Using sqlDBM - A Web-based Physical Data-Modeling Tool

comments database, physical, datamodel edit

I recently stumbled upon a new tool for modeling database structures - sqlDBM, and I had to share it because its awesome.

I generally always take a “database up” design approach to software development. For me, designing the physical data model really solidifies the forthcoming code.

In the past, I’ve used Toad (or whatever its called), and PowerDesigner (from SAP). Toad never really stuck for me, and PowerDesigner is crazy expensive. I don’t mind paying a few bucks a month for services, or a flat fee for a product - but PowerDesigner is in the thousands. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

With a little searching, the product came right to the top. I hadn’t seen it before (it’s still in Beta, so pretty new), but being web-based, it immediately caught my attention.

I signed up, validated my email address, and off I went. It was that easy.

Now, since sqlDBM is still in beta, I’m not currently paying anything for it - although they currently do have a “donate” option that I will likely use shortly.

I won’t go into the details of “physical database design”, but within the scope of what I’ve used - I’m impressed. I was able to quickly create a model, start adding tables, columns, and constraints - issue a save, and then share it out to other people with an invitation into the application. And, honestly, it looks good, too - even had a “dark” theme (which I totally love). Some of the other features mentioned on the website (that I haven’t yet personally used):

  • Revisions - Every time you save, a new revision is created - allowing you to rollback to a previous version is you mess up :)
  • MySQL Support - I’m using SQL Server, this is another option
  • Subject Areas - Create diagrams in separate “areas” to limit the viewing scope of the model

The level of physical data modeling I do anymore is minimal, but I’ll be keeping sqlDBM in my back pocket anytime the need comes up.

Check it out at!