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erwin Data Modeler (DM) Pros and Cons

erwin Data Modeler (DM) Pros

SA
Sr. Manager, Data Governance at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
When you're getting down to the database level, where you're building a design and you're creating DDL out of it, or you're going in the other direction where you're reaching into system catalogs and bringing things back, that starts to really require specialization. Visio isn't going to reverse-engineer that for you. Those features in erwin are valuable.
erwin has versioning so you can keep versions, over time, of those models and you can compare any version to any version. If you're looking at a specific database and you want to see what changed over time, that's really useful. You can go back to a different version or connect that to your change-control processes so you can see what was released when.
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DN
Data Modeler at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
We use the Forward and Reverse Engineering tools to help us speed things up and create things that would have to be done otherwise by hand. E.g., getting a database into a data model format or vice versa.
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Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Being able to point it to a database and then pull the metadata is a valuable feature. Another valuable feature is being able to rearrange the model so that we can display it to users. We are able to divide the information into subject areas, and we can divide the data landscape into smaller chunks, which makes it easier to understand. If you had 14 subject areas, 1,000 entities, and 6,000 columns, you can't quite understand it all at once. So, being able to have the same underlying model but only display portions of it at a time is extremely useful.
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Learn what your peers think about erwin Data Modeler (DM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Independent Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees
The generation of DDL saved us having to write the steps by hand. You still had to go in and make some minor modifications to make it deployable to the database system. However, for the data lineage, it is very valuable for tracing our use of data, especially personal confidential data through different systems.
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Architecture Manager at CIGNA Corporation
We find that its ability to generate database code from a model for a wide array of data sources cuts development time. The ability to create one model in your design phase and then have it generate DDL code for Oracle or Teradata, or whichever environment you need is really nice. It's not only nice but it also saves man-hours of time. You would have to take your design and just type in manually. It has to take days off out of the work.
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WP
Sr. Data Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
What has been useful, I have been able to reverse engineer our existing data models to document explicitly referential integrity relationships, primary/foreign keys in the model, and create ERDs that are subject area-based which our clients can use when working with our databases. The reality is that our databases are not explicitly documented in the DDL with primary/foreign key relationships. You can't look at the DDL and explicitly understand the primary/foreign key relationships that exist between our tables, so the referential integrity is not easily understood. erwin has allowed me to explicitly document that and create ERDs. This has made it easier for our clients to consume our databases for their own purposes.
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SJ
Data Modeler at a government with 10,001+ employees
It's a safeguard for me because I'm always concerned that somebody is free handing it and will forget a key coming from the parent. The migrating keys are a great feature. Identifying relationships, non-identifying relationships, and being visually right there to understand the differences are great features. erwin is key to being able to visually understand whatever the customer is requesting. They'll give you words on a paper, but once they can actually view it as a picture, it really comes to life. The data comes to life to where they understand exactly what they're asking for.
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RH
EDW Architect/ Data Modeler at Royal Bank of Canada
The solution’s code generation ensures accurate engineering of data sources, as there is no development time. Code doesn't even have to be reviewed. We have been using this solution for so long and all the code which has been generated is accurate with the requirements. Once we generate the DDLs out of the erwin tools, the development team does a quick review of the script line by line. They will just be running the script on the database and looking into other requirements, such as the index. So, there is less effort from development side to create tables or build a database.
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VP Enterprise Data Architecture at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
The most valuable feature is the physical or visual representation of the database, showing the tables, the columns, the foreign keys, and the ability to generate DDL, so you can physically implement databases.
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SK
Director of BI & Analytics at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
It allows us to create logical data models. We can represent a database model in business terms, which is very useful for us.
It supports a wide variety of databases, including the latest ones. We have chosen to go for a cloud-based database, and it supports that, which is very useful.
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erwin Data Modeler (DM) Cons

SA
Sr. Manager, Data Governance at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
One of the things I've been talking to the erwin team about through the years is that every data model should have the ability to be multi-language... When I was working at Honda, it became very difficult to work with the Japanese teams using just one model. You can have two models, one in English and one in Japanese, but that means you have to keep the updates back and forth, and that always increases the risk of something not being updated.
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DN
Data Modeler at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Complete Compare is set up only to compare properties that are of interest to us, but some of the differences cannot be brought over from one version of the model to another. This is despite the fact that we are clicking to bring objects from one place to another. Therefore, it's hard to tell at times if Complete Compare is working as intended without having to manually go into the details and check everything. If it could be redesigned to a degree where it is easier to use when we bring things over from one site to another and be sure that it's been done correctly, that would be nice to have. We would probably use the tool more often if the Complete Compare were easier to use.
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Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
I still use Visio for conceptual modeling, and that's mainly because it is easier to change things, and you can relax some of the rules. DM's eventual target is a database, which means you actually have to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts, but in a conceptual model, you don't often know what you're working with. So, that's probably a constraint with erwin. They have made it a lot easier, and they've done a lot, but there is probably still room for improvement in terms of the ease of presentation back to the business. I'm comparing it with something like Visio where you can change colors on a box, change the text color and that sort of stuff, and change the lines. Such things are a whole lot easier in Visio, but once you get a theme organized in erwin, you can apply that theme to all of the objects. So, it becomes easier, but you do have to set up that theme.
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Learn what your peers think about erwin Data Modeler (DM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Independent Consultant at a tech consulting company with 1-10 employees
The report generation has room for improvement. I think it was version 8 where you had to use Crystal Reports, and it was so painful that the company I was with just stayed on version 7 until version 9 came out and they restored the data browser. That's better than it was, but it's still a little cumbersome. For example, you run it in erwin, then export it out to Excel, and then you have to do a lot of cosmetic modification. If you discover that you missed a column, then you would have to rerun the whole thing. Sometimes what you would do is just go ahead and fix it in the report, then you have to remember to go back and fix it in the model. Therefore, I think the report generation still could use some work.
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Architecture Manager at CIGNA Corporation
I love the product. I love the ability to get into the code, make it automated, and make it do what I want. I would like to see them put some kind of governance over the ability to make changes to the mart tables with the API, so that instead of just using the modeler's rights to a table -- it has a separate set of rights for API access. That would give us the ability to put governance around API applications. Right now a person with erwin and Excel/VBA has the ability to make changes to models with the API if they also have rights to make changes to the model from erwin. It's a risk.
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WP
Sr. Data Engineer at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
erwin generally fails to successfully reverse engineer our Oracle Databases into erwin data models. The way that they are engineered on our side, the syntax is correct from an Oracle perspective, but it seems to be very difficult for erwin to interpret. What I end up doing is using Oracle Data Modeler to reverse engineer into the Oracle data model, then forward engineer the DDL into an Oracle syntax, and importing that DDL into erwin in order to successfully bring in most of the information from our physical data models. That is a bit of a challenge.
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SJ
Data Modeler at a government with 10,001+ employees
I'd really like to see the PDF function become available. It would make my life much easier than what it is at the moment because whenever I need to collaborate with people that do not have erwin, I have to go through the wonkiness of going to Word and then save it from Word into PDF. There's a lot of differences between erwin 4.4 and 2020.
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RH
EDW Architect/ Data Modeler at Royal Bank of Canada
Some Source official systems give us DDLs to work with and they have contents not required to be part of the DDL before we reverse engineer in the erwin DM. Therefore, we manually make changes to those scripts and edit them, then reverse-engineer within the tool. So, it does take some time to edit these DDL scripts generated by the source operational systems. What I would suggest: It would be helpful if there were a place within the erwin tool to import the file and automatically eliminate all the unnecessary lines of code, and just have the clean code built-in to generate the table/data model.
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VP Enterprise Data Architecture at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
I would like to see more support for working with the big-data world. There are so many new databases evolving and it's very hard for them to keep up with all of the new technologies. It would be good if they were able to dynamically support big-data platforms, other than Hive and Teradata.
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SK
Director of BI & Analytics at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
In terms of improvements, support could have been better in terms of installation, especially of workgroups. We struggled quite a bit to get it up and running. Collaboration could have been better from an installation perspective, but it is trivial as compared to what we use it for. Other than that, I don't have much feedback. It works pretty well, and the fact that we've been using it for more than a decade shows that it is quite solid.
In terms of new features, it would be great to have a cloud base. We should be able to put it on the cloud for better collaboration and data models sharing.
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Learn what your peers think about erwin Data Modeler (DM). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.