DB-MAIN: The Modeling Framework

Table of contents

  1. Description
  2. Availability
  3. How to setup DB-MAIN?
  4. Download content
  5. Important notes for use
  6. How to get DB-MAIN?
  7. References
  8. Contacts


Last update: February 2016.

This is the ninth version of DB-MAIN, the Database Engineering tool. In its current state, it includes most basic functions commonly found in other DB CASE environments, but also some other functions which are less frequently available. Currently, the tool offers functions for:

The JIDBM (Java Interface for DB-MAIN) library is designed to develop Java plug-ins for DB-MAIN. With this library, the DB-MAIN users can develop their own functions in the tool.

Specific methodologies can be built thanks to a method development environment (MDL) that includes a method description language, a complier and a graphical engine.

DB-MAIN is now implemented with wxWidgets a open-source GUI library. Thanks to this toolkit, DB-MAIN has a new ergonomic interface with a new project explorer window and a generic property box to manage DB-MAIN repository.

This tool is implemented in C++ and runs on Windows (95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10), Linux and Mac OS X (Mac OS X 10.6.8 [Snow Leopard] to 10.9.x [Mavericks]). It works well on 32 bits and 64 bits operating systems.


DB-MAIN is free of charge, fully functional and without object limitation.

Professional plug-ins and support are also available. See conditions on the DB-MAIN web site [Professional menu].

How to setup DB-MAIN?



Execute the dbm-9xx-win-setup.exe or dbm-9xx-win-jre-setup.exe (with Java Runtime Environment) file to install DB-MAIN on your machine.
This installation creates a directory for DB-MAIN and fills it.
In the registry, only a single entry is created for easy uninstallation of DB-MAIN.


Go to the Start menu and click on the entry DB-MAIN X.Y.Z.
A file DB_MAIN.INI is created in the user's application data directory when DB-MAIN is run for the first time.
Except that, nothing else is written outside of the DB-MAIN directory.

IMPORTANT for Windows 7, 8 and 10 users: At first start, run DB-MAIN as administrator (right click on the shortcut DB-MAIN and select Run as administrator) to allow the license file writing. Next starts, run DB-MAIN normally.



Two kinds of installation may be performed:


To run DB-MAIN, there are also two approaches:

A file db_main.ini is created in the .db-main directory of the user's home directory when DB-MAIN is run for the first time.

Mac OS X


Double-click disk image DB-MAIN 9.x.x_xx.dmg to mount it, then drag and drop the application icon (DB-MAIN.app) to your hard disk; the recommended locations are:

DB-MAIN requires Apple's Java environment to be installed.
If this is not the case, when running DB-MAIN for the first time, and depending on the version of your OS, the system may ask you whether you want to download it from Apple's site and proceed with its installation.
Otherwise, a manual installation may be performed from:


To run DB-MAIN, click twice on the application icon.

The first time you run DB-MAIN:

Download content

The setup files (dbm-9xx-win-setup.exe or dbm-9xx-win-jre-setup.exe for Windows, dbm-9xx-linux-i386-setup.tar.gz or dbm-9xx-linux-amd64-setup.tar.gz for Linux) or the volume mounted (DB-MAIN 9.x.x_xx.dmg for Mac) contains:

Important notes for use


When entering text, be sure to use only characters in Windows-1252 codepage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows-1252). An UTF-8 compliant version of DB-MAIN is under development.


Menu items (available from the menu bar and keyboard shortcuts) related to clipboard operations ("Copy", "Paste", ...) act upon objects in textual and graphical views. If the insertion point is in a text input area, you should use the shortcut menu (control-click or right-click).

Keyboard Shortcuts

DB-MAIN tries to provide keyboard shortcuts in accordance with the Mac OS X usage. However, the documentation refers to the "Ctrl" key for shortcuts; you should use the Command key in place (labeled "cmd", "⌘" or "").

How to get DB-MAIN ?

The DB-MAIN packages are located at:  http://www.db-main.eu [Download menu].


The principles of the DB-MAIN approach to DB engineering have been presented in various research papers and tutorials.
Some of them can be obtained, in PDF format, on the site of the Database Application Engineering Laboratory of the University of Namur: http://info.fundp.ac.be/libd/.


REVER S.A. (www.rever.eu)

Rue du séminaire, 22

Phone: +32 81 72 51 31

B-5000 Namur

E-mail: dbm@rever.eu


Website: www.db-main.eu