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Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

What is a good tool to begin building a database? I would like to have something that is universal (meaning readily available to everyone, not spendy $$ and works with Windows) that I can post questions with links to some development I am working on as well (which I can export to images or the data file for linking to share).  I would like to work more with the ER diagraming and am finding a variety of programs but nothing is sticking out as a good starter one and that could be shared there in this environment (ie discussion threads).

Thanks in advance.

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

I actually tried their product and the undocumented flaw I found was once saved... the file can not be opened uless purchased.

I agree it looks promising.  I tried to give feedback to the developers for future changes.  I noticed the product has been dorment since sometime in 2004 (I think).

I am trying Toad Data Modeler Trial currently and am getting kind of stuck.


RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

Only other one I ever tried was ERWin but that can get PRICEY. I have an...ahem...copy of it but I'd like to find something I can buy. Good luck in the hunt. If you do find anything, would you follow up?

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

I will post what I find.  I am looking for something in the price of 'reasonable' for an individual around $50 or less (less preferred).

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool


Thanks. I can't believe I never came across that. I work with MySQL all day!

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

I think you will find Visio to be one of the best tools available.  Although you do have to get the Enterprise version.  Erwin is good but can be difficult to use and isn't something everyone has access to.  With Visio you can save the diagram to different formats.

- Paul  
- If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

I think I am following Olaf's statement

Quote (Olaf):

I'd rather look for a tool that does more than just ERDs

Does Visio Enterprise allow more than ERD?  As I mentioned I am 'playing' with Toad Data Modeler and am finding the building of scripts very useful to begin the db building.  Actually it is neat and fun in a weird kind of way. (okay I worked too much this week to consider automated scripting 'fun').

I am interested in getting and using Visio, but now that I know about this automated scripting option I want that and the cake too.

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

>>Does Visio Enterprise allow more than ERD?
Yes, It can reverse engineer and create the objects in the database.  There are many more features that I haven't used.  

- Paul  
- If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool


Have you used Visio Enterprise, or better yet, what do you prefer to use?  You pointed us to a link, I located some time ago using Google, that has a lot to share.  But it really does not point to a single app that is preferred or what a good app is for low budget personal developers.

(sorry so cheap, but I have to stretch my budget just like the next company/person)

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

Hi 03,

No, I haven't used Visio. As I'm mostly developing in VFP there are very few tools that support it's database (DBC,DBF) and none which supports it's programming language (creating classes etc. from UML). There is xCASE, which would not fit your budget.

From what I've seen I like Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems. They offer different versions with more or less functionallity, I'd look at the desktop edition. It does not allow code im-/export and synchronization, but it already has a very good feature set for it's price.

I don't use it, but have had some recommendations for it and seen some demonstrations, it seems to be just fine. And unlike some of the free and open source projects listed, it's development has not stopped, they also offer a forum and trainings. Just get the trial and see.

I can't believe how tight your budget is. If they want you to be more productive, they need to invest in something making you more productive.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

I use Embaradero's ER Studio.

Like ERWin it allows you to seperate the Logical model from the physical model which tols like VISIO don't. Some of it's other strong points are.

Will create you Database or scripts to build your database.
Has Change merge tools this can be against a Live Database or another ER File.

Macro capability allows you to write macros that can do anything from apply a standard naming convention to something as basic as a Primary Key to automatically comparing a file against a DB.

Allows for Data Domains.  THis allows you to create a predefined column definition  datatype and size.  Say you define First name as varchar(25)  only later to need it changed to varchar(35)  by changing the domain size it will change all column definitions that reference that domain.

One of the nicest is refractoring.  Change a column name in a table and it updates the name in any views, functions or stored procedures that have a relationship.

ER Studio also uses submodels allowing you to break very large and complex diagrams down into smaller more segmented models while still being part of the larger complete model.

It does cost a bit more than $50.


Shoot Me! Shoot Me NOW!!!
                           - Daffy Duck

RE: Entity Relationship Diagram Tool

Thank you MDXer for that tip.  

I have a 'quote' request to find out what their pricing is.  Funny that they do not post their pricing on the web site... you need to register to have a sales rep contact you.  

This looks like a good product from what I viewed with their screen shots.  One thing I like is that you can use stencils to help group or organize the diagram with call outs... fu fu stuff that really does not matter to the database but does when printing and showing to upper management.

Again, thanks for the software directive.

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