Thursday, December 5, 2013

Database diagrams and sqlite on the cheap

Those diagrams that show you your database tables and the links between them through foreign keys are apparently called Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs). I wanted to create one for my sqlite database to keep track of everything but I'm a cheapskate and didn't want to pay anything.

It turns out MySQL WorkBench is great for this. You don't need to register with them to download the program. You don't need a MySQL database running for this. I simply followed these steps:

  1. From the sqlite3 commandline I types .schema which printed the database schema to the console.
  2. I pasted the schema into a file and saved it
  3. I used Import from MySQL Workbench to parse the schema and place it on a diagram. 
The Autolayout feature is pretty good and probably optimizes for visual appeal, but I spent a few minutes changing the layout to  what I think worked logically in my head and also minimized connection overlaps. The translation from sqlite3 to MySQL dialects is smooth.

My only complaint with this tool on Mac is that is pretty unstable and crashes on every whim. Save often.

1 comment:

  1. I highly recommend Vertabelo - Vertabelo is an online database designer working under Chrome and supports SQLite.

    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 include:
    * Model versioning
    * Support for MySQL, PosgreSql, Oracle, MS SQL Server, DB2, SQLite, HSQLDB
    * Dynamic/Visual search
    * Live database model validation
    * Reverse and forward engineering

    Vertabelo is free to use for smaller projects and have commercial versions for larger.