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Category: Skipper reviews

User stories of ORM Designer users

Some time ago, we announced the new user stories project to better understand the needs of ORM Designer users. You sent us answers for 10 questions, from which we made a summary and put it together in one document.

It was very interesting to discover how ORM Designer can be used in specific workflows and what possible functions users miss in it. Based on their feedback, some features have been already implemented (for example property editor drawer) and others will proceed. We would like to thank the users involved for their time and effort to help, we greatly appreciate their willingness.

We received feedback from following:

Savvior Technology Solutions


Savvior Technology Solutions ( is web development company from Pensylvanya, USA. They were maintaining decent version control of the database and manually editing YML files, which was a huge hassle and cumbersome for them. Now they found ORM Designer and are using it for exporting YML files automatically. Read whole user story…

Manifest Interactive

Manifest Interactive

Manifest Interactive ( from Missouri, USA, builds custom PHP & MySQL Web Applications. They needed to show their customers some concept of whole planned application and there wasn’t a way, how to visualize it for clients. The company was looking for some tool, which will generate previews for customers or another way how to manage it. Peter Schmalfeldt from Manifest Interactive is now using ORM Designer in his company any time they are working with a rather complex set of data. Read more…

ADZ Media

ADZ Media

ADZ Media ( is advertising agency from Manchester, UK. The company faced the problem of huge projects that was difficult to manage. Steven wrote us how ORM Designer solved this problem and how they are working now with visual model and documentation at the same time.  Read whole user story…

If you would like to send us your impressions and opinions on ORM Designer, send me an email, we will be really happy.

15 Apr 2014

New review: ORM Designer 2 provides great advantage over other object designers

Patrick Paechnatz was so kind to write his opinion on ORM Designer. Since original is in German, we got to work again, to deliver his review even to those more versed in English.

Personal test-review

In the course of an extensive implementation of ORM entities for a customer project I have been looking for an easy object relation ERD design interface, when I become aware of ORM Designer from Inventic ltd.

Without even looking at the license/pricing model, I have started my initial evaluation on the  14 days offered trial mode. To jump a bit ahead of my review, the application is really solid - even though one or two design weakness would have to be corrected (which should be done soon in the current frequency of updates). But now to the actual test-review:

ORM Designer 2 provides a simple yet comfortable working environment for planning, creating, managing, and exporting from ORM frameworks à la CakePHPDoctrine 1.2+Doctrine 2. and Propel. The application provides the user with an intuitive interface for creating and managing the object-structures together with all the framework specific object properties and special features (e.g. sf2/Doctrine 2 lifecycle callbacks) to cover the entire ORM export/import scope of relational database. In addition to the standard annotation-based classes format ORM Designer offers two additional export formats, yaml and xml. All known ERD relations models (one-to-one, one-to-many (many-to-one), many-to-many bi- and unidirectional) can be classified according to the official ERD notation quickly and comfortably using the respective properties implemented directly in the object editor. Not only clean code generation and the export into any structure elements but also the easy import of already existing, externally generated ORM structures and the processing of these objects including recognized relations is (in my opinion) a great advantage over other object designers.

I could see the application tested intensively under production conditions and I am thrilled. The ORM structure generation was so quick and yet framework-specifically detailed that I did not think it is possible until then. Questions about the software are usually answered in a very short time by email, a few functionialities that i thought were missing finally became clear to me after explanation from orm support team. This is also a small weakness of the otherwise well-structured ORM Designer 2 - “hidden features”: let’s take a look for example at ”unidirectional many-to-one“ this can only be changed from (default) “bidirectional” in the desired “unidirectional” relation, if the alias of “owner” or “inversedBy” Entity is deleted manually.

Another major advantage is provided by the already mentioned graphical development approach of the application and the extensive and detailed export functionality of the generated ORM entities. By the development team mentioned claim of 70% productivity jump is in my opinion set too high, but I can in good faith confirm it to double the working speed during the planning and the first realization of project. Moreover, developers of ORM Designer 2 seem to work intensively on additional features and improvements. During my testing phase 2 features updates were provided, one feature I requested was added directly to the planning list for the next update and a bug I noticed was fixed.

We would like to thank Patrick for positive evaluation of our tool, improvements he proposed are on our to-do list and we plan to work on them. To read the original text in German, please head here:




Property editor

02 Apr 2014

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Skipper reviews #review

Join us to create ORM Designer user stories

In cooperation with ORM Designer users, we are working on user stories these days. Our team is trying to create documents which would clarify different ways how to use ORM Designer and explain satisfaction with it in-depth. The reason why we make user stories is to obtain feedback and present inspiration for others how ORM Designer can be used.

For the user stories, we need to collect opinions from our users. So, we created a set of questions so you can freely describe your experiences and impressions from using ORM Designer. There are no limitations, you can honestly share anything that is on your mind.

Why to join? Besides that you will really help us understand users’ needs, you can have a promotion of your person or company on our website and our Twitter and participate in the development of ORM Designer with your ideas for new features.

If you want to participate, send me answers for the following questions to [email protected]:

  1. Why did you start using ORM Designer?
  2. For which projects do you use ORM Designer?
  3. What is your common project work flow in ORM Designer?
  4. How often does your team work with ORM Designer?
  5. How much work and time does ORM Designer save you?
  6. What other benefits does ORM Designer bring you?
  7. Is there anything else you appreciate about ORM Designer? (support, regular updates etc.)
  8. Why would/wouldn’t you extend your ORM Designer maintenance?
  9. What shall we improve in ORM Designer?
  10. Do you have some more comments or ideas for us?
28 Mar 2014

New review: ORM Designer is reliable, efficient and saves a lot of time

Hello everyone. Clément Tissier wrote a review about ORM Designer and we would like to give him our big thanks. Not everyone speaks French though, so we decided to publish it on our blog in English.

ORM Designer: Edit your entities visually in Doctrine (and others…)

Whether you develop your sites with the help of Symfony 2 and Zend frameworks or are using for example Doctrine or Propel as ORM tools, you will not want to do that without ORM Designer.

The interface of ORM Designer on MAC OS


ORM Designer (, €295) is a tool that allows you to visually manage various objects in your project and their relations. Even though it is great it generates your conceptual data model (CDM) or other relational database schemas, the following feature is where you will really appreciate the power of ORM Designer: it generates schema definition files for you.

I use it mainly for projects in Symfony2 and it saves me a lot of time. In fact, it is the end of the tedious step of writing these kind of lines for a property of your entity:

\* @ORM\ManyToOne(targetEntity="PROJECT\CoreBundle\Entity\Company", inversedBy="user")
\* @ORM\JoinColumn(name="company_id", referencedColumnName="id", nullable=false)
private $company;

ORM Designer will generate the code for all your entities. Then you can simply run the usual order of the Symfony2 console to generate getters and setters, php console doctrine:generate:entities <MONENTITE> and to update the database. php console doctrine:schema:update --force

If you decide to add properties or relations, you can simply make the changes in the visual editor and update files via ORM Designer. It is reliable, efficient and saves a lot of time on your projects with many objects and relationships.

Of course, its high price 295 € (excluding tax) is intended to target mainly professionals who can use it frequently. Given the time it will save to them, it is in my opinion an investment to consider.

It is compatible with following PHP frameworks:

And with these ORM frameworks:

You can download a 14 day trial version here:

And buy the full version here:

For original review in French, head to Clément’s blog:

03 Mar 2014

Posted by: Martin Kulhavy

Skipper reviews #review

(VIDEO) ORM Designer workflow

Our user Peter Schmalfeldt from company Manifest Interactive sent us an interesting video, which is showing his workflow on project for client with ORM Designer.

Manifest Interactive

He uses ORM Designer to export YML files and then reads them with his own application MICI which is based on CodeIgniter. He converts the YML into PHP via Doctrine in MICI. The PHP models are then used to create the database and tables.

What Peter finds interesting about ORM Designer is that he can set up file type and location for each module in his project. He also integrated ORM Designer in his framework, so his development team can preview visual model there and work with ORM definitions.

Peter appreciates ORM Designer because it is a huge timesaver for him and he uses it for every single project.

Thank you, Peter, for creating this great video and for your time.

And what about you? What is your work process? Where is ORM Designer involved in it?