Top 4 Database Design Tools
Top 4 Database Design Tools
In this article, explore a comparison of four of the best database design tools.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Good database design will significantly decrease maintenance work and minimize the chances of errors in a project. As every project has different requirements, finding the right tool for it can be a difficult task.
This article compares 4 of the best database design tools. The comparison was made with 4 main points in focus:
- User interface
- How many databases they can support
- Data tools
DbSchema is a visual tool for complex database design and management. The tool is integrated with all major operating systems.
DbSchema comes with a friendly user interface that simplifies database design. Everything is arranged in layouts. The layouts are useful when managing a large database. They enable users to focus on specific parts of the database.
The interface makes it possible for users to freely browse diagrams, drag and drop tables in layouts, or edit table data by double-clicking.
You may also like: 6 Steps for Best Practices in Database Design
DbSchema can easily reverse engineer the schema from an existing database.
Project File and Schema Synchronization
DbSchema saves the local schema design into a project file. Working with a project file enables users to modify the schema design without being connected to the database. The changes will be saved only to the project file.
When reconnected to the database, the user will compare the differences between the project file and database and then synchronize them.
DbSchema project files can be easily shared in a team using GIT or any other versioning system. One schema can be migrated over multiple servers.
The project file is in XML format, and it’s easy to read or edit with any text editor.
Visual Data Tools
DbSchema integrates three useful data tools:
- Relational Data Browse enables users to browse data from multiple tables simultaneously.
- Visual Query Builder creates complex SQL queries in a visual way.
- SQL Editor is a powerful editor that uses text autocompletion.
DbSchema already comes integrated with most of the databases. Other databases can be connected through JDBC Drivers.
A major plus of DbSchema is that it can reverse engineer and design Mongo DB schemas,
DbSchema offers a 15 days free trial period. After that, you can choose one of the 3 pricing plans:
- Academic — $63 - lifetime license
- Personal — $127 - lifetime license, 1 year free updates. After one year, the users will pay $31/year for the latest updates.
- Commercial — $197 - lifetime license, 1 year free updates. After one year, the users will pay $48/year for the latest updates
You can benefit from a volume discount of 15% if you purchase 3 or more DbSchema licenses.
DbSchema is an all-in-one database designer and manager. It’s a very useful tool, especially for managing complex databases.
DbSchema’s downside is that the forms and reports engine is pretty hard to use.
Vertabelo is an online database design tool that allows team members to easily collaborate on a project. Being an online platform, users can share access to team members via email.
Vertabelo offers three different access levels: Owner, Editor, and Viewer.
Vertabelo integrates a clean and straightforward interface. It is very simple to switch between models without having to leave the design area.
The tool integrates a quick search and fast navigation menu. These features can be very useful when working with large databases.
Vertabelo allows users to reverse engineer the schema from the database. Unfortunately, the reverse engineer tool doesn’t have a graphical interface. To run it, you will have to go on their website and apply a command line from there.
Another downside of the reverse engineer tool is that you have to manually arrange the tables after the upload.
Vertabelo uses models to save the design. The models can be shared in a team as a document with different access levels.
- The models can be shared outside Vertabelo, using a public link.
- They can be cloned to keep track of older versions of your design.
- They are similar to the DbSchema project files.
Vertabelo supports only eight mainstream databases: Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, IBM DB2, SQL Server, HyperSQL, and Amazon Redshift.
Vertabelo offers a free seven days trial, after which you can choose from three available plans.
- Basic plan: $9/mo up to 5 database models with up to 25 tables per each model.
- Premium plan: $29/mo 20 database models with 100 tables per each model.
- Team plan: from $79/mo to $799/mo, depending on the size of the team. This plan offers unlimited database models and unlimited tables per each model.
Vertabelo is a good database designer; it has a friendly and modern interface, it’s very accessible, and it's easy to share in a team.
Its downsides are:
- A small number of supported databases
- Poor reverse engineer tool
- Lack of a stable SQL Editor - even if the tool is fully visual, some of the customers still feel the need for a SQL editor
Toad Data Modeler
Toad Data Modeler is a database modeling tool that uses automation, intuitive workflows, and built-in expertise. Toad is a very popular database solution that built a big community over time.
Toad integrates a User Interface that helps users to better understand existing databases and table relationships. It can create logical and physical data models.
Toad can automatically map all the attributes of the database in the physical model.
It can reverse engineer the schema by connecting to the database.
Models and Synchronization
Toad enables users to convert the logical model to a selected physical model (eg. Oracle, SQL Server etc.). You can convert a selected physical model to another one, for example, convert an Oracle model to an SQL Server one.
The tool allows synchronization features. Users can compare models to a database and generate migration alter scripts. Also, Toad enables users to update a model directly from the database.
Toad can automate processes like data and schema comparison.
SQL Code Generation
Toad can generate complex database DDL scripts. It can also open generated SQL scripts in an associated application.
It can generate reports in HTML, RTF, or PDF formats.
The tool can connect to multiple databases such as Oracle, SAP, MySQL, SQLServer, PostgreSQL, and more.
Toad offers a 30 days free trial period. After that, a Toad Data Modeler license can be purchased for $637.45 with 1-year technical support included.
Toad is a useful platform for database modeling with many great features.
The downsides of Toad are:
- Not a very intuitive User Interface
- Expensive license
DbVisualizer is a tool designed for database management. It integrates many databases and can work on all major operating systems.
DbVisualizer integrates an easy-to-use interface. It can be used to browse complex schema and edit data.
The interface allows users to perform various actions like drag and drop, pin tabs, detach tabs in separate windows, and inline edit.
DbVisualizer enables users to manage the database server’s instances, security, and session storage.
Users can also schedule and execute actions for Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.
The tool allows users to compare objects like table data, scripts, or DDL of two tables or procedures.
The comparing interface is clean and easy to understand.
DbVisualizer has some useful tools:
- SQL Commander — a query tool that supports multiple editors and result sets
- Query Builder — enables users to create and execute queries visually
- Explain Plan — a tool used to analyze how a query will be used in the database. This feature works only with certain databases.
The tool integrates an SQL History tool in which the user can see the previous queries.
DbVisualizer comes integrated with many major databases, and it can connect to any database using JDBC Drivers.
DbVisualizer offers a free version of their tool. This version lacks some of the important features.
The full version of the tool costs $197/license per user, with a $69 license renewal per user. Depending on the size of your team, DbVisualizer applies discounts for the license. The cheapest is $141 per user with $50 license renewal, for a team with +50 members.
The tool also offers a premium support license.
DbVisualizer is a great tool for managing databases. It has a friendly user interface and can work on all popular operating systems.
The downside of DbVIsualizer is that the free version of the tool doesn’t have enough features, while the paid version is expensive.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.