Enterprises of all sizes have masses of data that they need to collect, manage and maintain. Frequently data elements (e.g. customer name, product number, customer account number, etc.) may be duplicated in multiple functional databases orders, billing, manufacturing, inventory, sales management, etc., etc. These databases are likely updated by separate applications some internally developed, some software packages and probably of different technology generations. And the problem gets worse when companies acquire, or are themselves acquired by, other enterprises.
It's difficult to get a consistent, unified view of all the enterprise's data what are the data elements, how are they defined, where are they stored, etc. That's where data modeling comes in. Data modeling is a discipline that looks at all of the various sources and uses of data in the enterprise with a goal of establishing an accurate representation model of the enterprise's information requirements across and between all of its operational processes.
Data modeling professionals use a variety of data modeling software tools to achieve their ends. Tools used in data modeling cover a broad spectrum from very basic "notepad" type tools, through visual data modeling tools, all the way to comprehensive data modeling software tool suites. XML-based products are also frequently viewed as data modeling tools. XML, which was first seen as a data interchange standard, has gradually been adopted by data modeling professionals as a core means of defining their data models.
Software tools for data modeling are available from a number of leading software companies. TechXtend provides professional data modeling tools from companies including CA Technologies, Embarcadero, Quest, and Sybase. In addition we offer complementary software tools that are often used in data modeling. These include products from Altova, Microsoft, and Mindjet.
Data Modeling Tools
Data Modeling Tool software solutions include:
- Dell Toad Data Modeler: Dell Software's Toad® Data Modeler is powerful data modeling and design tool that is built for the individual developer, DBA and data architect, at a cost organizations can afford. In today's economic environment, time and cost savings are front and center. Your budget might not be growing but the need to design quality database structures and provide documentation never goes away. With Toad Data Modeler you can realize greater productivity and greater return on your organization's investment in cross-platform data modeling software in less time than you thought possible.
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- ERwin Data Modeler: Erwin® Data Modeler is a data modeling tool that enables you to create and maintain databases, data warehouses and enterprise data resource models. These models help you visualize data structures so that you can effectively organize, manage and moderate data complexities, database technologies and the deployment environment.
The ERwin data modeling tool is available as a stand-alone product, or as part of the ERwin Modeling Suite. The ERwin Modeling Suite is an integrated set of data modeling software tools that includes the ERwin® Data Modeler, ERwin® Process Modeler, ERwin® Model Manager, ERwin® Model Navigator, ERwin® Data Model Validator, and ERwin® Data Profiler.
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- Sybase Power Designer: The Sybase PowerDesigner suite of data modeling tools enables enterprises to more easily visualize, analyze and manipulate metadata for effective enterprise information architecture. PowerDesigner combines several standard modeling techniques (UML, Business Process Modeling and market-leading Data Modeling) together with leading development platforms, such as .NET, WorkSpace, PowerBuilder, Java and Eclipse, to bring business analysis and formal database design solutions to the enterprise. And it works with more than 60 relational database management systems.
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Complementary Data Modeling Software Tools
Complementary software tools used by data modeling teams include:
- Altova MissionKit: Altova MissionKit is an integrated suite of XML, database, and UML tools designed to meet the diverse development and data management needs of software architects, data modeling professionals and XML developers.
Available in a number of packages for different functional users, MissionKit contains up to 8 tools that are of use to data modeling teams. These include the XMLSpy XML editor, MapForce a graphical data mapping, conversion, and integration tool, the UModel UML database modeling tool, and the DatabaseSpy multi-database query, design, and database comparison tool.
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- Mindjet MindManager: Mindjet's MindManager mind mapping software allows users to create intuitive visual frameworks of complex processes, projects and more. The product's ease-of-use lends itself as a visual data modeling tool that will help data modelers clearly align and organize the properties, interactions and relationships associated with their data models. These models can be organized and presented in a visual context to ensure common understanding and also to stimulate collaboration between members of the modeling team.
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- Microsoft Visio: Microsoft's Visio is widely used by data modeling teams as data modeling and documentation tool. Microsoft offers two data modeling solutions based on Visio technology. The Visio Professional stand-alone diagramming product includes a full range of technical diagramming capabilities that may be used as data modeling tools by developers and data modeling professionals. Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET Enterprise Architect includes all of the solutions in Visio Professional plus tools for full-featured database, software and data modeling.
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