Before implementing a database of any kind, a sound model of the data needs to be developed. This process, known as data modeling, requires an analysis of the things of interest to your organization and how those things are related to each other. The end product of data modeling is, appropriately enough, a data model. It is typically expressed visually using figures that represent entities and lines that represent relationships, with varying levels of underlying detail and documentation. The data model is used as a guide in the design and implementation of a database.
A proper data model cannot be thrown together quickly by novices. What is required is a practiced and formal approach to gathering data requirements and modeling the data, that is, the discovery and identification of entities and data elements. Furthermore, a robust data modeling tool that can be used to capture and convey the information acquired by data modeling is required. A good data modeling tool provides the user with an easy-to-use palette for creating data models, as well as a rich data and metadata storage capability.
And that brings us to Navicat Data Modeler, which just released a new Version 3.0 edition of its product. I wrote about the core capabilities of Navicat Data Modeler here in the blog before, but today I want to discuss the new features in the latest version.
There are three significant new capabilities offered by Navicat Modeler 3.0:
- Database structure synchronization
- Dark mode UI option
- Native Linux support
Database Structure Synchronization
The most significant of these three features is database structure synchronization. This feature can be used to compare a model with an existing database or schema, discover the differences between their structures, and synchronize the structures in model to the target schema.
For example, suppose you make changes to a data model and decide that those changes should be applied to a particular database schema. With database structure synchronization you can discover and capture the changes made in the model and apply them to a targeted schema. This can save a tremendous amount of time and reduce human effort, especially when data models and databases are copied or duplicated across an organization.
Let’s walk through a quick example. The first step is to define the source and the target to be compared. Let’s say we are comparing a modified data model to an actual MySQL database schema. The next step is to choose the options to be used during the synchronization. You can pick and choose which structures and features to compare and what to ignore during the process. Navicat Data Modeler 3.0 provides more than 20 different options, such as compare tables, indexes, triggers, views, referential constraints, and so on.
After choosing the options and running the comparison, the differences between the two chosen schemas are displayed, such as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Database Structure Comparison
You can then select a database object and view a comparison of the DDL as well as a deployment script, as shown in Figure 2.
The DDL tab shows the actual DDL statements to create that object in the source and the target, and the Deployment Script tab shows the detailed SQL statements to actually deploy the changes in the target databases.
Figure 2. Database Synchronization: DDL and Deployment Scripts
You can then view the scripts and choose to actually deploy the changes or go back, make more changes, and run additional synchronizations until things look like you want, and then deploy the changes.
The next significant new feature of Navicat Data Modeler 3.0 is support for dark mode. This capability deploys a data theme as opposed to the typical white background and is ideal for those with eyesight issues that make a white theme glaring and difficult to read. An example of a data model in dark mode is shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Dark Mode
Dark mode can also be useful for working in a dark environment because it produces less light/glare, or just for those who prefer the dark theme over a light one.
The third of the major new capabilities of Navicat Data Modeler 3.0 is Linux support. Simply stated, the product can now run in native Linux with a UI that matches the Linux environment.
Additionally, Data Modeler 3.0 uses an all new engine under the covers. This new mechanism for data modeling is designed to improve the user experience.
Finally, Data Modeler 3.0 works in conjunction with the Navicat Cloud, giving you a central space for your team to collaborate on connection settings, queries and models. Using the Navicat Cloud for your data modeling efforts makes it easier for your team to share crucial metadata and database structure design and implementation details.
The new features and capabilities of Navicat Data Modeler 3.0 can be used to improve your data modeling experience. Take a look at Navicat Data Modeler 3.0 by downloading it here!