database Modeler

SQL Server Database Modeler Logo

This is one of the commonly used Database Design tools that is used to design your database online by importing the existing database. This follows the concepts of Forward Engineering and Reverse Engineering.

This includes features like friendly UI, the concept of creating multiple Subject areas, Projects sharing, etc. This is dependent upon the concept of Independent Platform and hence it is very easy to use.

Unlike some of the other expensive commercial database tools, this simply needs a browser without any need for database engines and database modeling tools.

This tool is suitable for both small as well as large business.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#5) DeZign for Databases

DeZign for Databases Logo

This is one of the very useful Database Designing tools which supports the feature of Data Modeling for database professionals. This is robust and it is very easy to use this tool.

This includes the features of Database/Model Synchronization, Model-Driven Collaboration, Customizable Model Reports, etc.

This tool is from a Company named ‘Datanamic’ which was found in 1999 and is appreciated for providing easy-to-use tools for database designing. ‘DeZign for Databases’ is their best product so far with the tag of ‘flagship’ product.

This supports more than 15 databases and is best if a user wants to buy for him/her personal usage.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#6) Erwin Data Modeler

Erwin Data Modeler Logo

This is also one of the very useful database designing tools which support the feature of Data Modeling by unlocking the value out of the Enterprise Data.

This is having the features of Model-Driven Collaboration, usage of Standards to drive data quality and any data can be stored anywhere approach. This is available in Free Community Edition and is considered to be one of the best enterprise solutions which are available in the market.

Erwin is a data governance company whose main concern is on data. Erwin Data Modeler is one of their best products for more than 30 years and has been the first choice for various Data Architects and IT Professionals.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#7) Aqua Data Studio ER Modeler

Aquafold Logo

This supports Entity-Relationship Modeling by providing a feature to design physical models for all major Relational Database Management Systems.

This uses Forward and Reverse Engineer mechanisms to model entities and to convert them into the form of SQL Scripts. This supports a 14-day free download of an evaluation copy and if the user purchases this product then it includes 12-month support. This has multiples databases and languages support as well.

Aquafold is one of the leading US Software Company which deals in building innovative solutions to overcome the real-world problems and provides a great support service.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#8) DbWrench

DbWrench logo

This tool supports synchronization along with designing of the databases with the guarantee to save the time of the users in handling multiple database tasks. This tool also has the feature to forward and reverse engineer the databases.

This supports many of the Operating Systems that are available in the market and the databases with the support of a single license which itself is a great feature. This is an affordable product with the price of around $149 and is very easy to use as well.

DbWrench is a tool from Nizara Systems which deals in producing reliable and easy to use the software. Various versions of DbWrench has been released in 2017, the latest being 4.1.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#9) IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

IBM Logo

This is a database designing solution tool from IBM that helps in discovering, modeling and standardizing the distributed data. This is built on the IDE platform.

This simplifies and accelerates the integration design for Business Intelligence and helps the users in every step of the designing process. This also facilitates forward and reverse engineering for a variety of databases with the features of UML Modeling and designing of ERDs.

This is an expensive tool, however with the price of around $5570 from a well known American company ‘IBM’ which operates in more than 170 countries and was originated in 1911.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#10) Logo

This is one of the popular database designing tools which supports online designing of the Database Schema. This provides the facility to design a database schema without taking the pain of writing SQL which is considered as a great feature of this tool.

This is a Web-Application and is very simple to use but this is not ideal for business solutions. This supports various database engines like PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, MySQL, and MSSQL.

This is a less popular database designing tool when compared to the other tools.

Visit here for further information about this tool.

#11) dModelAid

dModelAid logo 1

dModelAid is an online modeling tool for documenting a complex database design in a simple, interactive diagram with a focus on ease of use from a-z and improved productivity.

It offers smart visualization features to help you design the database structure and to identify potential errors before any code has been written.

The database project gets documented along the way, simplifying the learning process for new employees, team members and/or substitutes.

This product supports both forward and reverse engineering and is packed with intuitive tools such as smart hints, template projects, fast search, naming conventions.

It’s a commercial product by a Swedish company targeting business customers. However, you can get started with a fully-featured free plan.

Website: dModelAid


These are the most popular Database Designing tools that simplify the process of database designing by supporting some powerful features.

Each of these tools provides some specific features and usage of each is dependent upon the requirement of the users, hence, which tool is best to use for database designing is totally dependent upon the type and implementation of the requirements.

Some other database designing tools like Toad Data Modeler, DB schema, etc. are also available in the market to ease the process of database designing. Users can analyze each tool and after comparing their pros and cons they can use any of these tools for successful designing of the database.

I hope that you must have gained immense knowledge about these tools and I am sure that this article will help you at some point while working with the database tools for designing purposes.

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