Saturday, February 18, 2012

Toad Data Modeler



This is part of continuing set of reviews / opinion pieces about the state of data modeling tools that began over 
here.

Background

Toad is legendary for it's Oracle database management software. When I started at my current job I was asked to evaluate their SQL Server tooling. My evaluation was that the SQL Server tools were not fully baked and that Toad Data Modeler treated non-Oracle DBMS platforms as second class citizens. That was 4 years ago, Quest has put a lot of resources into the Toad family since then, lets see if Toad Data Modeler (TDM) has improved.


Stability

I used it for a few days to make my evaluation. The system only supports 25 entities in trial mode so I had to limited my model pretty severely. I didn't realize that I hit the limit until I was using it for a while, and it crashed. As soon as I hit the limit, the app stopped saving and hours got lost. 


Later on I used the application for a few hours and it crashed again. Luckily, because the model was kept small I was able to use my last save.


Price
Toad Data Modeler: ~$450



Features
Common Checklist

  • Logic Modeling: Yes
  • Physical Modeling: Yes
  • Reverse Engineering: Yes 
  • Forward Engineering: Yes
    • Does not compare against the live DB, only against previous models. 
  • Sub Models: Yes

The UI is reasonably responsive. 


Reversing the DB works ok but the arrangement leaves a lot to be desired.

The model compare and forward engineering works ok, but not great. Not being able to compare against a live DB leads to issues.


Conclusion

Toad Data Modeler is not stable. I can't stress the value of stability in tool selection. I really didn't enjoy using the tool and cannot recommend it.

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