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I plan to develop a data model for a SharePoint application that we would like to bid out for development. Is there a data modelling tool that is preferred to be used with SharePoint, like it can help importing data definitions and database creation in SharePoint? Is there a Microsoft tool that is recommended?

Thanks Michael

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Yes, i know of built in uml that i did at uni that i used in vs2010 :) It was great and such an aid to the final year project that was a requirement for a developer in the initial stages of development.

For sharepoint I would presume your talking about linq:

SharePoint 2010 offers many new opportunities to developers, and especially with LINQ to SharePoint. This technology brings a greater flexibility to the developpement model to use more easily the data contains in the SharePoint lists. Now to make a query in a SharePoint list is as easy as making a query within a database table, thanks to a real object relational mapping process. This tool generates SharePoint classes (like the command line tool SPMETAL) directly in Visual Studio as a design schema (like LINQ to Entities). This new feature is an extension to Visual Studio for modeling LINQ to SharePoint entities. With this tool, it’s become possible to add a new kind of item in a VS project, called a LINQ to SharePoint schema (or LINQ to SharePoint data model).

hope it helps :)

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Not really sure what you mean by data modelling tool, neither by importing data definitions or database creation in SharePoint?

However if we need to migrate SharePoint's Site collections, Web Applications, or list to another place we normally using Import/Export STSADM commands or detach/attach Content Databases that are particularly associated with web applications.

Oh If you mean SharePoint explorer by some mean then you should look at SharePoint Manager Tool which is free of cost.

Hope it helps.

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