SAP PowerDesigner OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP PowerDesigner is the #2 ranked solution in top Metadata Management tools and #6 ranked solution in top Enterprise Architecture Management tools. PeerSpot users give SAP PowerDesigner an average rating of 8.0 out of 10. SAP PowerDesigner is most commonly compared to erwin Data Modeler by Quest: SAP PowerDesigner vs erwin Data Modeler by Quest. SAP PowerDesigner is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 73% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a financial services firm, accounting for 18% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Enterprise Architecture Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

What is SAP PowerDesigner?

SAP PowerDesigner is a valuable solution for developing several different types of data models according to business process needs. Data models can be logical, conceptual, and physical, and can also include dimensional and relational models. PowerDesiger has the ability to integrate a designed business process model with the actual database design to ensure that all the data process steps are included in the logical model. PowerDesigner is able to use the physical model to create the actual database, and from there, design various physical iterations from a single logical model.

PowerDesigner can perform excellent reverse-engineering of existing databases to create a model diagram. The solution integrates well with many of today's most recognized database management systems (DBMS). Some of the solution’s featured outputs include custom or standard reports of every object in the design (relationships, field, and tables), design impact analysis, and entity-relationship (ER) designs.

PowerDesigner offers intuitive capabilities such as metadata management, link and sync, and data modeling. Users can instantly view architecture layers and essentials, access the robust metadata repository, and share findings with the user’s entire team.

SAP PowerDesigner Features

  • Document Creation: Easily share documents to cultivate an environment of communication and collaboration with all stakeholders in a project. Users can even include non-modelers. Users can provide private, secure access to metadata using hyperlinked Web reporting and multi-model documents, and even use wizard-created lists.

  • Result Analysis: The solution helps merge all model types with an intuitive automated link-and-sync process. Users can easily streamline communication and creative streams to improve the organization’s ability to experience transformation.

  • Intelligence Mapping: Users can develop thorough mapping protocols for data dictionary input. Users can record dependencies correctly with a simple drag-and-drop mapping editor and drag information from any supported source to target model pairs.

SAP PowerDesigner Benefits

  • Improve Overall Productivity: The solution enables enterprise architects and developers to share information through a trusted metadata repository that can handle all modeling types.

  • Simplify Workflows: PowerDesigner offers an easy-to-use wizard-driven protocol to streamline web-based reporting and documentation, making workloads easier for IT staff and other users.

  • Improve Communication: PowerDesigner’s intuitive link-and-sync technology will facilitate secure trusted networks between an organization's specific protocols, data models, and language.

Reviews from Real Users

“The most valuable feature of SAP PowerDesigner is the testing of the models, it has the best function. Reverse engineering is very helpful too. I use SAP PowerDesigner for data modeling and documentation. It interacts well with the other tools. Additionally, we use it for all of the business requirements, such as CDM and PDM.” - Saadat T., Emerging Cloud Solution Architect at a tech services company

“It's a great tool for documentation. A new data scientist can easily understand the data just by looking at it. Once you are managing your physical data with a logical data model, by looking at this data model, you can understand what it means, the business meaning of the elements which are maintained by the relational database.” - Michael R., DA


SAP PowerDesigner was previously known as Sybase PowerDesigner.

SAP PowerDesigner Customers

Medtronic, Cirque du Soleil, Antarc, B&G Manufacturing, EarlySense, eBay, Ferrero, James Austin Company, Lenovo, Sagem, RAK Ceramics, Vodafone

SAP PowerDesigner Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP PowerDesigner pricing:
  • "SAP PowerDesigner is cheaper than eriwin."
  • "Regarding costs, SAP PowerDesigner is pricey, as I've heard from my team manager, which is why the company has been thinking of bringing another solution on board."
  • "The price of the solution is too expensive. When we asked for certain licenses in different countries it was unattainable."
  • "I would like SAP to prove free licenses to professionals that are using the solution. The free version is limited."
  • SAP PowerDesigner Reviews

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    DA with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    A highly user-friendly tool that's great for documentation
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's a great tool for documentation."
    • "Connectivity can be improved because it's not very good."

    What is our primary use case?

    I'm using SAP PowerDesigner to build and maintain an enterprise-wide relational data model for one of the largest banks in Israel.

    How has it helped my organization?

    As a central DA, I can't do all this work. We distribute our work to different people in different applications, and you have to teach them to use it. SAP PowerDesigner is much easier to use and much easier to teach. We have hundreds of people using SAP PowerDesigner, and you have to teach them, and you have to get them to maintain their own data models.

    What is most valuable?

    SAP Powerdesigner helps build proper data models based on the methodology of relational databases, which are now 40 years old. I think the big advantage of Powerdesigner over erwin is its intuitive Microsoft like usability. 

    It's much easier to use PowerDesigner than erwin. It's also a cheaper product, and it supports many different relational databases. I think PowerDeisgner is more practical, easier, quicker, and more intuitive. I prefer to use Powerdesigner over erwin for large enterprise applications. 

    It's a great tool for documentation. A new data scientist can easily understand the data just by looking at it. Once you are managing your physical data with a logical data model, by looking at this data model, you can understand what it means, the business meaning of the elements which are maintained by the relational database.

    What needs improvement?

    Connectivity can be improved because it's not very good. I would expect data catalog types of products to connect to the database, the repository of PowerDesigner, and get the metadata out more easily. 

    I think as a company, once Sybase purchased SAP PowerDesigner, SAP's investment decreased. I think the number of new features and the product's development is much slower than before.

    Buyer's Guide
    Enterprise Architecture Management
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Sparx Systems, erwin by Quest and others in Enterprise Architecture Management. Updated: November 2022.
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    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SAP PowerDesigner is a stable solution. I would say the quality of the software is good. No issues, visibility is very high, and almost no problems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We didn't have any problems with scalability. We maintain hundreds of data models in the repository of PowerDesigner, and we are maintaining many versions in each model, sometimes maybe even ten. Sometimes even over a hundred different versions in one model, and we still didn't have any problems.

    How are customer service and support?

    I think technical support is okay, but it could be better. As they are in France, it's a little difficult to reach them. But it's not much of a problem. For instance, if you need to resolve an issue, you have to provide them with the data model. You have to send them the data model as a problem. To do this with a bank's data model, you need to go through security, and you need to get all the approvals. This part is a huge problem. It's a huge headache, and it usually takes time. It would help if technical support is handled differently and made more accessible. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I worked with erwin for maybe a year or two. Then we switched to SAP PowerDesigner because of the quality of the product and the price. The cost of the product is cheaper, and the bank was very sensitive to the price. I am happy with the switch to PowerDesigner.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial set up of SAP PowerDesigner was okay. But it really depends. For example, the initial setup for a startup would be an easy task. If it's a bank, you can't install it by yourself.
    In my experience, it took months to set up and deploy SAP PowerDesigner for one of my banking clients. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    SAP PowerDesigner is cheaper than eriwin.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing SAP PowerDesigner, we actually evaluated erwin.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would highly recommend this product to be used in each and every application system where you have to design a relational database. It doesn't matter which relational database as you can use it for MSSQL, Oracle, Postgres.

    There are over 50 or 60 different tools like SAP PowerDesigner, but most of them are limited to maintaining a few relational databases like Oracle or MSSQL. But PowerDesigner, as well as erwin can be sued with many different relational databases. This makes it easy to switch and maintain the logical level and then create the DDL for Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, for DB2, or DB2W.

    I am using just part of SAP PowerDesigner as a tool. This is because it offers some additional capabilities, like business engineering. Other additional capabilities that I never used because there were additional tools for that.

    Whether we use Powerdesigner or some other different tool, it's impossible to build an enterprise data model for big application systems. For example, a CIF covering the count and the post.

    If it's loans, once we have a database with over ten entities, it's very hard to do it manually. You have to work with a tool to create a proper data model, and then a proper database with properly defined entities, primary keys, relationships, and foreign keys. You must have a tool. It's impossible to do it manually.

    Once such a data model is created, it becomes the source. When trying to understand the beats revolving around magnetic media, you don't have to use the relational data model and the logical data model to understand the data. Once you understand the data, you know the application system. The data is basically a PowerDesigner. The main usage is to design and maintain the data model, the logical data model, and the physical data model.

    The physical data model is achieved by pushing a button, and the tools will automatically create the DDL. You would just have to implement it as it is. You don't have to write the DDL manually. The business understanding and the business requirements are translated into the physical design one by one. The implementation is according to the business requirement, as a business understanding of the system.

    On a scale from one to ten, I would give SAP PowerDesigner a nine.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Bhargav Thota - PeerSpot reviewer
    Database Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    It has a good extraction feature, is highly scalable, and has clear documentation
    Pros and Cons
    • "The feature I found valuable in SAP PowerDesigner is extraction. I also like that my company hasn't faced any issues because of the clear documentation about SAP PowerDesigner."
    • "One disadvantage of SAP PowerDesigner is that you cannot reverse engineer the ALTER statements, so that's an enhancement or area for improvement I'm looking forward to seeing from the SAP team in the future. That should directly reflect on the physical data models my company builds."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use SAP PowerDesigner for logical data modeling and physical data modeling.

    What is most valuable?

    The feature I found valuable in SAP PowerDesigner is extraction.

    I also like that my company hasn't faced any issues because of the clear documentation about SAP PowerDesigner.

    What needs improvement?

    One disadvantage of SAP PowerDesigner is that you cannot reverse engineer the ALTER statements, so that's an enhancement or area for improvement I'm looking forward to seeing from the SAP team in the future. That should directly reflect on the physical data models my company builds.

    I also want SAP PowerDesigner to be able to generate ALTER statements in the future.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using SAP PowerDesigner for over two and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability-wise, SAP PowerDesigner is a seven out of ten.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SAP PowerDesigner is a highly scalable solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    I haven't contacted the technical support for SAP PowerDesigner. Support only reaches out to me to see if there's any upgrade or patch installation issue.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    My company hasn't used a different solution apart from SAP PowerDesigner. It's been the company's solution for the last twenty years. Though my company recently thought of bringing erwin Data Modeler on board, the initiation process was put on hold.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setting up SAP PowerDesigner was straightforward, though the technical management team handled that. That team makes the software available for people to use.

    What was our ROI?

    My company hasn't disclosed ROI details to me, so I have no information on whether there was ROI from SAP PowerDesigner.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Regarding costs, SAP PowerDesigner is pricey, as I've heard from my team manager, which is why the company has been thinking of bringing another solution on board.

    What other advice do I have?

    My company has implemented SAP PowerDesigner and no longer requires any other data modeling tool.

    I'm using the desktop version of SAP PowerDesigner, version 16.5.7.

    In the company, more than one hundred people use SAP PowerDesigner. My company only has twenty-two licenses, so most users rely on mobile licenses.

    One person can handle the deployment and maintenance of SAP PowerDesigner.

    I advise anyone looking into using SAP PowerDesigner to consider the only constraint that erwin Data Modeler could overcome and SAP PowerDesigner couldn't. erwin Data Modeler can generate the ALTER statements apart from the CREATE statements. In contrast, SAP PowerDesigner only generates the CREATE statements, which is why people prefer to use erwin Data Modeler. You also need to consider your budget. Cost-wise, SAP PowerDesigner is better than erwin Data Modeler.

    My rating for SAP PowerDesigner is eight out of ten.

    My company is a customer of SAP PowerDesigner.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Enterprise Architecture Management
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Sparx Systems, erwin by Quest and others in Enterprise Architecture Management. Updated: November 2022.
    656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Carel Van Der Merwe - PeerSpot reviewer
    CEO at Abellard
    Real User
    Top 20
    Is very easy to use, describes the data perfectly, and is stable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The physical database model is definitely the most valuable feature because it describes normalization exactly the way you understand the data, and it deploys it perfectly with open source systems."
    • "The focus is more on mainstream development environments, and I see a lack of focus on the open source world. I think SAP PowerDesigner probably interfaces better with SQL Server and Db2 but not with open source databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use it for business analysis to understand my clients' business flows. I use the various tools available in SAP and the conceptual data models to analyze and understand the business flow.

    What is most valuable?

    The physical database model is definitely the most valuable feature because it describes normalization exactly the way you understand the data, and it deploys it perfectly with open source systems.

    Even with Microsoft database systems, it describes the data perfectly. I can just include a picture of the database model into my design specifications, and developers would be able to understand it perfectly.

    What needs improvement?

    The focus is more on mainstream development environments, and I see a lack of focus on the open source world. I think SAP PowerDesigner probably interfaces better with SQL Server and Db2 but not with open source databases like PostgreSQL and MySQL.

    I'm an Apple user and not a Microsoft user, so I would love to have SAP PowerDesigner be available on macOS and not just on Microsoft. Right now, I am forced to install parallels and run a virtual machine on my Apple.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes, it's stable, and I haven't found any bugs. Provided that my work files are stored in the cloud, I can access all the models from both my laptop and desktop computers without a problem. The way that they've designed access to the models is quite good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    The interface is way better with SAP PowerDesigner. Other solutions are limited in their designs. They simply focus on the database, for example, and not on the different types of models.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise you to just start using SAP PowerDesigner because it's intuitive. You have to be a software engineer if you want to use it; you have to know what you're doing. You can't use it as a casual user. However, the models use standards, so they're not difficult to use once you know what you're doing. If you want to design a database, there are other tools that have similar conventions, but SAP's implementation is intuitive and easy to understand. So, my advice is to just directly use it.

    Apart from some improvements needed to integrate better with open source systems, SAP PowerDesigner is an excellent tool. It's very easy to use and is very stable. I would give it a rating of nine on a scale from one to ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Michelle Leslie - PeerSpot reviewer
    Data asset management engineer at A Crafty Mix - Michelle Leslie
    Real User
    Top 20
    A flexible solution that is easy to use and very stable
    Pros and Cons
    • "I mostly work on the conceptual and logical side of things, and I enjoy how easy it is to use."
    • "I've tried to use Power Designer to bring in images, which didn't work very well at all."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is useful for data warehousing. I'm a contractor and I work with various companies. Each of them have different versions of the product installed, some on-prem and some in the cloud.

    What is most valuable?

    I mostly work on the conceptual and logical side of things, and I enjoy how easy it is to use.

    What needs improvement?

    I've tried to use Power Designer to bring in images, which didn't work very well at all.

    I think it's probably one of the best solutions, but it is not at all easy to deploy in a big organization. I think it's a problem because of internal processes, and you have to find the right person to help you. SAP as a whole is a very big, complex animal.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution on-and-off for 23 years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is a very stable solution, but we have big issues if we try to bring in FSLDM. I'm sure Power Designer can handle it, but I think it drops the links because FSLDM is such a huge model. You can't always trust it because FSLDM was not developed in Power Designer.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I think it's a scalable solution. In one company we have a 38-user license, but that's a very large bank. In another company, there's only one person doing data modeling.

    How was the initial setup?

    The complexity depends on the client, the firewall, and the company's rules of who can use and view different things. 

    What about the implementation team?

    The implementation can be done in-house. The time it takes depends on the client. In some instances, it takes quite a while if there are a lot of firewall issues to deal with and the client wants it deployed in the cloud.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would not recommend this solution to others who are considering it. 

    I would rate this solution as an eight out of ten. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Principal Data Management Consultant at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Stable, uncomplicated installation, but overall features need improvement
    Pros and Cons
    • "SAP PowerDesigner is fairly stable."
    • "There are many areas of this solution that needs to be changed."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using SAP PowerDesigner to design physical and logical data models for new releases of software.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution has the basic features for creating entities.

    What needs improvement?

    SAP PowerDesigner could improve by being more intuitive and user-friendly. It does not enforce some of the integrity of the model that we would like it to retain.

    There are many areas of this solution that needs to be changed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SAP PowerDesigner for approximately two and a half years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SAP PowerDesigner is fairly stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are five people in my organization using this solution.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have used technical support but was it was difficult to get in touch with the right person. It was not very clear who the responsible person was. They do not seem to have centralized support, making it difficult to get the person in the right region to help us. However, once we found the right person we had our issues resolved.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation is in the average difficulty range.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price of the solution is too expensive. When we asked for certain licenses in different countries it was unattainable.

    We have had some issues with being able to procure licenses for specific countries. We were not able to receive licenses for every location we wanted.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We intend to switch solutions and we have been evaluating others.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would not recommend this solution to others.

    I rate SAP PowerDesigner a six out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Gil Sabado - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Data Architect at ManuLife Financial
    Real User
    Difficult to operate, long process to publish, but scalable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The initial setup was very easy."
    • "I have found the solution not easy to use. When publishing you have to download the HTML, make adjustments against the updated HTML, convert it to HTML, then finally paste the HTML. There is not an on-the-fly function available to bypass the step-by-step converting process that other solutions have."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using this solution for architecture management.

    What needs improvement?

    I have found the solution not easy to use. When publishing you have to download the HTML, make adjustments against the updated HTML, convert it to HTML, then finally paste the HTML. There is not an on-the-fly function available to bypass the step-by-step converting process that other solutions have.

    The versioning system could be improved. We have to identify the connections and there are lots of limits in certain areas, such as the JDBC driver. I do not have a computer able to do the versioning system because we do not have a database to use. We do not have the budget for that. They should use something, such as GitHub, it would be helpful.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Sometimes the server goes down and I am not able to use the tools. The solution could be more stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution scalability is good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very easy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have evaluated erwin, it has some enhanced features, such as easy publishing.

    What other advice do I have?

    We plan to migrate to erwin solution in the near future. I would not recommend it.

    I rate SAP PowerDesigner a five out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    SaadatTaghi - PeerSpot reviewer
    Emerging Cloud Solution Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    MSP
    Top 10
    Useful testing models, scalable, and useful online support

    What is our primary use case?

    I use SAP PowerDesigner for data modeling, documentation, and it interacts with the other tools. Additionally, we use it for all of the business requirements, such as CDM and PDM.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of SAP PowerDesigner is the testing of the models, it has the best function. Reverse engineering is very helpful too.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution itself does not need to be improved. However, they could add support for different languages.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SAP PowerDesigner for approximately 22 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability of SAP PowerDesigner is good. However, I have not had the chance to test it in a large environment. For my environment, it works well.

    How are customer service and support?

    The online support from SAP I have used has been good.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is very simple. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I would like SAP to prove free licenses to professionals that are using the solution. The free version is limited.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate SAP PowerDesigner a ten out of ten.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Data Architect at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    A stable and scalable solution with good connectivity and usability

    What is most valuable?

    I like the connectivity or the lineage between the models and usability.

    What needs improvement?

    Technical support could be better and more human.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using PowerDesigner for three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    PowerDesigner is a stable solution. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    PowerDesigner is a scalable solution. I worked in a client site where there was a repository, and there were dozens of data modelers. There wasn't a problem.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It would be better if they had a more human IT support system. They are really chuffed with their support desk, they got the dashboards, and you can log your problems.

    With another vendor, you log a problem, and they call straight away. You can tell somebody about the problem. They're very nice and personable, and they know you. For SAP, you're just lost somewhere in the queue, and for me, it's not a decent response.

    What other advice do I have?

    On a scale from one to ten, I would give PowerDesigner a nine.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Enterprise Architecture Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Sparx Systems, erwin by Quest , and more!
    Updated: November 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Enterprise Architecture Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Sparx Systems, erwin by Quest , and more!