Navicat vs DbForge, DbSchema

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
experience with SQL Language is required
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.

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