If you're in software engineering, business information systems, education, or research, you’ve likely heard of an entity relationship diagram (ERD). ERDs help visualize “entities” within a system. Let’s take a closer look at how to create an ERD in Lucidchart from the Lucid Training Labs course, “Entity Relationship Diagrams in Lucidchart.”
We’ll equip you with all you need to be an ERD wiz! You’ll also learn about important diagramming features and some helpful integrations you can use.
What is an ERD?
An ERD is a type of flowchart that shows how people, objects, or ideas relate to each other within a particular system. They serve as a common language between teams and stakeholders. An ERD has several components: Entities, relationships, cardinalities, and attributes.
Learn more about ERDs.Read now
Though ERDs can be complex, it is easy to make one in Lucidchart. Let's find out how.
How to create an ERD in Lucidchart
The fastest way to make an ERD in Lucidchart is by using templates! Looking at your documents homepage, navigate to the sidebar and select Templates. Search entity relationship in the search bar. A library of various ERD templates will populate for you to choose from. Simply select the template you want to use, and that’s it! You’re now ready to start customizing your diagram.
Another option is to import data from another database using the SQL database import option. You can import databases from:
- SQL Server
Manually create an ERD by dragging out specific ERD shapes in your Lucidchart shape library. Name and color entities and attributes. If you need to add more attributes than what is provided, increase the number of fields from the contextual panel. Show the relationships between the shapes by connecting them with lines.
To make a good diagram even better, we recommend adding customization. Use the contextual panel and formatting toolbar to help. Here are a few things you can do:
- Match shape sizes
- Add shaded headers and rows
- Adjust line styles, widths, and colors
Pro tip: Using color on your ERD should provide clarity, not confusion. Too much color can overwhelm the audience, so make sure to be intentional when coloring your diagram.
Export your ERD from the side panel, or select your entire diagram and navigate to the contextual panel. From there, select Export ERD. A window will pop up, giving you various options for exporting. Simply select which system you use and copy and paste the commands provided into your database or application. Once you have exported your diagram, click Done.
Here are a few extra Lucidchart features that you can incorporate into your ERD to help make better decisions, collaborate, and align.
- Lucidchart’s conditional formatting feature helps highlight important information to make better decisions.
- Use our Loom and CloudApp integrations to save time and add clarity to your diagram.
- Turn on the Get Change Notification setting to be informed of every change made to your document.
Sign up for the course to access the rest of the content and materials.Register now
Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidchart.com.
- A quick guide to different types of entity relationship diagrams
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