15 Examples Of Useful Open Source Data Modelling Tools

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Data modelling is an important component of database and software design because it allows designers and programmers to define how different parts of a programme interact. Many tools are available for creating data modelling diagrams. If you work with databases, web applications, workflow diagrams or other visual aids, knowing more about open source or free data modelling tools can help you find the right tool to support your workflow. In this article, we explain what data modelling is and list 15 open-source and free data modelling tools.

What are open source data modelling tools?

Open source data modelling tools help you store data efficiently and for free. To make decisions, businesses require accurate and dependable data. Even a minor inaccuracy can cause data to become unreliable, making it unfit for decision-making. Processing inaccurate information can result in losses for business enterprises. A data modelling tool can produce a data model that can store information in a database. These programmes can design a database using diagrams, allowing you to get the specific structure you require.

Related: Top 20 Big Data Tools: Big Data And Types Of Big Data Jobs

What is data modelling?

Data modelling is a visual representation of information that uses diagrams and other tools. While software engineers and IT professionals primarily use data modelling tools to design databases and other structures, one can also use them to depict business workflows, chemical processes and supply chain logistics procedures. Different data structures have their own set of symbols and visual features, which help to standardise the appearance of diagrams. Activity diagrams that use the Unified Modelling Language or UML, for example, employ specific notations to describe activities, decisions and other diagram components.

Related: What Is A Data Modeller And What Do They Do?

15 Popular open source data modelling tools

Users can access open source data modelling tools for free. Many of these tools have dedicated databases and other technological construct templates. Some tools are truly open-source, meaning developers can modify the source code and distribute a finished output. Others are free versions of proprietary software that may contain fewer features than premium versions. Here is a list of 17 free and open-source modelling tools:

1. Lucidchart

Lucidchart is a free online data modelling tool by Lucid. Professionals can use this tool to develop business process diagrams, user journey maps, database and cloud structure plans and other model-based visual aids. Lucidchart is an online tool that lets you access data and download completed projects from anywhere with just an internet connection. Apart from the free version, Lucid also offers many premium service tiers, each with its own set of unique features.

2. Sonadier

Sonadier is a proprietary data modelling tool that uses a drag-and-drop mechanism to allow users to design apps. There is a free version of this software available on the internet, along with multiple paid tiers. The free version supports up to five individual users, making it ideal for managing small databases or app development teams. Sonadier employs forms, which the computer converts into interactive databases based on information that a user provides.

3. Dia

Dia is an open-source modelling programme that allows users to create and edit diagrams. This application has a variety of data modelling templates, including relational database, SDL and UML models. Database designers can use this application to build entity-relationship model diagrams, which can aid in the design of systems and programming of database functions.

4. Diagrams.net

Diagrams.net, originally known as draw.io, is an open-source platform for creating diagramming apps. This tool is browser-based, interfaces with a variety of platforms and belongs to the parent organisation JGraph Ltd. The tool comes in two versions:

  • A browser version that allows users to generate diagrams from anywhere.

  • A desktop application that provides additional data security.

Diagrams.net offers a number of templates, including entity relations and UML model shapes.

5. DynoBird Free

Web developers and IT professionals can use DynoBird Free, a free version of a proprietary data modelling application. The program's free version allows only two participants and a restricted amount of projects, making it ideal for smaller groups or beginners. There are three premium tiers to choose from, each with its own set of features and templates.

6. DBDesigner

DBDesigner is a data modelling application that comes with a free basic version and multiple service plans. This version includes all programme functionality for two database models with a total of ten or fewer tables. It can be appropriate for two or three-person IT departments or software engineering teams. If you want to complete more projects or access more models, you can upgrade to a paid service tier.

7. ArgoUML

ArgoUML is an open-source application that uses the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to create diagrams. Users can generate flowcharts, databases, application models and other visual aids within the application. From diagrams and other inputs, the application can produce and reverse-engineer code. It also supports a wide range of coding languages and optimises the diagramming process using cognitive psychology.

8. Umbrello UML Modeler

Umbrello UML Modeler is a free, open-source tool for modelling data in UML. Professionals typically create class diagrams, action diagrams, workflows and database models using this free software. Users can import code from a variety of sources and the programme offers code generation features. The programme's guide contains information about UML modelling and how to use it.

9. Apache Spark

Apache Spark is an open-source data processing system that focuses on huge data sets. While this application necessitates a high level of programming, data modelling and analytical skills, it has numerous functionalities and is an excellent choice for experienced programming teams. It enables programmers to access real-time analytical and produce graphs for large volumes of data.

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10. Valentina Studio Free

Valentina Studio Free is the open-source version of Valentina Studio, a proprietary data modelling application. Users can make use of this tool to create and manage databases. While commercial editions of Valentina Studio offer more features, the free version offers basic functionality and allows users to import data from a variety of sources.

11. Software Ideas Modeler

Software Ideas Modeler is a free version of a commercial diagramming programme. The software comes with a number of templates for modelling workflows, algorithms, domains, databases and applications. It has over 20 different types of flowchart nodes that users may utilise to create custom charts and diagrams, and design elements for adding to the appeal of visualisations.

12. Archi

Archi is an open-source programme that uses the ArchiMate modelling language to create diagrams. Enterprise architects use this notation style to describe the structure of a business or an organisation. Users can utilise the templates in this tool to make their own organisational diagrams and flowcharts.

13. Gleek Free

Gleek is a proprietary diagramming programme with multiple tiers of service, each with a unique set of features. The free version of the software has the same features as the commercial versions, but it only supports a small number of users and has restricted export choices, making it ideal for beginners or small teams. This package includes a variety of design templates for processes, diagrams and databases.

14. EdrawMax's Database Model Diagram

Database Model Diagram by EdrawMax is one of the fastest free and open-source tools for creating database model diagrams. It comes with a variety of rich, tidy and pre-made shapes that make finishing tasks simple. The tool is user-friendly because it employs a drag-and-drop feature. You can redesign shapes in this diagram since they are vector-based. The modelling software has a number of complex and automated features that make customisation simple. For professionals that want more utility, there are several commercial packages available with this free tool.

15. Visual Paradigm

This tool can export a database from Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs). For design purposes, new users can rely on the REST API. If you get stuck, you may rely on the smart wizard, which walks you through the process of creating a database step-by-step. The collaboration function of this data modelling tool is one of its highlights since it allows multiple team members to collaborate on a project at the same time. You can create reports with Visual Paradigm and unlike several other applications, it works on nearly all operating systems including Linux, macOS and Windows.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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