TitleBodyTechnical Expertise RequiredCostAdditional Information
DBDesigner 4

DBDesigner 4 is an open source visual data design application that includes functionality for database design and data modeling. It is primarily designed for use with the Open Source database platform MySQL. It includes specific functionality for database and data design including documentation, Structured Query Language (SQL), and reverse database engineering for any ODBC-compatible database. For the MySQL database platform DBDesigner has largely been succeeded by MySQL Workbench which is an integrated development environment (IDE) .

No programmingFree
Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect is a modeling, visualization, and design platform. It can be used in software design, data modeling, and database design and is useful for creating and analyzing UML diagrams. It has a built-in data modeling profile that extends UML to provide a mapping from the database concepts of tables and relationships onto the UML concepts of classes and associations. Enterprise Architect supports modeling of database schema for many popular relational database management systems (RDBMS). It can be used to capture and trace formal requirements for designing, building, and deploying software and databases. Enterprise Architect also supports generation and reverse engineering of source code for a variety of programming languages. It has a built-in source code editor that lets you navigate from a visual model to source code in the same interface.

No programmingCost-basis

CA ERwin Data Modeler (or ERwin for short) is a data modeling and database design tool that is used to create conceptual, logical, and physical data models. ERwin can create the actual database from the physical model, and create different physical implementations from a single logical model. ERwin can also reverse-engineer existing databases into a data model diagram. ERwin works with many database management systems (DBMS). Outputs from the tool include entity-relationship (ER) diagrams and standard or custom reports on all objects in the design (tables, fields, relationships).

While users are charged for the full version of ERwin, there is a free "Community Edition" available for students and others new to modeling to try the functionality of the software on a small dataset. The Community Edition has a limit on the number of objects (25) that can be created in the data model.

No programmingCost-basis
ESRI ArcGIS ModelBuilder

ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop software contains ModelBuilder, which is a work flow tool that enables the creation and execution of consistent, repeatable models that are comprised of one or more processing steps. ModelBuilder can be used to ensure the integrity of a particular model or set of analytical processes through modeling, storing, and publishing complex operations and workflows. ModelBuilder workflows can be created and executed on both the desktop and over the web. Within ModelBuilder, a model consists of processes and the connections between them. Parameters can be defined that will be filled into a pop-up form at runtime. Most of the geoprocessing tools available within ArcGIS can be used as processes within ModelBuilder as part of a workflow. Model workflows can also be rerun with different data or inputs for evaluating scenarios. ModelBuilder is included in all license levels of ArcGIS Desktop. Models created can also be exported as scripts in Python and other programming languages.

Basic programming skillsCost-basis

ModelBuilder is a part of the ArcGIS software package. You must have an ArcGIS license to use ModelBuilder.

Forest Sector Carbon Calculator

The Forest Sector Carbon Calculator is a tool to help users learn about how carbon stores in the forest change over time.

The Forest Sector Carbon Calculator integrates a number of kinds of software to gather information from users, process, and then output results. The foundation for the Calculator is a model called LANDCARB that is designed to simulate the dynamics of living and dead pools of carbon in forest stands and landscapes. It also includes a submodel that estimates how harvested carbon is manufactured into forest products, as well as how these are used, and disposed.

This web interface allows users to control scenarios by selecting different regions, integrating past histories of disturbance and management, and choosing alternative futures. Calculations can be done for a single stand or for an entire landscape. Reports and time trend graphs on stores in the forest, in wood products (including bioenergy), and disposal can be generated.

No programmingFree
GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System)

GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is an Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) that support 2d and 3d raster (gridded) and vector (point/line/polygon) data processing, analysis, and modeling capabilities. Through its use of several Open Source geospatial libraries (GDAL, OGR, PROJ4) GRASS supports dozens of raster and vector data formats for import and export, and may also connect to external GeoDatabases, depending upon the database drivers that are installed on a particular system. GRASS includes both a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a command line mode for interaction with the system. The command line capabilities of GRASS are also accessible through a variety of scripting languages (e.g. Python, shell scripting) for automating geo-processing for repeated analyses and automated visualization or data processing. As an Open Source GIS platform, a variety of other tools (e.g. the R statistical programming language, QGIS desktop mapping application) can seamlessly access and interact with GRASS data.

Basic programming skillsFree
  • Neteler and Mitasova (2002). Open source GIS: a GRASS GIS approach. Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • R. Srinivasan and J. G. Arnold. INTEGRATION OF A BASIN-SCALE WATER QUALITY MODEL WITH GIS. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (1994) vol. 30 (3) pp. 453-462
  • Mitasova, H., Mitas, L., Brown, W. M., Gerdes, D. P., Kosinovsky, I. & Baker, T. (1995). Modelling spatially and temporally distributed phenomena: new methods and tools for GRASS GIS. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 9(4), 433-446. doi:10.1080/02693799508902048

IBM InfoSphere Data Architect

IBM InfoSphere Data Architect is an enterprise data modeling application built on the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) platform. Data Architect enables information designers to create both logical and physical data model diagrams, which can be used to describe a variety of applications and systems. For example, this tool can document a SQL database application, a complex website, a multi-server application platform, or a networked workflow process. Built into Data Architect are the technical specifications of a variety of popular IT platforms and services, which enables the designer to not only specify a data connection between two entities, but also save the technical requirements for making the connection functional. A good example of this feature is shown in the online Data Architect demo (see below for link) which shows a connection being made between an Oracle and an IBM DB2 database. The data model encapsulates all the information a systems engineer will need to actually build a connection between these two platforms. In addition, Data Architect provides a variety of output methods for its data models. For example a web designer can print out a site architecture report, while a database designer can actually output the SQL script necessary to build the database they just designed.


IBM has provided detailed technical documentation for Data Architect online: http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an...


Kepler is a scientific workflow application that enables scientists, engineers, analysts, and computer programmers to create, execute, and share models and analyses. Kepler is a java-based application that can operate on data stored in a variety of formats, locally and over the internet, and is an effective environment for integrating disparate software components, such as merging "R" scripts with compiled "C" code, or facilitating remote, distributed execution of models. Using Kepler's graphical user interface, users simply select and then connect pertinent analytical components and data sources to create a "scientific workflow"—an executable representation of the steps required to generate results. The Kepler software helps users share and reuse data, workflows, and components developed by the scientific community to address common needs.

Basic programming skillsFree
  • https://kepler-project.org/users/documentation
  • Ludäscher B., Altintas I., Berkley C., Higgins D., Jaeger-Frank E., Jones M., Lee E., Tao J., Zhao Y. 2006. Scientific Workflow Management and the Kepler System. Special Issue: Workflow in Grid Systems. Concurrency and Computation: Practice & Experience 18(10): 1039-1065.
  • Workflows and extensions to the Kepler scientific workflow system to support environmental sensor data access and analysis. Derik Barseghian and Ilkay Altintas and Matthew B. Jones and Daniel Crawl and Nathan Potter and James Gallagher and Peter Cornillon and Mark Schildhauer and Elizabeth T. Borer and Eric W. Seabloom and Parviez R. Hosseini (2010) Ecological Informatics. Volume 5. Pages: 42 - 50.
  • Scientific workflow design for mere mortals. Timothy McPhillips and Shawn Bowers and Daniel Zinn and Bertram Ludäscher (2009) Future Gener. Comput. Syst.. Volume 25. Pages: 541--551.

OpenBUGS is software for running Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations following Bayesian statistical theory. It is one of two software packages created for Bayesian Inference Using Gibbs Sampling, or BUGS. OpenBUGS is so named because it runs on multiple operating systems; the WinBUGS software can be used with Windows operating systems (see WinBUGS tool in the DataONEpedia for details).

Bayesian inference is built on specified probabilities of models and evaluated using MCMC simulation including error components. OpenBUGS implements these simulations and "samples" them according to user-defined criteria. OpenBUGS can be used as a stand-alone application but can also be integrated with R statistical software.

OpenBUGS requires thorough knowledge of Bayesian statistics to create and evaluate models appropriately.


OpenMI provides users with a standard interface that allows the construction of modeling workflows. OpenMI allows models to exchange data with each other and other modeling tools as they run, facilitating the modeling of process interactions. Models may come from many different sources, represent processes from different scientific domains, have different spatial and temporal resolutions, and have different spatial domains/representations. The OpenMI standard is defined by a set of software interfaces that a compliant model must implement. These interfaces enable models to communicate with each other, with the possibility of two-way links between models where the involved models mutually depend on calculation results from each other. The OpenMI interfaces are available in both C# and Java. Models may run asynchronously with respect to timesteps.

As the OpenMI standard is a software component interface definition for the computational core (the engine) of the computational models, model components that comply with the OpenMI standards can, without any programming, be configured to exchange data during computation. Once developed, OpenMI models can be reused in many different applications and configurations. Most existing applications of OpenMI, and subsequently most of the available OpenMI compliant models, have been developed within the water resources domain.