Central pane

The central pane is where you can visualize your data model and the schema for each individual entity.  The central pane adapts to the selected top and bottom tabs:


Entity Relationship Diagram view

Hackolade has this unique capability to represent hierarchical structures in entity-relationship diagrams in a user-friendly manner.  This is an improvement on traditional ERD tools which will represent each nested object in a separate box of the ERD.


The central pane displays the ERD, letting you create, maintain and visualize your data structure:

Central pane - ER diagram


With large models, it is possible that, to fit the entire ERD on screen, the zoom level does not allow to read the information.  For performance reasons, Hackolade displays a sketchy rendition of the diagram:

Central pane - sketchy ERD


You may control the the zoom level range of the sketchy rendition via a parameter in Tools > Options > General.


Hierarchical schema view

For each entity in your diagram, it can be very handy to visualize and maintain the structure in a separate tab with the hierarchical schema view of the entity schema:

Central pane - hierarchical schema view


From the ERD, you may open the hierarchical schema view in a number of ways:

- double click on the entity title
- click once on the middle-right icon in the entity title
- right-click on the entity title and choose Open in new tab
- right-click on the entity name in the Object Browser on the left, and choose Open in new tab, or double-click on the entity name


JSON Tree in new tab




JSON Preview

In this upper tab dedicated to a specific entity, there are several lower tabs.  The JSON Preview tab provides 2 side-by-side panes: one for the JSON Schema of the entity, and the other tab is for a sample JSON document of the structure:

Central pane - JSON Preview



Several options are available for the display of the JSON Preview lower tab:

Hackolade extends JSON Schema for data types as well as non-standard keywords.  When displaying or exporting JSON Schema, you may choose the compliance level:

- standard: only JSON Schema keywords and data types are used -- this output should pass validation with standard validators

- full: custom keywords are also listed for a full view of the schema, but only standard JSON data types are used -- this output should pass validation as long as additionalProperties are set to true

- extended: data types are specific to the target of the model, plus internal properties and keywords are also listed.  


Important note: in extended compliance, it is normal that the exported JSON Schema does not pass the test of validators.  This is because data types used for a given target may be non-JSON data types.  For example ObjectId for MongoDB, or UUID in Cassandra, etc...



JSON Schema output is dynamically adapted to the selected specification:

- draft-04

- draft-06

- draft-07

- 2019-09

- 2020-12


When displaying or exporting JSON Schema, the references can used as described or transformed:

- referenced: definitions are referenced as described in the model, using $ref syntax

- resolved:: definitions are resolved to list the content of the reference.

- internal: references to external and model definitions are converted into internal definitions


Upper and lower tabs

A set of tabs appears at the top of the central pane.  They let you work on several entities in parallel, or consult relevant information in other collections.

Central pane - top tabs

The first tab is fixed and cannot be closed.  It is the main tab of the model, showing the Entity Relationship diagram for the database model, and other database model-level information.  The other tabs are collection tabs.  They are opened when you want to see or maintain collection-level information.  They can be closed individually by pressing the x on the right of the tab.  To close all tabs, use the shortcut Ctrl+M.  If you want to close all tabs except the current one, press Ctrl+Shift+M.

Note that the application remembers the opened tabs of your model, if you save it and exit, so you handily retrieve your configuration when you open the model again.


If you open more tabs than the width of the central pane can hold, the tabs will shrink as needed.  If you hover your mouse cursor over a tab, a handy tooltip pops-up to display the full name:

Central pane - tab tooltip



A set of tabs also appears at the bottom of the central pane.  The bottom tabs are fixed but differ depending on whether you select the database model top tab, or a collection tab:


Database model bottom tabs:

Central pane - DB bottom tabs


Collection bottom tabs:

Central pane - collection bottom tabs


Each bottom tab provides a different view of the entity information.