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Raymond McGirt
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My workplace has none of the traditional data modeling tools.  And systems are locked down so that I cannot download even the free demo versions.  It also seems unlikely that any tools will be available anytime soon.  Any ideals on how to develop a presentable data model without the traditional tools?

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Christian Kaul
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There are several online data modeling tools, e.g.

If any of the models created with these tools are presentable depends on your definition of “presentable”.

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(@shubrobose)
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@christian-kaul

Try SQL Power Architect. It is data modeler and profiling tool combined into one, robust and open source.

http://www.bestofbi.com/page/architect

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Raymond McGirt
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@shubrobose I downloaded SQL Power Architect and could not figure out how to install it on my personal computer.  There is an file with install instructions, but it references a file that does not exist.

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Raymond McGirt
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@christian-kaul You're right, "presentable" is subjective.  What I meant by "presentable" is this: Could I show this to my supervisors and other interested parties?  Would I be able to tell a good, quality story about the data using the data model developed with the tool.  Of course, I realize that what I've described is still a bit subjective and depends on the composition of the audience.

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Raymond McGirt
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@christian-kaul I did look into these.  These seem to be exactly what I need.  However, each of the free versions has limits (which is expected).  And, my professional data models have exceeded those limits.  And, I am not inclined to pay out of my pocket for the enhanced features.  But these are options that I may consider if the need is great.

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Christian Kaul
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@raymondmcgirt, glad I could help. 

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(@mwobben)
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Locked down workstations can be troublesome. While not begin able to run installers, some applications come as portable apps to circumvent this privilege issue.

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(@vanderwaltkarelgmail-com)
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Oracle SQL Modeler is free and feature-rich.

You can drop in JDBC driver and talk to MS SQL, PostgreSQL too for the physical model.

Nobody knows more than https://www.thatjeffsmith.com/data-modeling/

--===================

 

 

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Raymond McGirt
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@vanderwaltkarelgmail-com I did download this first to my personal computer and tried it out.  I worked well with a small personal data model.  I then downloaded to my work computer and tried a more complex data model.  It is working well with that one as well.

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(@vanderwaltkarelgmail-com)
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@raymondmcgirt shout if you need help with non-Oracle JDBC setup

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Christian Kaul
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@vanderwaltkarelgmail-com, this brings back memories. 😉 I used SQL Developer Data Modeler a lot back in the day (and still use it sometimes) but didn’t think of it in Raymond’s context.

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bill.coulam
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Looks like Oracle's free SDDM tool may have fixed your problem?
If you really cannot install anything on your company laptop, I was going to suggest Vertebelo as well.

But if you can convince them to let you install something...

At every client and employer I've worked at since '99, ER/Studio has won the evaluation and was selected.
At my current employer there was no budget for that big of a tool. The tool that took second place in our 12-tool eval, was a cheap modeling tool named DbSchema. Erwin took third. Although DbSchema is missing some rather large feature sets that ER/Studio and Erwin offer (like a repository), there are other things it sports that made life so much easier for me and our team, that we have learned to do without the enterprise-grade features. DbSchema connects to pretty much every database known to man, about 10 of them natively. We needed Oracle, Postgres, MongoDB and Snowflake, all of which it does out-of-the-box without paying for extra connectors like ER/Studio. The visual interface is sharp and works the way I think when it comes to submodels. They have been very responsive to issues we have submitted to support, and listen to our opinions. Probably my favorite is not fiddling with relationship lines anymore, when arranging the layout to look pretty. It's fast and looks great. Because it re-adjusts the lines automatically if you move an entity, it does seem to slow down when dealing with a huge schema of tables (400 to 1000 or more) which was freshly reverse-engineered. Once you break that mammoth up into the functionally-related submodels (which they call Layouts), then it seems to work fine again. One of my favorite things is how the model is kept in a single XML file. This has made mass changes and other tasks child's play when the model file is textual instead of binary. Last time I played with Oracle's SDDM, the model was spread out over something like 2,000 XML files for a big schema. That was a show-stopper for me. This single XML file has so many advantages, including the easy diff comparison during pull requests in GitHub. Anyway, we really like it, despite a few little bumps along the way. $63 academic, $127 personal, $197 commercial. Not affiliated in any way. Just fans.

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George McGeachie
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@bill-coulam Just curious - where did PowerDesigner come in your list of 12 tools? 

I've twice been responsible for choosing a data modelling tool. First time, I chose ER/Studio then wished I'd chosen PowerDesigner (we were given two weeks to overturn the decision our system integrator made, which was to use Erwin). Second time, I chose PowerDesigner (which cheered up the logical modeller who was using Erwin), but it wasn't a good enough solution in those days for modelling the XML Schemas (mostly because it was too slow at reverse-engineering the OAGIS schemas).

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