Let’s say you have a schema you want to reverse engineer and generate some docs.

Lo and behold, the developers used foreign keys!

But…there are so many of them, I can’t see the forest for the trees.

This one table is touching almost everything…making everything else kind of hard to figure out.

So how do we make this simpler?

Well, our developer for the Data Modeler showed me this trick:

Do what?

In his words:

when use synonyms is checked tables that are referred more than 9 times are removed from global picture (graphical synonyms are created) and layout in separate area on diagram thus those tables doesn’t introduce noise in the more meaningful relationships

So we separate the ‘trouble-maker’ table, and build a separate area of the diagram showing these relationships. That leaves the main area of the diagram free to show the rest of the model.

So we get this to show the VERY related object – ORDS_SCHEMAS – it has about 20 relationships, egads! – in its own segregated area of the diagram. Like so:

Already, so much better.

And then what about the rest of the diagram and objects?

Now we don’t let this one table overwhelm the others.

You Know about the Navigator, Right?

I’ve blogged about this feature before. Back when my kids were younger, and they tortured me with Dora the Explorer.

If you have a diagram that’s hard to navigate, this thing will make your life SO MUCH EASIER.

This isn’t just a trick – it’s a required feature that everyone should be using.

I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


  1. Sarah-Jane Reply

    Trying to follow this in my own environment but I am not getting the same menu options. Can you identify what I am doing wrong? (SQL Developer 17.4.0)
    I found my core table I want to model in connections explorer, double clicked, then selected ‘Model’ tab
    Chose ‘Copy to Data Modeler’
    Right clicked on source table -> got a different menu to that in your screen shots

    Did you get to the ‘Layout -> Use Synonyms’ differently?

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