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ER Diagram Tools

Last updated on January, 17

Create a seamless structure for your systems and organizations. An ER Diagram tool allows you to organize your company, system, or database in a clear graphical representation. Learn more and try one today!

ER Diagram Tools illustration

20 services ranked

Our ranking methodology

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1

DeZign for Databases logo

DeZign for Databases

4.95

2 reviews

Custom

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PDF, HTML

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2

Cacoo logo

Cacoo

4.67

150 reviews

price starts:

$ 5.00

per month, $60.00 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 5.00

per month, $60.00 billed annually

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PDF

#

3

Gleek.io logo

Gleek.io

4.33

14 reviews

price starts:

$ 9.95

per month, $119.40 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 9.95

per month, $119.40 billed annually

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PNG, SVG, PDF

#

4

Edrawsoftds logo

Edrawsoftds

4.28

200 reviews

price starts:

$ 4.92

per month, $59.00 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 4.92

per month, $59.00 billed annually

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

Word, Excel, HTML, SVG

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5

ConceptDraw logo

ConceptDraw

4.22

50 reviews

Custom

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PNG, JPEG

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6

dbdiagram.io logo

dbdiagram.io

4.19

16 reviews

price starts:

$ 9.00

per month, $108.00 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 9.00

per month, $108.00 billed annually

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PDF

#

7

Dataedo logo

Dataedo

4.08

45 reviews

price starts:

$ 49.00

per month, $588.00 billed annually

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 49.00

per month, $588.00 billed annually

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

Excel, PDF

#

8

Moon Modeler logo

Moon Modeler

4.06

1 review

price starts:

$ 79.00

One-time payment

Visit Website

price starts:

$ 79.00

One-time payment

Editable Documents

Unlimited

Professional Templates

Drag and Drop Interface

Organization Charts

Export Options

PDF

You’re seeing 8 of 20 ER Diagram Tools

Frequently Asked Questions on ER Diagram Tools

What is an ER diagram tool?

Want someone to understand how a system works? Perhaps you need an ER diagram tool. ER Diagram stands for Entity Relationship Diagram, and it helps explain the logical structure of databases. You will find many ER diagram tools online that use various symbols to represent entities, relationships, and attributes.

Why do you need an ER diagram tool?

An ER diagram tool allows you to illustrate how people, objects, or concepts relate to each other within a system. The purpose of ER diagram tools is to design or fix problems in relational databases in business, software engineering, education, and many more. Listed below are some benefits of an ER diagram tool to understand complicated entity frameworks immediately.

Visualize Your Data

Accurately depict the flow of data and the workings of a system. Online ER diagram tools allow you to build a roadmap to data elements and make them easier to comprehend. Complicated or abstract relationships between entities can be arranged using shapes, colors, and arrows to not look too complicated.

Build Understanding

When using an ER diagram tool, you have to define entities, attributes, and relationships. By breaking down database structures with these three elements through an ER diagram tool online, anyone can understand it easily—no need to read lengthy explanations of concepts. An ER diagram helps you comprehend the information presented quickly and efficiently.

Spot Problems Quickly

With a visual representation of database structures, you can easily spot holes in relationships or find any missing entities or attributes. Any redundant or unnecessary processes can be rooted out. As you discover issues more promptly, you will also create solutions quickly to address them.

Communicate to Users

An ER diagram tool allows you to let information and communication flow freely and effectively. Users of the information can easily appreciate the data model. If you work with a team, they can clearly understand the logical structure of the database. Once your team understands what they are working with, it becomes easier to create applications or strategies related to it.

Have a Blueprint for Projects

Database designers can use ER diagrams as a guide to implementing data when building programs or applications. Businesses can efficiently re-engineer production or sales processes. Once you have a proper understanding of the logical relationships among the available data, it becomes easier to create solutions or projects to enhance the existing system.

Integrate With Other Data

If you have other data in a similar format, an ER diagram tool can help you compare models of structures cross-platform. Even when information is linked to different tables, users can easily understand the relationships between the tables. You can also seamlessly import data in other files and still have a consistent entity relationship diagram.

Customize to Your Needs

Edit your diagrams to depict what you exactly need. There are many free ER diagram tools and even open-source ER diagram tools that let you do basic charts or diagrams. For a higher level of customization, paid packages offer advanced features such as professional templates or advanced integrations.

What are the core features of an ER diagram tool?

ER diagram tools help you conceptualize your database design before you even build it. You can simplify complicated systems or database structures. When choosing the best ER diagram tool, it is crucial to consider these essential features:

Multiple Templates

Using a template can save you valuable time because all you need to do is edit the information. Even without design skills, you can create a beautiful and understandable entity relationship diagram. Your diagrams can look professionally made with minimal effort and time commitment on your part.

Easy-To-Use Diagram Tool

Some free open source ER diagram tools may not be intuitive to use and require more technical expertise. Many ER diagram tools have drag-and-drop functionality. With this feature, you can smoothly create your entity relationship diagram. Pre-made symbols and shapes can easily be inserted and automatically adjusted to be aligned and orderly.

Layout Aids and Legends

If you are not familiar with the standard symbols used when creating entity-relationship diagrams, layout aids, and legend panes may help. You can check the descriptions in the legends to know the series in which elements are applied. This way, users who are already familiar with ER diagrams can also easily understand your work.

Intelligent Formating

When you add or remove a shape, your entity relationship diagram tool can align and arrange so that your diagram looks orderly. It would be a hassle if some elements got overlapped. This feature ensures that everything is visible and formatted in a way that you and other users can easily understand.

Database Structure Import

If you have an existing data schema, you can import these into your current project. Integrate different data sets seamlessly. ER diagram tools can automatically generate connections to structure your database tables. This will save the time and frustration of having to adjust to any changes to your existing data.

Various Export Options

Export your entity-relationship diagram in whatever format you need. This feature ensures compatibility with whatever database management system you will use your diagram in. If you need your entity-relationship diagram to be in image or PDF files, you save it like that too. In case you want to print your diagram, the entity diagram tool can prepare your file for printing.

Team Collaboration

From sketching out concepts to brainstorming strategies, your team can collaborate visually. Use the online ER diagram tool to share your ideas freely and work on the model together. You can add comments to precise locations on the visuals and have discussions to improve them. Your team can work on the same document simultaneously from anywhere in the world.

Diagram Revision

When collaborating with a team on an entity-relationship diagram, it’s essential to know who’s responsible for what. Many ER diagram tools have a built-in revision tracking support that allows you to see a diagram’s history. This is very helpful for transparency and accountability. You can also revert the diagram to a previous version if needed.

Device Compatibility

Create an entity-relationship diagram on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Even if you’re on the go, you can view and edit your diagram. Enjoy the full set of features and symbols to create high-quality output. You can focus more on actually doing your project rather than spending time struggling to make a diagram.

Reliable Support

View or download online resources, community forums, blogs, and FAQ pages to get an overview of the basic ER diagram tools for free. If you still have concerns about procedures, database triggers, or other problems, you can request help from the support center. A dedicated team of technical experts is available to address any questions you may have.

Dependable Security

Work with the assurance that your data is stored and protected by high levels of security. Many ER diagram tools also offer two-factor authentication, SSL certificates, and comply with PCI and GDPR standards. You don’t have to worry about your diagrams being leaked or tampered with.

Cost-Efficient Pricing Plans

You will find many free ER diagram tools online. However, if you want to fully utilize all the diagramming features, paid plans have affordable and budget-friendly packages. Advanced integrations and powerful formatting don’t have to come at such a high cost. You can choose among many inexpensive options to find the plan that suits you.

What are the types of ER diagram tool?

There are different types of ER diagram tools you can choose from depending on your preference and needs. Different types of tools can help you create an ER diagram of your existing database and visualize its structure. Once you find the right ER diagram tools, it will be easier to understand and communicate your data.

Pen and Paper or Drawing Apps

Using a pen and paper to create entity relationship diagrams is the most basic type. You probably already have it, and you can do it immediately. Of course, if you have a drawing app on your tablet, you can use a stylus or your finger to create simple entity-relationship diagrams.

Generic Diagramming Tools

Create easy-to-understand visuals easily with generic diagramming tools. Freely import any database structure and this ER diagram tool will generate your diagram automatically. It will immediately produce graphical representations of relationship structure among the entities. Of course, you can still edit and customize it if you have any changes.

Cloud Database Design & Modeling Tools

With the rise of digital technology, data modeling tools have also moved to the cloud. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can create a diagram easily. This type of ER diagram tool usually doesn’t require any downloads since it uses web-based services.

Database Documentation Tool

A database documentation tool acts as a catalog that captures all the necessary information in a tabular format. When using this type of tool, you will need other assets, such as a data dictionary, which is a list of tables and columns. A data dictionary contains descriptions that provide details about the table schema.

Who needs ER diagram tools?

Data Analysts

The entity-relationship diagram is a highly accepted standard in the data analysis world. With ER diagramming tools, you can clearly describe how data entities relate to each other. You can also show the minimum and maximum cardinalities they exhibit. Understand logical relationships between entities and draw insights from them.

Program Developers

Programmers often have to deal with large databases. No matter what coding language you use, there is always a vast amount of information that needs to be stored and organized. By using ER diagramming tools, programmers can better grasp the big picture of what they are working with. This keeps the database understandable for other programmers working with you.

Database Administrators

Having a well-developed entity relationship diagram for your database will make it easier for database administrators to follow the structure. Database administrators develop and maintain the database, so naturally, it helps if they fully understand what they are working with.

Business Owners

ER diagram tools are very popular in the business world because it helps define a clear relationship between the entities and attributes involved. Organize and document your project for easy communication. You can present your business data analysis to your stakeholders by using a diagram template they can easily follow.

Auditors

Auditors review the accounts of companies and organizations to ensure the accuracy of their financial information. When auditing, understanding the business entity is needed. By using an ER diagram tool, you can understand the business processes better. This will make it easier to obtain audit evidence or find any weaknesses in the internal control system.

Teachers

For teachers, especially those who teach computer programming or software development classes, ER diagram tools are handy. They can help facilitate their students’ understanding by making use of visual representations of database structures. Students can also learn to use these tools to create their structural diagrams.

Scientists and Researchers

Entity-relationship diagram tools are also commonly used in the field of research and science. It helps visualize any complicated process or system that the researchers are trying to understand. Diagrams provide a simplified representation that can be very useful for scientific discovery or problem-solving.

What are the steps in using ER diagram tools?

Step 1: Know what type of ER diagram tool you need.

The first step is to know the features you need in using your entity relationship diagram. If you collaborate with a team, choose ER diagram tools that allow users to edit freely and don't require downloads. In case you have existing files, make sure that the ER diagram tool you will use supports the formats you need.

Step 2: Choose an ER diagram tool provider.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can avail yourself of a free trial of the online ER diagram tool you’ve chosen. Check the pricing and packages if you want to utilize the full features. If you plan to collaborate with a team, inquire about the number of files you can create, users you can add, and available integrations.

Step 3: Determine the entities.

Open your ER diagram tool after you’ve purchased a plan. You can use a template, or you can create your diagram from scratch. The three basic elements of an entity-relationship diagram are the entities, attributes, and relationships. Entities can be a person, place, object, or event that is relevant to your system. Typically, you use rectangles to represent entities.

Step 4: Identify relationships.

Relationships identify how entities interact. In ER diagram tools, these are usually verbs such as “buys” or “contains.” For example, if you have a “Customer” entity, you could relate it to another entity, “Seller,” with the relationship “buys from.” Usually, relationships are represented by diamond shapes.

Step 5: Add attributes.

Attributes are properties, traits, or characteristics of entities, relationships, or another attribute. For example, the Inventory Name is an attribute of the entity Inventory Item. You can put as many attributes as necessary. This refines what information is vital to the model. Oval shapes usually represent attributes.

Step 6: Connect and arrange the elements.

Organize the entities, relationships, and attributes you’ve created. Use effective colors and fonts that would make your diagram easier to understand. Be precise when moving around the elements, and make sure that there are no redundant relationships. Lastly, make sure to save any changes to your diagram so it will not be lost.

What is Chen’s ERD notation style?

Most ER diagram tools have tutorials or templates that you can follow if you don't know the common symbols. Chen's ERD notation style is still used and considered to be a detailed way to present entities and relationships. Entities are represented by rectangles, attributes are represented by ovals, and relationships are represented by diamonds.

What is the Crow’s foot notation?

The Crow’s foot notation, also known as the Information Engineering style, is also a popular data model. Entities are represented as boxes, and relationships are the lines in between the boxes. The different shapes at the end of these lines represent the cardinality of the relationships.

What is conceptual data model?

ER models and data models are typically drawn at up to three levels of detail. The highest-level view is the conceptual data model and contains the least detail. It only shows the overall structure of the model. Only the system architecture is portrayed and does not have a lot of descriptions.

What is logical data model?

The logical data model is an extension of the conceptual data model and contains more details. This type of model has all the elements used in the actual implementation of the model. It is usually independent of the technology in which it will be implemented.

What is physical data model?

A physical data model involves all the required properties for the physical implementation of the database. More than one physical model may be derived from a logical model. Physical models must show enough technical detail to be implemented.

What are the limitations of ER diagrams and models?

With ER diagrams, you can only work with relational data. Freely showing you the relationship between data is what ER diagram tools do best. However, if you are working with unstructured data, these tools may not be useful for you. Only some data may be helpful.

What are the different types of entities?

An entity is a group of definable things. There are two categories of entities, namely the weak and strong entities. A strong entity can be defined solely by its own attributes and always has a primary key. Weak entities do not really have enough entities to have a primary key.

What are the different types of entity keys?

Entity keys are attributes that define entities in an entity set. A super key is a set of attributes that define an entity in an entity set together. Candidate keys have the least possible attributes to be a super key. A primary key is used to identify the set uniquely. Lastly, a foreign key identifies the relationships between entities.

What is a surrogate key?

A surrogate key does not have any contextual meaning. It is an artificial key used mainly for data analysis. It may be a substitute for natural keys and is useful when creating queries. Surrogate keys can be used to identify records and good performance uniquely.

What are the different types of attributes?

Attributes are single-valued properties of either an entity-type or a relationship type. These are classified into simple, composite, derived, or multivalued. Simple attributes mean that the attributive value can no longer be divided further. On the other hand, you can break down a composite attribute to form sub-attributes. Derived attributes are calculated from other attributes present in the database, such as a birth date. It is typically not included in the physical database. Lastly, multivalued attributes can have more than one attribute, such as multiple phone numbers for a person.

What is cardinality?

Cardinality refers to the maximum number of times an instance in one entity can relate to another entity’s cases. The four main cardinalities are one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many relationships. When viewing cardinalities, it can be shown as same-side or look-across, depending on the symbols.

What are nulls?

A null is a special symbol that is independent of a data type. This does not mean zero. Instead, it means that it is either unknown or not applicable. This is not permitted in primary keys and should be avoided in other attributes. Having nulls can create logical problems when linking relational databases.

What are some tips when using ER diagram tools to create entity relationship diagrams?

Depending on the level needed, show a conceptual, logical, or physical model. Make sure that there are no redundant relationships. If you encounter problems, look for holes in the relationships or find any missing entities or attributes. All entities and relationships should be appropriately labeled. When creating an ER diagram, there are various valid approaches. As long as it shows the necessary information you need, then it’s good. Ensure that the ER diagram tool you are using supports all the data you need to store. If it helps you achieve your goal, you can translate relational databases and ER diagrams back and forth.

Why are the relationships between the entities not showing up?

When importing ERDs, if lines are not showing between your entities, a common occurrence is that your data file does not contain relationships. Ensure that the cells at the end of each row have the right information about the relationships between entities.

What is the difference between ER and EER diagrams?

The ER diagram is a visual representation of data that describes how entities are related to each other in a database. An EER diagram, or an Enhanced Entity Relationship diagram, is an extension of that original entity-relationship model. The EER diagram adds three more concepts, namely, generalization, specialization, and aggregation.

How can I access the source code for ER diagram tools?

Some open-source ER diagram tools provide the link to their code files on their website. From there, you can view the ER diagram tools’ source codes to find and report any issues. If you are a skilled developer, you may also propose some new features, which the site’s developers can add.

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