Decent free application to design a database with?

Are there any applications available that can be used to create a database structure? Preferably with an ‘export as sql’ option?

  • Can’t seem to get dbdesigner working.
  • OpenOffice database… is HORRIBLE
  • SQLDeveloper … I can’t draw anything? Seems to require a connection to an already existing database…

Okay the trick to running dbdesigner 4 under Wine seems to be that you need to download the zip with all the files rather than the .exe Installer as it will give you a ‘missing file’ error. Got it running now under wine and for what it counts, the first minute experience so far has been positive :wink:

What about mysql workbench?

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
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yeah after reading the page again I ended up using that. As it seems to be the successor… only read over the file names the first 2 times and thought.

MySQL specific… not MySQL specific… I want the second.

Despite it only being able to output MySQL SQL I quite like it. Have to say it’s a bit odd that the predecessor seemed to cover more databases and was easier to create/edit tables with…
Oh well still a nice app and it can export to ‘sql’ (text) so it shouldn’t be too hard to adapt to other flavors of SQL.

I was interested in the answer too and a search turned up a couple of other open source candidates. I know nothing about these other than what I’ve read in 5 minutes, but if you play with them do post back. I’m just filing away the information for reuse later maybe. The candidates:


I also found the eclipse plugins

Although I can’t test any of them due to the timeouts on the default eclipse plugin repositories… which I need to install some graphical framework all of these seem to require.

Get the 5.2 beta for MySQL workbench it will boost productivity greatly by the simple addition of letting a doubleclick in the diagram select the settings of that table.

Power Architect
Written in Java, so crossplatform :slight_smile:

Don’t let the commercial look of the site put you off, they opensourced it and its released under the GPLv3 license.
Free, but you need to subscribe to the site, unlike MySQL workbench it works with

  • Oracle
  • Postgresql
  • MySQL
  • SyBase
  • DB2
  • SQL Server

So that’s a huge plus, doesn’t look quite as polished as MySQL workbench (some clumsy dialog windows) but seems quite useful. (wonder why it was so hard to find… ended up on their page due to a google ad)

OpenOffice Base can be very usefull. You just need the MySQL extension. Agreed. workbench is better. I still use phpMyAdmin as well to setup simple databases.

Open Source administration and development platform for PostgreSQL: pgadmin

I wouldn’t consider phpmyadmin/pgadmin as ‘designer’ programs. They’re as their name indicates administrator tools.

I find OpenOffice Base… infuriating, so horrible to work with, so **** clicks to get something done.

Power Architect works a bit wonky… got some errorsabout missing jdbc drivers that fixed themselves somehow. Hardly any documentation around so I spend a good hour looking for a reverse engineer button… but the way it works is that you connect postgresql or mysql or whatever, then unfold it in the tree to show the databases, unfold the database, then drag the tablenames to the diagram and it will add everything including datatypes (converting them where needed, mysqls ‘text’ datatype becomes longvarchar)
Relationships between tables are also created along with the constraints.

Looks ugly (like most java apps) but functional.

Linux Pro Magazine had a nice article on MySQL Workbench.

Planning a database with MySQL Workbench and click the link “Read full article as PDF”.

I would recommend MySQL Workbench over Power Architect if you’re working with MySQL… definitely! As it shows in that pdf it looks a lot more polished and just overal is more pleasant to work with.

Things like being able to create triggers and a small population of the database within the program so they can be ‘forward engineered’ are really awesome tools to have.

Power Architect works for more than just MySQL though and I think it has quite a lot of potential, hell I might even see about trying to improve it, it’s written in java, a programming language I’m familiar with. Regrettebly that what I’m using it for most likely will keep me occupied for quite some time to come. (Biggest ‘spare time project’ I’ve undertaken by far… hence the need for an actual decent tool ;))

If anyone knows where to post a suggestion about adding Power Architect to the repositories please do let me know, it should be getting more exposure than it currently is getting.