A while back, I thought I remembered seeing a Mac OS X client for PostgreSQL which had a feature where it would display a graphic schema of whatever database you connect to but I can't seem to find it again (web searching.) I did come across one post which said that this was a planned feature for pgAdmin. I need to do a formal schema of a database which I have in development and it would be nice to have an automated tool, whether it connects to the database or uses SQL table definition code to generate graphics. Is there such a thing? if not, what do you all use? OpenOffice Draw? OmniGraffle?

-Aram

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  • Dmitriy Igrishin at Nov 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm
    Hey Aram,

    I recommend dbWrench by Nizana. It has a nice synchronization capabilities,
    forward / reverse engineering and supports many built-in PostgreSQL types
    and user-defined types as well.
    NB: it is commercial application.

    Another alternative is a MicroOLAP Database Designer.

    The both tools are not require running PostgreSQL server.

    If you wish to work with database directly you may look at tools like
    PostgreSQL Maestro.

    Good luck!

    2010/11/11 Aram Fingal <fingal@multifactorial.com>
    A while back, I thought I remembered seeing a Mac OS X client for
    PostgreSQL which had a feature where it would display a graphic schema of
    whatever database you connect to but I can't seem to find it again (web
    searching.) I did come across one post which said that this was a planned
    feature for pgAdmin. I need to do a formal schema of a database which I
    have in development and it would be nice to have an automated tool, whether
    it connects to the database or uses SQL table definition code to generate
    graphics. Is there such a thing? if not, what do you all use? OpenOffice
    Draw? OmniGraffle?

    -Aram
    --
    Sent via pgsql-general mailing list (pgsql-general@postgresql.org)
    To make changes to your subscription:
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    --
    // Dmitriy.
  • Rob Sargent at Nov 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    On 11/11/2010 09:50 AM, Aram Fingal wrote:
    A while back, I thought I remembered seeing a Mac OS X client for PostgreSQL which had a feature where it would display a graphic schema of whatever database you connect to but I can't seem to find it again (web searching.) I did come across one post which said that this was a planned feature for pgAdmin. I need to do a formal schema of a database which I have in development and it would be nice to have an automated tool, whether it connects to the database or uses SQL table definition code to generate graphics. Is there such a thing? if not, what do you all use? OpenOffice Draw? OmniGraffle?

    -Aram
    DbVisualizer has a free and a commercial release and can do a decent job
    of diagramming a schema. Nothing compared to Embarcadaro, put not as
    pricey either.
  • Guillaume Lelarge at Nov 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Le 11/11/2010 18:58, Rob Sargent a écrit :

    On 11/11/2010 09:50 AM, Aram Fingal wrote:
    A while back, I thought I remembered seeing a Mac OS X client for PostgreSQL which had a feature where it would display a graphic schema of whatever database you connect to but I can't seem to find it again (web searching.) I did come across one post which said that this was a planned feature for pgAdmin. I need to do a formal schema of a database which I have in development and it would be nice to have an automated tool, whether it connects to the database or uses SQL table definition code to generate graphics. Is there such a thing? if not, what do you all use? OpenOffice Draw? OmniGraffle?

    -Aram
    DbVisualizer has a free and a commercial release and can do a decent job
    of diagramming a schema. Nothing compared to Embarcadaro, put not as
    pricey either.
    I actually use DBVisualizer when I need to get a graphical view of an
    existing database.

    BTW, this is a planned feature of pgAdmin. We have an interesting patch
    from a GSoC student (Luis Ochoa), but it still needs (a lot of) work. I
    still hope to include it for the next release.
  • Marc Mamin at Nov 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm
    Hello,

    may schemaspy help you ?
    http://schemaspy.sourceforge.net/sample/relationships.html

    HTH,

    Marc Mamin

    -----Original Message-----
    From: pgsql-general-owner@postgresql.org
    On Behalf Of Aram Fingal
    Sent: Donnerstag, 11. November 2010 17:51
    To: Postgres-General General
    Subject: [GENERAL] Schema tool

    A while back, I thought I remembered seeing a Mac OS X client for
    PostgreSQL which had a feature where it would display a graphic schema
    of whatever database you connect to but I can't seem to find it again
    (web searching.) I did come across one post which said that this was
    a planned feature for pgAdmin. I need to do a formal schema of a
    database which I have in development and it would be nice to have an
    automated tool, whether it connects to the database or uses SQL table
    definition code to generate graphics. Is there such a thing? if not,
    what do you all use? OpenOffice Draw? OmniGraffle?

    -Aram
    --
    Sent via pgsql-general mailing list (pgsql-general@postgresql.org)
    To make changes to your subscription:
    http://www.postgresql.org/mailpref/pgsql-general
  • Jeff Ross at Nov 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    On 11/11/10 12:45, Marc Mamin wrote:
    Hello,

    may schemaspy help you ?
    http://schemaspy.sourceforge.net/sample/relationships.html

    HTH,

    Marc Mamin
    Thanks for this link! I've been looking for something that can run on
    the command line for quite a while, and even better it outputs to html
    and shows me some, um, interesting things in my database that probably
    need addressing.

    Warm regards from snowy Wyoming!

    Jeff Ross
  • Gary Chambers at Nov 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm
    Marc,
    Thank you *VERY* much for suggesting this tool!

    -- Gary Chambers

    /* Nothing fancy and nothing Microsoft! */
  • Aram Fingal at Nov 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm
    Thanks, each of you for all the suggestions on schema generating tools. I haven't had a chance to evaluate them all yet but DBVisualizer looks pretty good. In the meanwhile I found SQL Power Architect, which is also free/open source, and can do this kind of diagraming but is not as good as DBVisualizer for my purposes. It has some other interesting features which would be of interest to someone working in an environment with several different kinds of databases. SchemaSpy looks to be a good option since the description mentions that they had to implement product-specific queries to support views but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Support for views is important to me and DBVisualizer and the other tools I have looked at so far, just display them as disconnected objects.

    I was thinking of reporting back to this forum with advantages/disadvantages of each tool, as I see it, but realized that I was rapidly getting too far off topic for a list focused specifically on PostgreSQL.

    -Aram
  • Thomas Kellerer at Nov 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Aram Fingal wrote on 11.11.2010 22:45:
    I was thinking of reporting back to this forum with
    advantages/disadvantages of each tool, as I see it, but realized that
    I was rapidly getting too far off topic for a list focused
    specifically on PostgreSQL.
    I don't think this woul be off-topic here if you post your experience using those tools together with PostgreSQL

    Actually I think it would be worthwhile documenting your experience in the PostgreSQL Wiki as well:

    http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/Community_Guide_to_PostgreSQL_GUI_Tools

    Regards
    Thomas
  • Tom Lane at Nov 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Thomas Kellerer writes:
    Aram Fingal wrote on 11.11.2010 22:45:
    I was thinking of reporting back to this forum with
    advantages/disadvantages of each tool, as I see it, but realized that
    I was rapidly getting too far off topic for a list focused
    specifically on PostgreSQL.
    I don't think this woul be off-topic here if you post your experience using those tools together with PostgreSQL
    Agreed, that seems well within the list's area of interest. If you told
    us about some tool that couldn't be used with PG, maybe we'd get
    impatient.

    regards, tom lane
  • Dann Corbit at Nov 11, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    -----Original Message-----
    From: pgsql-general-owner@postgresql.org [mailto:pgsql-general-
    owner@postgresql.org] On Behalf Of Marc Mamin
    Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:46 AM
    To: Aram Fingal; Postgres-General General
    Subject: Re: [GENERAL] Schema tool

    Hello,

    may schemaspy help you ?
    http://schemaspy.sourceforge.net/sample/relationships.html
    This thing is also nice:
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/mogwai/
  • Aram Fingal at Nov 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm
    Thanks, each of you for all the suggestions on schema generating tools. The idea is to have something which will connect to the database and automatically make a schema from what you've got. Here's what I have had a chance to evaluate so far...

    DBVisualizer - It does a good job with the default placement of tables and links and some nice features for what to include/exclude from the diagram. The ability to select specific tables is very handy since I have a few tables which I plan to get rid of as soon as I have the data moved to a different database. Also, part of the point of what I'm doing is to support certain other people who will want to write queries. They each have specific interests and don't need all the tables. I will probably make more than one simplified version of the schema, each focused on a specific set of data.

    Drawbacks: It missed one foreign key relationship. I don't know why but that link is missing from the diagram. SQL Power Architect (see below) did see and diagram this relationship. Links get a little jumbled when I move things around a little and then switch back and forth between different kinds of views (hierarchic, organic, orthogonal, etc.) That's not too difficult to fix because all you have to do is drag each table slightly and the links get redrawn in a more optimal way. It doesn't have the turkey foot (or whatever you call it) to indicate a many-to-one relationship. I suppose that's not a big deal since the relationships are pretty obvious in my database, with each foreign key link going to the primary key of another table. One very minor thing is that there are some places where I want to indicate that a foreign key is specified with "on update cascade." I will have to export to graphics and add that note to the diagram.

    The one big thing is that it displays views as disconnected objects. Views are very important for this project and it would be good to indicate where their contents are coming from. I'm not sure how best to diagram that since many of the view columns are taking several columns from various tables and performing a mathematical computation. To understand what is in each column of the view, you need to see both the inputs and the formula.

    SQL Power Architect - also free and open source - This was not actually suggested on this list but some of the suggestions led me to the right key words to do another search and find it. As I understand, the main point of this tool is to transfer data from one database instillation to another. For example, if you want to migrate data from MS SQL Server to PostgreSQL, this is a tool you should look at. Deriving a schema is just one element of this. You connect to the source database and it reverse engineers it for you and shows you the results. You make changes and selections of what you want to move, etc. Then you hit "Forward Engineer" and it moves the data to your target, according to your edited schema. The advantage is that it shows lots of information and looks to be good for figuring out environments with lots of different kinds of databases all over the place. It has more features to change appearance of the diagrams than DbVisualizer does, including colors of the text and the table, itself. It can export to HTML.

    Drawbacks: It does not put the tables in a convenient layout by default. You can't easily exclude objects but you can delete them from the diagram. Links point to any place on the tables and not the specific columns which they refer to/from. You can drag the links around so that they do point to the exact column but this can be frustrating drudge work since each drag moves both ends of the link and you can easily mess up corrections you made earlier. For some reason it didn't detect the correct datatypes for many rows and just put "CLOB" where it should be INTEGER, DATE, etc. SQL Power Architect also displays views as disconnected objects.

    SchemaSpy looks to be a good option since they mention that they had to do some custom work to support views but I'm having trouble getting it to work at this point.

    dbWrench by Nizana looks interesting but it's commercial and I want to see if a free option will work first. I'm not totally against spending money but I have seen situations where free stuff ends up being as good or better than commercial.

    MicroOLAP Database Designer and PostgreSQL Maestro are Windows only, unless I missed something. I do have both WINE and a Windows VM under VirtualBox but I would prefer something Mac native.

    I haven't had a chance to check out Mogwai yet.

    -Aram
  • Aram Fingal at Nov 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    On Nov 11, 2010, at 4:56 PM, Thomas Kellerer wrote:

    Actually I think it would be worthwhile documenting your experience in the PostgreSQL Wiki as well:

    http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/Community_Guide_to_PostgreSQL_GUI_Tools
    Thanks, I will post something there after I have done some more investigation. I notice that some of the ones mentioned here are on there but with only a line or two of description. I'll also see about putting something about PGnJ. That's a free, generic query tool which I have been using with PostgreSQL.


    -Aram

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