Reverse-engineering databases

I’m a big fan of the relatively inexpensive Case Studio as an alternative to the big database design tools. Case Studio does a very competent job at reverse engineering databases, modeling, UML, etc.

The reverse engineering just got a whole lot better with the recent InferRI add-in that can infer relationships between tables even when no relationship is defined in the database. It looks at what fields are the primary keys in each table, and then looks for similarly named fields in other tables. This makes reverse-engineering databases a lot easier for database administrators who don’t like to force the database to enforce relationships, or who take over databases that have never been managed by a DBA before. This thing just saved me a couple hours of work.

The only drawback is that the field names have to be identical. If the Customer table has a primary key of CustomerID, and the Orders table has a field called PurchasingCustomerID, CaseStudio won’t infer the join between the two tables.

Pretty damn good for a first version of the add-in, though.

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