Companies interacting with Big Data often find it challenging to construct new databases and prepare IT strategies for growth and expansion. This is where Data Modeling comes into action.

Data modeling helps construct, arrange, and manage data for smooth business operations. It allows data management teams to examine different data objects and derive or build data connections with other elements. 

In this guide, we will look at some of the best free Database Modeling Tools that can benefit your business in various operations like upselling, improving customer service, and maintaining high retention rates. Have a look at these free Database Modeling Tools to compare and select the one that suits you best.

10 Best & Free Database Modeling Tools

Today, a large number of Data Modeling Tools are available online for different database platforms. They provide standardized schemas and formal Data Modeling techniques to create optimal Data Models and help businesses better understand the nature of data flow.

In this free Database Modeling Tools guide, we have shortlisted some of the top free Database Modeling tools to meet your user needs and help you save time.

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1. ER/Studio

ER/Studio is a free database modeling tool for database administrators to identify data assets across multiple database systems quickly, construct data models, and track them. It accommodates both Logical and Physical Database Designs. Also, this Data Modeling Tool works cross-platform and supports Windows, Linux, and Mac devices.

The best part about ER/Studio is that it supports all display formats (HTML, PNG, JPEG, etc.)  along with scripting and automation. It also allows running analysis for new modifications at the database level.

Key features of ER/Studio include:

  • ER/Studio has compatibility with Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL ServerSQL, IBM Db2, MongoDB, Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Teradata, and soon with Databricks.
  • ER/Studio supports integration with Collibra, Silwood Safyr, MetaIntegration, Atlassian Jira, and WhereScape.
  • It supports team collaboration and project version management that propels data modeling strategy.
  • It allows both forward and reverse engineering, ensuring synchronization between the model and the actual database.
  • ER/Studio allows both the import and export of model information from BI, ETL, and NoSQL platforms.
  • The tool enables users to generate comprehensive documentation for their data models, including data dictionaries, diagrams, and reports.

Pros and Cons of ER/Studio:

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of modeling techniques (logical, physical, dimensional, etc.)
  • Robust visualization and diagramming capabilities
  • Has reporting, documentation and metadata exchange
  • Enables data lineage tracking and analysis
  • Handles large, complex enterprise data models

Cons:

  • Can be overkill for smaller modeling needs
  • Collaboration features harder to use than cloud-based tools
  • On-premise installation needs updates and server maintenance

2. DbSchema Free

Free Database Modeling Tool: DbSchema Free
Image Source: DbSchema

DbSchema Free is one of the best and free Database Modeling Tools that allows users to write and execute queries, explore data and build insightful reports. Using DbSchema Free, you can create and edit schema tables visually, define database schema directly in diagrams, and execute SQL queries with support for autocompletion.

In DbSchema, the Conceptual and Logical Database Designs are abstract and database-independent. It also enables the business to build reports, charts, and queries with different filters and grouping. However, the support for dynamic HTML page generation and report creation is only available on the DbSchema Pro version. You can sign up for a two-week free trial to avail its pro features.

Key features of DbSchema Free:

  • It allows connection to all databases using JDBC driver for reverse engineering schema.
  • It provides data security through SSH connections.
  • DbSchema Free has an inbuilt SQL editor for writing and executing SQL queries.
  • Users can export and import data between different database systems or from/to various file formats.
  • DbSchema Free includes schema synchronization features, allowing users to compare and synchronize database schemas between different environments.

Pros and Cons of DbSchema Free

Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop design of tables, columns, and relationships.
  • Easy-to-understand diagrams that represent database structure.
  • Generate detailed documentation for schema sharing and reference.

Cons:

  • Compared to paid tools, the free version misses some enterprise-level capabilities.
  • No built-in collaboration for team modeling

3. Erwin Data Modeler

Free Database Modeling Tool: Erwin Data Modeler
Image Source: Wikipedia

Erwin Data Modeler is another great option if you are looking for a free Database Modeling Tool. It helps users create Logical, Physical, and Conceptual Data Models at a minimal cost. One can discover, visualize, design, and deploy their Data Assets easily using this tool.

Erwin Data Modeler supports both structured and unstructured data regardless of its location. Further, with the help of its simple Graphical User Interface (GUI), businesses can automatically create Data Models and designs to improve efficiency, reduce cost and minimize database errors.

Key features of Erwin Data Modeler

  • It provides a unified interface for visualizing structured or unstructured enterprise data, regardless of its location—whether stored in a relational or NoSQL database, a data warehouse, on-premises, or in the cloud.
  • It automatically generates data models and database designs for improved efficiency and error reduction.
  • It facilitates an integrated view of conceptual, logical, and physical data models.
  • Security features such as user authentication, access controls, and encryption help safeguard sensitive data and models.
  • Users can generate comprehensive reports and documentation from their data models.

Pros and Cons of Erwin Data Modeler

Pros:

  • It offers team collaboration and efficient data model development.
  • Erwin excels at analyzing existing databases and generating accurate data models.
  • Erwin integrates seamlessly with various BI, ETL, and database platforms, ensuring a smooth workflow within your data ecosystem.
  • Erwin facilitates both forward engineering (generating SQL scripts from the model) and reverse engineering (creating a model from an existing database).

Cons:

  • Erwin primarily offers on-premise deployment options, which may not be ideal for organizations favoring cloud-based solutions.

4. Archi

Free Database Modeling Tool: Archi
Image Source: Archi

Many Data Architects and Data Modelers recommend Archi over other free Data Modeling Tools as it can be used for analysis and visualization of the database architecture in different business sectors. Also, this is one of the most cost-effective solutions in the market with an open-source profile. 

Archi Data Modeler supports ArchiMate language. Using Archi’s free Database Modeling Tool, you can get quick access to element information and alter ArchiMate’s viewpoint at any moment. It works cross-platform and allows users to build and customize canvas as per their data elements and its flow.

Key features of Archi:

  • Archi is specifically designed to support the ArchiMate modeling language, allowing users to create models for enterprise architecture using ArchiMate concepts.
  • Archi is compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Users can model relationships and dependencies between different elements in the architecture.
  • Archi supports model versioning, allowing users to track changes over time.
  • Archi includes an element catalog where users can define and manage the elements used in their architecture models.

Pros and Cons of Archi:

Pros:

  • Supports ArchiMate, BPMN, UML and other standards
  • Allows modeling of multiple architecture layers
  • Good for high-level conceptual models
  • Easy to get started for basic users
  • Plug-in architecture to extend functionality

Cons:

  • Limited visualization and diagramming features
  • Lacks detailed database model techniques

5. SQL Database Modeler

Free Database Modeling Tool: SQL Database Modeler
Image Source: sqldbm

SQL Database Modeler allows Developers to construct a SQL Database online without writing any code. It is much easier to build scripts and import them using this tool. SQL Database Modeler is compatible with MS SQL Server and MySQL.

Using its user-friendly interface, you can create and make quick changes to the tables. You and your workgroups can also collaborate on projects seamlessly. Another feature of SQL Database Modeler is it supports different view modes.

Key Features of SQL Database Modeler:

  • SqlDBM automatically creates a database model from your existing database or data warehouse.
  • The version history feature allows users to compare changes between any two save points and open and recover a project from a previous state.
  • Any number of users can work concurrently on a project and create a DB schema without altering the project.
  • It supports advanced data lineage practices through interactive, graphical representations that are easy to understand, even for non-technical users.

Pros and Cons of SQL Database Modeler:

Pros:

  • Allows both physical and logical modeling
  • Good visualization with entity relationship diagrams
  • Model validation and checking functionality
  • Documentation and reporting features
  • Enables collaborative modeling
  • Highly customizable and extensible

Cons:

  • Mostly focused on SQL databases, lacks support for NoSQL databases
  • Weaker at handling extremely large, enterprise-level database models

6. Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

Free Database Modeling Tool: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler
Image Source: Stack Overflow

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is another outstanding free Database Modeling tool that enables businesses to capture, manage, and gain insights from the data and boost productivity. It supports forward and reverse engineering and collaborative development among teams. Another feature of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is it works with both traditional and cloud settings.

It is a free graphical tool that can be used to create, browse and edit different data type models. It offers a full spectrum of Data Models which includes Logical, Relational, Physical, and Multi-dimensional Data Type Models.

Key Features of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler:

  • Supports a wide range of models such as logical, relational, dimensional, multi-dimensional, and more.
  • Allows designing ER diagrams, relational schema, data maps etc. Visually represent existing databases too.
  • It allows collaborative modeling facilitating teams to work together on data models.
  • Users can create and customize reports based on the data model statistics.
  • Forward and reverse engineering allows synchronizing designs and databases.

Pros and Cons of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler:

Pros:

  • Free and included with Oracle SQL Developer suite
  • Export data model to a variety of formats, including DDL, XML, and XMI.
  • Platform support for multiple databases
  • Integrates closely with other Oracle developer tools

Cons:

  • Primarily focused on structured relational models
  • Weaker NoSQL and unstructured data support

7. IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

Free Database Modeling Tool: IBM InfoSphere Data Architect
Image Source: DBMS Tools

IBM InfoSphere Data Architect offers a quick and simple Data Model development facility and allows team collaboration. This free Database Modeling Tool is best for companies that require tools for Business Intelligence & Statistics. One can simplify and accelerate Database Integration Design and align services and Data Structures using IBM InfoSphere Data Architect.

This tool also allows users to import and export custom mapping. Furthermore, it supports Physical and Logical Data Models.

Key features of IBM InfoSphere Data Architect:

  • IBM InfoSphere Data Architect enables users to discover the structure of heterogeneous data sources through metadata analysis.
  • Users can create logical data models describing how their organization intends to collect data and how data objects are related.
  • IBM InfoSphere Data Architect offers automated import and export of constant mappings within mapping models.
  • The tool has incorporated support for version control systems, including Git and Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS).
  • IBM InfoSphere Data Architect allows users to create models for various source systems, such as IBM Db2, IBM Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Teradata.

Pros and Cons of IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

Pros:

  • Very robust and scalable for large, complex models
  • Advanced features like model merging, federation, etc.
  • Sophisticated validation rules and checks
  • Powerful visualization and diagramming capabilities

Cons:

  • No cloud deployment option, on-premises only

8. MySQL Workbench

Free Database Modeling Tool: MySQL Workbench
Image Source: MySQL

MySQL Workbench is the perfect solution if you are looking for a free Database Modeling Tool. Most SQL Development & Server Configuration users, Database Architects, Developers, and Database Administrators trust MySQL Workbench over other Data Modeling Tools because it helps construct complicated ER models and can generate, run, and optimize SQL queries.

Moreover, the MySQL Workbench tool is compatible with all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac. It also supports both forward and reverse engineering features.

Key Features of MySQL Workbench:

  • Allows you to model databases through an interactive diagramming EER modeler focused on the physical schema.
  • Provides an integrated SQL editor for scripting and querying with syntax highlighting and code completion.
  • Allows you to visually explore and edit existing database schemas through reverse engineering into an EER diagram.
  • Features allow you to synchronize changes between visual models and the database through forward and reverse engineering.
  • Built-in visual database reports on schema, data, queries and more aid documentation needs.

Pros and Cons of MySQL Workbench:

Pros:

  • Available for free on major platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Incorporated SQL development interface
  • Includes database administration capabilities
  • Reporting features for documentation

Cons:

  • MySQL-centric, lacking support for other DBs
  • Weaker for collaborative modeling

9. Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a cloud-based free Database Modeling Tool that requires no additional need for downloading bulky software. You can create Data Models easily using this online tool. It consists of intelligent features that make it a top choice when choosing a free Database Modeling Tool. Also, its interface is easy to navigate and supports multiple information assets.

If you are looking for a tool that will help increase productivity, go for Lucidchart. You can easily style shapes and expand your canvas using this tool. Users can also add necessary context, thoughts, or feedback using the notes function in Lucidchart.

Key Features of Lucidchart:

  • As a SaaS platform, lets teams visually diagram databases together.
  • User-friendly editor makes database modeling approachable for non-experts.
  • Models common DBs like MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB and more.
  • ER diagrams, ORM diagrams, data flow diagrams and more model types available.
  • Color coding, custom themes and flexible layouts make models readable.
  • Integrates with popular dev platforms. Export to PDFs, images etc.
  • Modeling templates, using snippets, linking between documents.
  • Stores history of changes and sets user access controls.

Pros and Cons of Lucidchart:

Pros:

  • Intuitive web-based visual interface
  • Real-time collaboration capabilities
  • Support for a wide variety of databases
  • Diagram flexibility with ER, flowcharts etc
  • Excellent visualization and styling options

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced customizations of full modeling tools
  • Weaker at handling complex queries and code
  • No entity relationship modeling validation

10. pgModeler

Free Database Modeling Tool: pgModeler
Image Source: pgModeler

pgModeler is an open-source, free Database Modeling Tool for PostgreSQL that helps in constructing Database Models. If due to any technical reason, the event fails, all your prior work will be restored. pgModeler also supports XML files, which means the user can handle the same database files in third-party software. 

With the help of its simple and intuitive interface, users can quickly create and edit PostgreSQL Database models. Another feature of this tool that makes it suitable for your business is you can create your own extension for pgModeler without making any changes to the core code. 

pgModeler works cross-platform including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Key features of pgModeler:

  • Specialized support for modeling PostgreSQL database structures.
  • Allows visual database modeling through diagrams rather than scripts.
  • Supports logical, physical, and dimensional models.
  • Checks models for issues before applying changes.
  • Object triggers allow implementing custom behaviors.
  • Features for model comparison, diff, and synchronization with live databases.
  • Ability to merge and consolidate models from different sources.
  • Migrates between different PostgreSQL versions by updating models.

Pros and Cons of pgModeler:

Pros:

  • Allows both logical and physical modeling
  • Model validation checks for issues
  • Model compare and synchronization features

Cons:

  • PostgreSQL exclusive, lacking support for other DBs

Find more information about Data Modeling techniques and applications in the following guides:

How to Choose the Right Data Modeling Tool?

Keep in mind the following points before choosing a data modeling tool for your organization:

  • User-friendliness: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, look for a tool that has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that also offers drag-and-drop functionality for easy data model creation.
  • Integrations: Choose a tool that supports integrations with various BI tools, ETL platforms and version control systems.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that your free database modeling tool is compatible with different database management systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL servers, to name a few.
  • Forward and Reverse Engineering: Make sure the data modeling tool supports both forward and reverse engineering which is crucial for maintaining consistency between your model and the actual database.
  • Collaboration Features: Data modeling is a team-based project. Look for a tool that allows for team collaboration and the ability to share and comment on models.
  • Security: Never forget to ensure the security policies and best practices that your data modeling tool follows. It is the most important feature to consider when handling sensitive data.

Three Types of Data Modeling

Here are the three different types of Data Models that help businesses determine what data is needed, how it should be organized, and how data associations must be established between them:

Logical

Companies involved in Data Warehousing often use Logical Data Models to define how the system must be organized regardless of the DBMS. The role of Logical Data Models is to develop a technical map of rules and differentiate relationships and attributes for each entity. These Data Models are generally used by Data Architects and Business Analysts.

Conceptual

Business Stakeholders and Data Architects design Conceptual Data Models to define the business concepts and rules. This type of Data Model focuses more on defining what the database system contains and not its processing flow. Such an arrangement helps in aligning all the concerned team members on the same project and on the same data requirements.

Physical

Database Administrators (DBA) and Developers design and use Physical Data Models for the implementation of the actual database structure. These Data Models function as the last step in the Data Modeling process and they define precisely how the system will be implemented once the company starts using the DBMS system.

Conclusion

In this post, you learned about Data Modeling, and its various aspects and types. Further, we discussed the different and free Database Modeling Tools that can be advantageous for your business.

Data Modeling is a practice that helps examine different Data Objects to construct a database representing the nature of data and how it flows. You can use various text and symbols to illustrate the types of data, formats, attributes, etc., using these amazing tools. Logical, Conceptual, and Physical are the three types of Data Models that determine what data is needed, and how it must be organized and helps discover the relationship between different items.

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Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 & free Database Modeling Tools in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

Hitesh Jethva
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Hitesh is skilled in freelance writing within the data industry. He creates engaging and informative content on various subjects like data analytics, machine learning, AI, big data, and business intelligence byusing his analytical thinking and problem solving ability.

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