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Data Modeling using ERWIN and SQL Server 2000 Expand / Collapse
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 1:26 PM
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I have not used ERWIN because it was out of my budget. The tool I have used for forward engineering (and a little bit of reverse engineering) is an affordable ($135 to 335 per user) alternative that I would recommend to people investigating these tools: Enterprise Architect. It is not dedicated to just database diagramming but the Professional version (which I own) does the database diagrams and SQL DDL work very well for SQL Server. More information can be found at

Post #329929
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 7:32 AM
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I've been using ERwin for perhaps 8 years, now, and it leaves a lot to be desired.  I've been using it less and less as time goes by, especially since SQL Server 2000 introduced the table design editor which works nicely.

Saving preference things (like the object filters) does not appear to work at all.  If there's a way to get default behaviors working the way I'd like every time I start up a new model, I've never found it.

The compare feature is just about useless.  It's certainly the case that you can create a model in ERwin, forward-engineer it out to your database, do a compare and find that the database and the model are "different."  Until recently, I often found it easier to script out databases to flat files and use the "windiff" text comparison utility that comes with Windows than to fiddle with ERwin to see how two databases differed.  Late this summer, I finally bought SQL Compare, which is great at database comparison (I can recommend it) but I shouldn't have had to spend the money because ERwin should have been able to do the job for me.

It doesn't seem to support trusted connections.

If you change things in the model and forward-engineer the changes into the databse, the forward-engineer task usually fails.

In spite of years of use, I've never become comfortable with the user-interface.

Its reporting capabilities are a joke.

The auto-layout feature doesn't even attempt to pack tables into a reasonable amount of screen real-estate.  Objects end up spread across a very wide model.

Post #330119
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006 11:01 PM


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Erwin (3.5) used to be one of my favorite modeling tools.  But alas, support and features tanked when CA bought the tool.  Most of the features are useless in a real development environment. 

I love having a visual diagram, and now just use Visio (Enterprise Architect).  This tool need alot of work also though!

My recommendation, sad to say, is to skip Erwin.  Use Visio and Word, and you will be just as far and at less cost.   

Post #331709
Posted Monday, April 23, 2007 11:25 PM
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The rating of this article is not a justification towards the Author. Rating should be based on the article and not for ERWin.


Kindest Regards,

Amit Lohia
Post #360441
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 8:57 AM
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The article aside, I appreciate the discussion here about various data modeling tools. I've been using ERwin for years. Like others, I have been rather unhappy with ERwin. Even so, ERwin does all the important things that I need it to do. Ultimately it saves me more time than it costs and helps me create better databases. I tried Visio a couple years ago and while it came close to doing everything I needed it to do, it did not have all the features that I used in ERwin. (I don't use database comparison features, so I'm not talking about that. I'm just talking about basic data modeling and forward engineering.)

That being said, I'm still looking for other data modeling tools that will work better than ERwin, especially ones that are cheaper than ERwin. I'm going to check out the three listed by people here. If someone else out there has an additional suggestion or more to add on the current suggestions, please post it!

While not the intention of the author, thanks for writing an article that got people to talk about something that really interests me!
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