RISE: an almost perfect ER diagram tool

Every time I start to work on an ER diagramming tool it’s the same story: the tool is quickly replaced by paper and pencil because it’s too expansive or too complex (or rough). So, as time went by, I just gave up of these tools. Basically, all I need is a graphical tool for this kind of job.

So I discovered RISE (developed by a swedish company called RISE to Bloom). It have the basic attributes that, at least for me, make this product a winner:

  • Easy to use: the user interface is really simple. It didn’t take me a lot of time to understand it.
  • Price: it’s free. I’m currently using the free version, which have all the basic functionalities I need. (this version also includes code generators for MySQL, SQLServer, C# and PHP).Warning RISE is not free software, it only have a free version.
  • Easy installation: the software is installed using .NET’s ClickOnce technology (as a Java developer, I just can’t avoid to feel kind of envy of this .NET feature when I remember Webstart…). As a pre-requisite, all you’ll need is .NET 3.5.

Actually, I have only one complaint about RISE: it’s based on .NET 3.5, which means that it will only run on Windows (I know that it’s possible to run it using some virtualization tool like VMWare). This may not be a problem for those which are used to work only with Windows, but unfortunetely, that’s not my case. Most of my work is done on Linux and Mac OS.

So, here is my tip: if you need an ER diagram tool (for the Windows platform) which is easy to use, setup and offer a great cost-benefit, RISE may be the right tool for you.

(actually, it’s unfair to call RISE “an ER diagram tool”, because it is in fact, as RISE to Bloom describes it: “a software suite for Information System Engineering. It’s a tool for model driven system development, packed with features and functions needed to build your information model and to turn it into a complete information management solution.”)

Link: http://www.risetobloome.com/Default.aspx

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