Categorized | MySQL

What’s the best ERD tool for the Mac?

Posted on 02 August 2009 by Demian Turner


I spent ages combing the web for a decent ERD tool for the Mac, and for some time resigned to using dbwrench, a java binary the provides decent but limited functionality and is free of charge.

The choice of tools for ERD work is much narrower than what’s available on Linux or the PC, where something like DBDesigner 4 is fantastic and can handle pretty much any job you throw at it.

Then finally I stumbled across SQLEditor and I have to say it’s excellent.  It has a sharp and clean GUI with the attention to detail you’d expect from a first rate Mac app.  However there is a price tag, $79, and after years of being able to depend on high quality apps that are available for free, I have to say paying such a price takes some getting used to.  In this case I think it’s totally worth it and would recommend this tool for any Mac-based software developer.

NB: As phpMyAdmin has collapsed in recent versions, you might also be looking for a decent MySQL client.  Here are some I’ve had a good experience with:

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Drew Preston Says:

    Try have a look at Visual Paradigm for UML Community Edition. It has a section for database modeling that allows for ERD models. The community edition is free. The paid version ranges from $70 all the way up to $1670 (ouch!).

    I’ve seen some plugins for Eclipse but never looked at them myself.

    I’ll have a look at at SQLEditor.

  2. Demian Turner Says:

    Cool, thanks, will check it out.

  3. David Bell Says:

    I would certainly agree with your comments about SQL Editor. It was definitely worth the money!

    If you’re looking for a MySQL client you should take a look at MySQL’s own MySQL Query Browser. It’s a free download from It also comes with a useful admin package called MySQL Administrator which I find is a great way of doing MySQL backups and restores.

    There’s also another package on their site called MySQL Workbench which as far I understand is an ERD tool. It’s Intel only though so I’ve not had a chance to try it out. I’d certainly be interested in any feedback on it!

  4. Baliniz Says:

    I was looking for this software, thanks for the informations ^^

  5. Jamey Davis Says:

    Thanks for the info about SQL Editor. I use Sequel Pro everyday, but I also have a tool from Araelium Group called Querious that I will use from time to time. I particularly like the way it handles indexes and combined foreign keys. It is $29.00 usd, but well worth it.

  6. denis Says:

    I use on mac os x free tool Valentina Studio at the moment. Does everything you need, and does it very well.

  7. Demian Turner Says:

    thanks, Valentina looks very cool

  8. Jarek Says:

    You can use Vertabelo an online database designer working under Chrome.

    The most important feature of this tool is that it allow to share database models across the team and collaborate on them via web browser.

    Others Vertabelo features:
    * Model versioning<
    * Support for PosgreSql, MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL Server, DB2, SQLite, HSQLDB<
    * Dynamic/Visual search
    * Live database model validation
    * Forward engineering
    * Reverse engineering

  9. Basil Says:

    Oracle provides a free-of-cost app, *Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler* for Mac, Linux, & Windows. To quote their page:

    Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free graphical tool that enhances productivity and simplifies data modeling tasks. Using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler users can create, browse and edit, logical, relational, physical, multi-dimensional, and data type models. The Data Modeler provides forward and reverse engineering capabilities and supports collaborative development through integrated source code control. The Data Modeler can be used in both traditional and in Cloud environments.

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