Introduction to Data Modeling Tools

Design of Information Systems

  1. Conceptual design: Business stakeholders and data architects record the initial data requirements as a conceptual data model which defines what the system contains. It establishes the entities (real-world things), their attributes (characteristics or properties), and relationships (dependencies or associations between the entities). The resulting Unified Modelling Language (UML) class or Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD) rarely contain any details of the actual database structures.
  2. Logical design: Typically, it’s data architects and business analysts who convert the conceptual design into one or multiple logical data models. Each one documents the structure of the data elements, sets the relationships between them, and defines how the system should be implemented regardless of a database management system (DBMS). The concepts of primary keys and foreign keys come into play at this phase.
  3. Physical design: The logical design is transformed into a physical layout of the database. Database administrators (DBAs) and developers typically create it. A complete physical data design should include all the DB columns keys, indexes, triggers, constraint definitions, linking tables, partitioned tables, and clusters. As it describes how the system will be implemented, it’s important to know which DBMS is to be used: the choice will influence disk requirements, security requirements, and other aspects of the model. It helps visualize the DB structure and generate the schema, creates accounts for access, performance, and specific storage allocation details, and adds the data to be stored. It helps analysts calculate storage estimates.
Image taken from Visual Paradigm User’s Guide

Open Source Data Modeling Tools


Database Deployment Manager

Other Free Data Modeling Tools


ER/Builder Data Modeler

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

SQL Database Modeler

To Recap




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