Data Modeling Tools
To support our data modeling functions, from conceptual to logical to physical, there are a set of commercially available data modeling tools. Depending on which set of tasks you intend to entrust to the tooling, the more important it may become to have the deeper functionality of the higher end tools. For example, if you are planning to collaborate on models with a broader team, to register repositories of models for production databases, or to maintain master metadata concerning your enterprise databases then you will require a higher end data modeling tool.
For our team the main purpose of the modeling tool is to review data models that capture, manage and communicate conceptual and logical models. We secondarily concern ourselves with the physical model however this is mainly for the purpose of reviewing the initial MVP.
Even so I have always recommended, and continue to recommend erwin Data Modeler as my preferred data modeling tool. In my experience the higher-end features have not compromised the tool’s ease of use or innate ability to communicate. So while there are other tools on the high-end scale (Embarcadero, PowerDesigner, etc.) and a pool of mid-range or entry level tools (Toad, Oracle SQL Dev DM, 3D, Visio, Aqua, etc.) none have proven to be as effective and usable as erwin.