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Modeling tools that support DB2 and forward/reverse engineering

I have been trying to get hold of ERWin for a long time now and have pretty much given up. What would you recommend as a modeling tool that supports forward /reverse engineering (with DB2 support), and where can I get hold of it? What would be the preferred tool, forgetting cost... and what would be the cheapest alternative?

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A lot depends on why you've given up on getting a copy of ERWin.

ERWin still exists, and is currently sold by Computer Associates ( You can purchase it though The Programmer's Shop ( and many other sources.

Although I'm often frustrated by ERWin, I always go back to it. It is the grand-daddy of the current generation of data modeling tools, and has just about every feature known to man. Computer Associates is not my favorite vendor, but they do buy very good products and expose those products to larger markets.

The cheapest alternative that I can recommend is Visio Architect, which is including in Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect (VESA). While this isn't "cheap", it is usually already owned by people that need to do data modeling. If you already own VESA, that makes the modeling tool essentially free.

There are a number of other modeling tools. Sybase PowerDesigner is a good choice. Rational markets a great modeling tool as part of their suite (very expensive, but very good). Oracle also markets a modeling tool, although I've never had good luck with it.

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This was first published in November 2002

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