What is Master Data Services?
Master Data Services (MDS) is available in SQL Server 2008 R2 (as a separate install file). It is the result of Microsoft’s acquisition of Stratature’s tool for handling Master Data Management (MDM) processes. There are a number of benefits to implementing a MDM process with a tool such as MDS, such as:
- Consistent reporting across the organization, improving data quality, integrity, & creating the “authoritative” version of the master data
- Consolidation of attributes & hierarchies from different systems (ex: products sold by different subsidiary companies)
- Alternate hierarchies (ex: different rollups of the same data for different reporting purposes)
- Helps facilitate the data governance process (which can be quite difficult to accomplish in the real world)
The following screen shot depicts MDS in a typical Microsoft BI situation where it consumes data from several source systems, consolidates & standardizes it in MDS, then provides the authoritative data to a downstream system (ex: a data warehouse) for reporting purposes. (Not depicted: You may also use MDS to feed standardized master data back to source systems, if desired.)
Following is a list of sites, tutorials, blogs, & articles for learning MDS. Have fun!
Resources for Learning MDS
Books Online: Master Data Services
Microsoft Product Site: Master Data Services
Blogs & Articles
MDS Team Blog: Master Data Services Team <--Lots of really good stuff here
Suzanne Selhorn's Site: MDS User <-- An MDS book author - helpful info on her site
Jeremy Kashel's Blog: Jeremy Kashel's Blog <-- Another MDS book author
Nick Barclay’s Blog: Seven Part Series on Beginning MDS
The ShiSh List: SQL Master Data Services Info <-- Some great PDF's here
Brian Berry’s Blog: Towards Better Business Intelligence
SQLServer Performance (Amit Chaudhary): An Overview of Master Data Services – MDS in SQL Server 2008 R2
Kirk Haselden’s Blog: MDS Staging Table Error Codes
Sutha Thiru’s Blog: Configuring MDS – MDS Configuration Manager
Valentino Vranken’s Blog: Finding Similar Strings with Fuzzy Logic Functions Built Into MDS
Garrick Kong's Blog: Master Data Services - Strengths and Its Limitations
MSDev Videos: Introduction to SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services (8 part series) <--Definitely worth the time
Profisee Videos: MDS and Maestro Videos (various videos)
Donald Farmer, when he was Program Manager at Microsoft: SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services (05:37)
Microsoft eLearning: Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services (120:00)
Technet “How Do I” Video: How Do I Install and Configure Master Data Services (09:55)
Technet “How Do I” Video: Model My Data for Import into SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services (09:17)
SQLBits: An Introduction to Master Data Services (49:01)
TechEd 2010 Video: Introducing SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services (72:53)
TechEd 2010 Video: Architecture of Master Data Services in SQL Server 2008 R2 (72:32)
TechEd 2010 Video: Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Dimension Management with Master Data Services (81:19)
R2 Digital Tour: Master Data Services (05:32)
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services. McGraw Hill, February 2011. Tyler Graham and Suzanne Selhorn. 384 pages.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services. Packt Publishing, June 2011. Jeremy Kashel, Tim Kent, Martyn Bullerwell.
Microsoft SQL Server Master Data Services. Betascript Publishing. Lambert M. Surhone, Mariam T. Tennoe, Susan F. Henssonow (Ed.). 86 pages.
Chart of Accounts, Customer, & Product subject areas: <drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\Master Data Services\Samples\Packages
Employee subject area: MSDN Code Gallery