Using the ERD tool v8

New Feature

The ERD Tool is available in PEM 8.1.0 and later.

The Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD) tool is a database design tool that provides a graphical representation of database tables, columns, and inter-relationships. ERD can give sufficient information for the database administrator to follow when developing and maintaining the database. You can access the ERD Tool via the ERD Tool menu option on the Tools menu. The ERD Tool allows you to:

  • Design and visualize the database tables and their relationships.
  • Add notes to the diagram.
  • Auto-align the tables and links for cleaner visualization.
  • Save the diagram and open it later to continue working on it.
  • Generate ready to run SQL from the database design.
  • Generate the database diagram for an existing database.

ERD Tool

You can open multiple copies of the ERD tool in individual tabs simultaneously. To close a copy of the ERD tool, click the X in the upper-right hand corner of the tab bar.

Toolbar

The ERD Tool toolbar uses context-sensitive icons that provide shortcuts to frequently performed tasks. The option is enabled for the highlighted icon and is disabled for the grayed-out icon.

ERD Tool - Toolbar

File options

IconBehaviorShortcut
Open FileClick the Open File icon to load a previously saved diagram.Ctrl + O
SaveClick the Save icon to perform a quick-save of a previously saved diagram, or to save the diagram to a file.Ctrl + S
Save asClick the Save As to open a new browser dialog and specify a new location to save the diagram.Ctrl + Shift + S

Export options

IconBehaviorShortcut
Generate SQLClick the Generate SQL icon to generate the DDL SQL for the diagram and open a query tool with the generated SQL ready for execution.Option + Ctrl + S
Download imageClick the Download image icon to save the ERD diagram in a image format.Option + Ctrl + I

Editing options

IconBehaviorShortcut
Add tableClick this button to add a new table to the diagram. On clicking, this will open a table dialog where you can put the table details.Option/Alt + Ctrl + A
Edit tableClick this button to edit a table on the diagram. On clicking, this will open a table dialog where you can change table details. This will enable when a table is selected.Option/Alt + Ctrl + E
Clone tableClick this button to clone the complete table structure, name it with a auto generated name and put it in the diagram.Option/Alt + Ctrl + C
Drop table/linkYou can drop a table or link using this button. You need to select a table or link and click on this button to drop it.Option/Alt + Ctrl + D

Table relationship options

IconBehaviorShortcut
1MClick this button to open a one-to-many relationship dialog to add a relationship between the two tables. The selected table becomes the referencing table and will have the many endpoint of the link.Option/Alt + Ctrl + O
MMClick this button to open a many-to-many relationship dialog to add a relationship between the two tables. This option will create a new table based on the selected columns for the two relating tables and link them.Option/Alt + Ctrl + M

Utility Options

IconBehaviorShortcut
Add/Edit noteClick this button to make notes on tables nodes while designing the database.Option/Alt + Ctrl + N
Auto alignClick this button to auto align all tables and links to make it look more cleaner.Option/Alt + Ctrl + L
Show detailsClick this button to toggle the column details visibility. It allows you to show few or more column details.Option/Alt + Shift + D

Zoom options

IconBehaviorShortcut
Zoom to fitClick this button to zoom in/out automatically and fit all the tables to the view.Option/Alt + Shift + F
Zoom inClick this button to zoom in the diagram.Option/Alt + Shift + "+"
Zoom outClick this button to zoom out the diagram.Option/Alt + Shift + "-"

Table dialog

ERD Tool - Table Dialog

The table dialog allows you to:

  • Change the table structure details.
  • It can be used edit an existing table or add a new one.
  • Refer Table dialog for information on different fields.

Table node

ERD Tool - Table Node

The table node shows table details in a graphical representation:

  • The top bar has a details toggle button that is used to toggle column details visibility. There is also a note button that is visible only if there is some note added. you can click on this button to quickly change the note.
  • The first row shows the schema name of the table. Eg. public in above image.
  • The second row shows the table name. Eg. users in above image.
  • All other rows below the table name are the columns of the table along with data type. If the column is a primary key then it will have lock key icon eg. id is the primary key in above image. Otherwise, it will have column icon.
  • You can click on the node and drag to move on the canvas.
  • Upon double click on the table node or by clicking the edit button from the toolbar, the table dialog opens where you can change the table details. Refer Table dialog for information on different fields.

ERD Tool - One to Many Dialog

The one to many link dialog allows you to:

  • Add a foregin key relationship between two tables.
  • Local Table is the table that references a table and has the many end point.
  • Local Column is the column that references.
  • Referenced Table is the table that is being referred and has the one end point.
  • Referenced Column is the column that is being referred.

ERD Tool - Many to Many Dialog

The many to many link dialog allows you to:

  • Add a many to many relationship between two tables.
  • It creates a relationship tables having columns derived from the two tables and link them to the tables.
  • Left Table is the first table that is to be linked. It will receive the one endpoint of the link with the new relation table.
  • Left Column is the column of the first table, that will always be a primary key.
  • Right Table is the second table that is to be linked. It will receive the one endpoint of the link with the new relation table.
  • Right Column is the column of the second table, that will always be a primary key.

ERD Tool - Table Link

The table link shows relationship between tables:

  • The single line endpoint of the link shows the column that is being referred.
  • The three line endpoint of the link shows the column that refers.
  • If one of the columns that is being referred or that refers is removed from the table then the link will get dropped.
  • You can click on the link and drag to move on the canvas.

Table notes

ERD Tool - Table Notes

  • You can use the notes popup to mark some notes while designing the database.
  • You open the pop-up using the toolbar note button.
  • If some note is added to a table then it will have notes button on the table node. You can click on the button to check/update notes.