Schemaball is an SQL database schema viewer. It requires Perl and a few modules, such as GD and optionally Math::Bezier and SQL::Translator. Schemaball creates flexible visualizations of database schemas. Schemas may be read from an SQL schema dump, flat file or live database.

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simple balls

Plain balls are very handy templates for schema development.

Figure | A plain schema ball showing only tables in our ugene database.

Once you create foreign keys, your schema might look something like this.

Figure | A plain schema ball showing tables and foreign key relationships in a plain manner.

You can iteratively follow foreign key relationships and highlight interacting tables. Exploring how tables are related can be a fun way to pass the time when looking at other people's schemas, or when you've forgotten how (why) your own database works.

Figure | A plain schema ball showing tables and foreign key relationships in a plain manner.

complex balls

Sometimes you need to make really big schema balls. The image below represents the same ball for our sequencing LIMS database.

Figure | The GSC sequencing LIMS schema. Schemaball is flexible - here Bezier and straight lines are used to draw table links.