I teach a class at the University of Washington, and in that class I have the students create a few Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs). I’m still looking for a decent tool to do that, since the only ones I know that do a good job are WAY too expensive. Visio is about the best I’ve found for them, and one of the students sent me a link he found for learning and using Visio – very nice. Thanks, Rod!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BYt3wmkgXE&feature=related By the way, Visio Team – it’s a crime that I have to install all of Enterprise Architect just to get an ERD tool. Break it out of there into it’s own SKU!
For an inexpensive modeling tool look at ModelRight (http://www.modelright.com). IMHO, it is much better than Visio for ERD. It is missing some of the features of the expensive high-end solutions but it is also missing their high-end price tag. There is also a free community edition that may offer enough for you class.