Master Data Services

I’m working on a new project at the moment and its proving to be an interesting one.  One of those green fields dream projects where we get to architect everything and do things right.  Today’s job was to take a serious first look at Microsoft’s Master Data Services 2012 (MDS).

The very first thing I attempted to do when I got into the EAI/B2B game was to implement Master Data Management.  Back then we didn’t have much in the way of sophisticated tools.  So the concept was sound but the implementation often not ideal.  Fast forward 10 years and wow do we have some real nice tools.  MDS 2012 has a master data management portal built on Silverlight and aimed at business users.  So the look and feel is good.  MDS supports versioning, workflow, business rules, role based security, hierarchies, and modelling.  All the concepts we attempted to wire together in our bespoke implementations.

In my mind every CIO should have Master Data Management in the top five issues to get sorted.  In orders of importance its up there with implementing canonical data models.  The benefits of breaking down reference data silos and centralizing the management of non-transactional reference data are profound. Especially in a highly heterogeneous environment that heavy relies on EAI.  Any environment attempting to implement SOA should be seriously looking at MDM, possibly before even starting to pump out services.   Anyways take a look at the below links for some good reading.

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