Once a physical model has been defined and the objects modeled, Enterprise Architect can generate Database Definition Language (DDL) for a variety of objects including database Tables, Views, Functions, Sequences and Procedures. This is a time saving mechanism and reduces the errors that can be introduced by doing this by hand in other tools. Forward engineering is governed by a set of templates that define how UML constructs are converted to the objects in the targeted DBMS. Standard templates are provided for all supported DBMSs, and these can be edited to customize the way the DDL is generated. In the case that a DBMS is not supported out-of-the-box, a new set of templates can be created using the existing ones as a starting point and reference.
When forward engineering DDL, the output can be directed to a file (or a series of files, one for each object) or to the DDL execution engine. The execution engine allows you to execute the DDL immediately, targeting a live database through an ODBC connection. If you direct the output to a file you can execute the DDL against a live database later, at your convenience. The generated files can be opened using the code editors, by selecting , or , allowing you to view the DDL inside Enterprise Architect.