Given the complexity of database management systems (DBMSs), visual documentation is an effective means of promoting communication between technical experts and their clients. With Visio Professional, you can take a snapshot of your database and its code to create a concise and accurate database model diagram—that is, a diagram that models a physical database schema. Visio Professional reverse engineers client/server databases from Microsoft, Oracle, and others, as well as desktop databases such as Microsoft Access, and provides several views of your database schema. Using shapes that represent Relational, IDEF1X, or Crow's Feet notation, you can diagram relational or object-relational databases and easily keep the diagram up to date as modifications are made to the database.
The Database Model Diagram template is the place to start. With it, you can describe all or part of a database schema and even create a model that is independent of its implementation on any particular DBMS. This chapter assumes that you are already familiar with database concepts and architecture and describes the unique database modeling tools that you can use in Visio Professional.