DbSchema Database Designer

Top 5 Database Design Tools in 2021

Good database design will significantly decrease maintenance work and minimize the chances of errors in a project.
Finding the right tool for it can be a difficult task, as every project has different requirements.
This article compares 4 of the best database design tools. The comparison has 4 main points in focus:

User interface
How many databases they can support
Data tools


dbschema logo

DbSchema is a visual database design & management tool that can connect to any Relational Database and a bunch of NoSQL and Cloud databases such as MongoDB, Cassandra, Redshift, and more.

User Interface

DbSchema comes with a friendly GUI that enables the users to interact with the diagram.
The schema can be edited with just a few clicks, without having to write complex SQL queries.
The tables can be dragged from the left tree menu to a layout.
The layouts are useful when managing large databases because it allows users to focus on specific parts of the database.
The same table can be found in multiple layouts.

dbschema interface

Work in a team

DbSchema saves the local image of the schema to a local model file. The model file can be shared in a team using GIT. This way of storing the local image of the schema also makes it possible to deploy one schema over multiple databases.
Working with a model file enables the user to edit the schema offline, without database connectivity. After reconnecting, the model file can be compared and synchronized with the database.


DbSchema integrates a set of powerful tools for querying data.

Relational Data Editor enables users to visualize & edit data from multiple tables simultaneously.
Query Builder creates complex queries visually.
Query Editor is a powerful engine for writing simple queries or complex SQL, Groovy, or Java Scripts.

Supported Databases:

DbSchema already comes integrated with most of the databases. Other databases can be connected through JDBC Drivers.
A major plus of DbSchema is that it can reverse engineer and design Mongo DB schemas,


DbSchema offers a 15 days free trial period. After that, you can choose one of the 3 pricing plans:

Academic - 98$ - lifetime license

Personal - 196$ - lifetime license, 1 year free updates. After one year, the users will pay 50$/ year for the latest updates.

Commercial - 294$ - lifetime license, 1 year free updates.. After one year, the users will pay 48$/ year for the latest updates

You can benefit from a volume discount of 15% if you purchase 3 or more DbSchema licenses.


vertabelo logo

Vertabelo is an online database design tool that allows team members to collaborate on a project. Being an online platform, users can share access to team members via email.
Vertabelo offers three different access levels: Owner, Editor, and Viewer.

User Interface:

Vertabelo integrates a clean and straightforward interface. It is easy to switch between models without having to leave the design area.
The tool integrates a quick search and fast navigation menu. These features can be useful when working with large databases.

vertabelo interface

Reverse Engineer:

Vertabelo allows users to reverse engineer the schema from the database. Unfortunately, the reverse engineer tool doesn’t have a graphical interface. To run it, you will have to go on their website and apply a command line from there.
Another downside of the reverse engineer tool is that you have to arrange the tables manually after the upload.


Vertabelo uses models to save the design. The models can be shared in a team as a document with different access levels. The models can be shared outside Vertabelo, using a public link.
They can be cloned to keep track of older versions of your design.
The Vertabelo models are similar to the DbSchema model files.

Supported Databases:

Vertabelo supports only eight mainstream databases: Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, IBM DB2, SQL Server, HyperSQL, Amazon Redshift.


Vertabelo offers a free seven days trial, after which you can choose from three available plans.

Basic plan: 9$/mo up to 5 database models with up to 25 tables per each model.

Premium plan: 29$/mo 20 database models with 100 tables per each model

Team plan: from 79$/mo to 799$/mo, depending on the size of the team. This plan offers unlimited database models and unlimited tables per each model.

3.Toad Database Modeler

toad logo

Toad Data Modeler is a database modeling tool that uses automation, intuitive workflows, and built-in expertise. Toad is a very popular database solution which gathered a big community of users over time.

User Interface

Toad integrates a User Interface that helps users to understand existing databases and table relationships. It can create logical and physical data models.
Toad can automatically map all the attributes of the database in the physical model.

toad interface

Reverse Engineering

It can reverse engineer the schema by connecting to the database.

Models & Synchronization

Toad enables users to convert the logical model to a selected physical model (eg. Oracle, SQL Server, etc.). You can convert a selected physical model to another one, for example, convert an Oracle model to an SQL Server one.
The tool allows synchronization features. Users can compare models to a database and generate migration alter scripts. Also, Toad enables users to update a model directly from the database.


Toad can automate processes like data and schema comparison.

SQL Code Generation

Toad can generate complex database DDL scripts. It can also open generated SQL scripts in an associated application.


It can generate reports in HTML, RTF, or PDF formats.

Supported Databases:

The tool can connect to multiple databases such as Oracle, SAP, MySQL, SQLServer, ProgreSQL and more.


Toad offers a 30 days free trial period. After that, a Toad Data Modeler license can be purchased for 637.45$ with 1-year technical support included.


dbvisualizer logo

DbVisualizer is a tool designed for database management. It integrates many databases and can work on all major operating systems.

User Interface

DbVisualizer integrates an easy-to-use interface. It can be used to browse complex schema and edit data.
The interface allows users to perform various actions like drag & drop, pin tabs, detach tabs in separate windows, and inline edit.

dbvisualizer interface

Server Management

DbVisualizer enables users to manage the database server’s instances, security, and session storage.
Users can also schedule and execute actions for Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.


The tool allows users to compare objects like table data, scripts, or DDL of two tables or procedures.
The comparing interface is clean and easy to understand.

SQL Tools

DbVisualizer has some useful tools:

SQL Commander - a query tool that supports multiple editors and result sets
Query Builder - enables users to create and execute queries visually
Explain Plan - a tool used to analyze how a query will be used in the database. This feature works only with certain databases.

The tool integrates an SQL History tool, in which the user can see the previous queries.

Supported Databases

DbVisualizer comes has integrated many major databases. It can connect to any database using JDBC Drivers.


DbVisualizer offers a free version of their tool. This version lacks important features.
The full version of the tool costs 197$/ license per user, with a 69$ license renewal per user. Depending on the size of your team, DbVisualizer applies discounts for the license. The cheapest is 141$ per user with 50$ license renewal, for a team with +50 members.
The tool also offers a premium support license.


navicat logo

Navicat is one of the most used databases 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.

User Interface

Navicat offers a friendly user interface that can be used to browse schemas and edit data. The diagrams are not interactive.

navicat interface

Reverse Engineering

By connecting to the database, Navicat can reverse engineer the schema.

SQL Tools

Navicat integrates powerful tools:

Query Builder will help you create visual queries;
Diagram Builder will allow you to create ER diagrams;


Navicat offers a complex reporting tool. It can be used to create charts and other visual representations of data.

Comparing Schemas

Navicat enables its users to compare the schema with the database or with other schemas.

Supported databases

Navicat can connect to popular database such as SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and some cloud databases.


Navicat offers its users a subscription plan that can be purchased monthly or yearly:

  • $29.99/ month;
  • $299.99/ year.

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.

Connection Dialog alt >

Simple Connection Dialog

Choose the database location, the user and password, and simply get connected.

Relational Data Explorer alt >

Relational Data Explorer

Explore data from multiple tables simultaneously, using foreign keys or virtual foreign keys.

Query Builder alt >

Query Builder

Create SQL Queries using the mouse.

SQL Query Editor alt >

SQL Query Editor

Edit and execute SQL Queries

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.

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Dark Theme

Configurable styles & dark theme.

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.