DbSchema Database Designer

DbSchema vs Navicat, DbForge

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In this article, we are going to have a quick look at 3 tools for database modeling: Navicat, DbForge & DbSchema. We are going to have an
overview of each tool, go through the main features, strengths & weaknesses for each of them.

First of all, each business has its own requirements from a tool. When it comes to database design & management, each tool has its own strengths
& weaknesses. Some are focused on a more technical approach while others on the visual part. The visual & interactive part of a database
modeling tool is an emerging requirement in the market nowadays. Mostly because it cuts the time spent on writing complex queries.

Tools Overview

DbSchema is a visual database design tool. The users can perform CRUD operations, create foreign keys or edit any object from the database by
interacting with the diagram. It can connect to any SQL, NoSQL or Cloud database with JDBC drivers that automatically download when the
connection is selected. The tool uses model files that make it possible to work on the schema without database connection (offline). The model
file can be shared in a team using GIT or any other versioning system.

dbschema interface

Navicat is one of the most used database modeling tools on the market. It offers many good features and stable integrations with the supported
databases. The tool offers great features for data and structure synchronization. Navicat integrates a good reporting engine and is a great tool for observing data & insights about databases.

navicat interface

DbForge is a data modeling tool for MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL databases. The tool has different licenses for each of the
databases. There is a DbForge for MySQL, DbForge for SQL Server and so on. The interface is explorer-like and pretty straightforward. On the
management side, DbForge can perform data migration, performance analysis, and access controls & permissions. It’s also a good tool for backup
& recovery.

dbforge interface

Features Comparison

The table below provides a comparison based on the keys features of database design.

| Features | DbSchema | DbForge | Navicat |
|:——-: |:——-: |:——-: |:—–: |
| Interface | Clean & intuitive interface with interactive diagrams | Explorer-like interface not very intuitive,
no interactive diagrams | Clean interface,
no interactive diagrams |
| Connectivity | A single tool that can connect to any SQL, NoSQL & Cloud Database | Can connect to popular relational databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MariaDb | Can connect to popular databases like SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Oracle and some cloud databases |
| Ease of Installation
& Connection
| Easy to install & use. Automatically download drivers for any database | Easy to install, straightforward connection wizard | Easy to install, integrated drivers for popular databases |
| Reverse Engineer the Schema | Can reverse engineer the schema & create interactive diagrams. Feature compatible with MongoDb | Can reverse engineer database objects | Can reverse engineer database objects |
| SQL Knowledge | Minimal
Recommended for more complex tasks | Medium
experience with SQL Language is required | Medium
experience with SQL Language is required |
| Solution for editing SQL syntax | SQL Editor with autocompletion. Supports Groovy & Java Scripts | SQL Editor with autocompletion & code snippets | SQL Editor with autocompletion |
| Visual Queries | Yes | Yes | Yes |
| Feature for relational data browsing | Yes
Relational Data Editor | No | No |
| Import Data | Can Import from TXT, XML, Excel (.xls, .xlsx) | Can import data from TXT, XML, Excel, CSV, DBF | Can import data from TXT, XML, Excel, CSV, DBF |
| Schema Comparison | Yes
With the database and with other schemas | Yes | Yes
With the database and with other schemas |
| Data Generator | Can gerenate custom, random or reverse regular expression | Can generate random data | No |
| Reports | Yes | Yes | Yes + Charts |
| Documentation | Can export interactive HTML5 or PDF Documentation | Can export HTML, PDF or Markdown | No |

Strengths & Weaknesses

Tool Strenghts Weaknesses
DbSchema * All in one tool at the best price
* Compatible with all databases
* Very intuitive interface (can interact with diagrams)
* Emerging tool with a growing community
* Feature set still evolving
DbForge * Great database manager
* Good SQL Editor
* Works good with large SQL files
* Only for Windows
* Supports only relational databases
* For some databases the user has to buy different licenses
Navicat * Good import/export options
* Stable report builder
* Good data & structure synchronization
* Expensive license
* Documentation is not complete as there are many versions of the product


DbSchema DbForge Navicat
Starting Price $196, one-time, Personal License $249.95, one-time, per user Subscription $29.99/ month or
$299.99/ year (non-commercial)


There is no tool that can do everything perfect, that’s why db managers and developers should take serious time for research based on their needs.
On one hand, if you want a more visual approach to your database management, with interactive diagrams and seamless Visual Queries, you should go with DbSchema.
On the other hand, if you want a more technical approach and write complex queries manually, you may consider one of the other two modeling tools, DbForge or DbVisualizer.

Visually Manage Databases using DbSchema

DbSchema is a databases client and visual designer. DbSchema has a free Community Edition, which can be downloaded here.
DbSchema main features include:

DbSchema Designer alt >

Interactive Diagrams

Design tables, column and foreign keys directly in diagrams, by double-clicking them. Changes will be saved to the design model and, if DbSchema is connected to the database also into the database. More.

Connection Dialog alt >

Simple Connection Dialog

Choose the database location, the user and password, and simply get connected. Choose 'Edit Manually' into the JDBC URL combo to enter a custom URL. More.

Relational Data Explorer alt >

Relational Data Explorer

Explore data from multiple tables simultaneously, using foreign keys or virtual foreign keys. Double-click cells to edit the data. More.

Query Builder alt >

Query Builder

Create SQL Queries featuring JOINS, GROUP BY, ORDER BY just using the mouse. More.

SQL Query Editor alt >

SQL Query Editor

Edit and execute SQL Queries. The editor is autocompletion-enabled. More.

Schema Synchronization alt >

Design Schema in Team & Schema Deployment

DbSchema is using the design model, a copy of the schema structure, independent of the database.
The design model can be saved to file and shared in a team.
Connecting to another database you may compare the design model with the database, commit the differences or merge them in the design model. More.

Dark Theme alt >

Dark Theme

Configurable styles & dark theme. More.

Many features are available in the free Community edition.
The Pro edition adds capabilities to save the design to the model file, design schema in team and deploy the schema on multiple databases.

DbSchema can be downloaded for free. No registration is required.