Master Data Management with SQL Server: A Primer – Part 2

In my previous post I wrote about the need for master data management (MDM), and what SQL Server offers as a solution. In this post I’ll explore SQL Server’s MDM offering with a simple example, to get to know the product.

SQL Server Master Data Services (MDS) was launched with SQL Server 2008 R2. It was Microsoft’s entry into the MDM market, what most people considered to be a half-baked product, which Microsoft had acquired from Stratature in 2007. SQL Server 2012 saw the offering mature into something use-worthy, while SQL Server 2014 did not add anything new to MDS. As opposed to other SQL Server offerings such as Analysis Services and Reporting Services, MDS does not have its own Windows service. Rather, it requires a web application to be setup along with a database on the Database Engine.

MDS is a 64-bit only offering and comes only with Enterprise and Business Intelligence editions of SQL Server (and of course with Developer Edition).

Continue reading Master Data Management with SQL Server: A Primer – Part 2

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Master Data Management with SQL Server: A Primer – Part 1

Organizations, especially those that have multiple departments, and those with heterogeneous software systems in place often have a problem. This problem is synonymous, as in Pinal Dave’s excellent post, to what a married couple might have: A trivial one of that having an overlapping list of phone contacts, each list listing the same names differently. So when a need arises, and I need to send an urgent message to Supun from the wife’s phone, since the battery on mine is dead, I would find the 10 different Supun’s on her phone named with the organization name as a prefix, whereas in mine I have the contacts listed on a first name, last name basis, with the organization name going into its own field. Hence, you could imagine the frustration of looking for the correct number, especially when the need is urgent. Magnify this issue for your organization’s base of customers. And maybe for entities such as employees, products and vendors. Imagine.

Continue reading Master Data Management with SQL Server: A Primer – Part 1