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SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services Datasheet


Date Published:October 2011

  • Help ease data management with MDS designed to deliver credible, consistent data
  • Manage data that is worthwhile for the consumer
  • Leverage self-service data management with the MDS add-in for Excel
  • Enable rapid insight and trusted analytics
  • Help reduce time-to-solution

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Master Data Services (MDS) enables organizations of all sizes to operationalize their commitment to information. MDS helps to ease the management of organizational master data. Master Data Management (MDM) describes the investment made by an organization in structuring the data that has relatively high importance. MDM is about the objects that are the focus of the organizational activity (such as customers, products, cost centers, locations, assets, or tasks. MDS is the SQL Server solution for master data management that helps ensure object definitions across systems.

It focuses on the creation, maintenance and storage of master data structures that are used for providing object mapping, reference data, metadata management, and dimension and hierarchy management.

Together with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and Data Quality Services (DQS), MDS helps deliver trusted information for integration between OLTP systems, as well as for business intelligence (BI) and data warehouse (DW) workloads. MDS provides a foundation for end-to-end Enterprise Information Management (EIM). MDS enforces process, validations, and rules that ensure data is correct and eliminates manual processes required to keep data current.

MDS is very good at helping the consumers of data, structure the data that is worthwhile to them. MDS is there to help whether it is a business user being able to manage the changes to cost center objects in a hierarchy that is loaded into a data warehouses for financial reporting, or an IT professional trying to deal with incompatible identifiers that need to be mapped to a single identity. MDS speeds the adoption/conversion to a managed process by enabling users to build their own simple solutions.

The main concept behind MDS in SQL Server 2012 is to enable end users to create and modify the data they consume in a controlled and secure way, as part of a managed workflow, and then to leverage this data across the broader organization. The product's focus in this release is to enable business users, experts in data content rather than data management tools, to continue working in familiar tools like Microsoft Excel, while centralizing the storage of the data they use on a daily basis. MDS decreases the dependency on IT professionals that was formerly necessary when implementing master data projects.

MDS also allows end users to more easily report on the information that’s distributed across the organization. With MDS you can directly edit and manage data that enables rapid insight and the ability to change or augment analytics. With more people in the organization involved in data and information management you build trust in the analytics used to drive the business.

Master Data Services is different than other MDM solutions because you don’t need a team of consultants to implement a MDS solution. With internal buy-in and the right people managing the product, a Master Data Services project can be successfully implemented by business users with some involvement from IT. In addition, you can use MDS to manage any domain; it's not specific to managing lists of customers, products, or accounts.

Delivering improved data management in a consistent, controlled, managed, integrated, and fast manner can result in better business decisions. MDS enables the organization, through its information workers and IT professionals, to efficiently manage and integrate data in existing databases, data warehouses, and enterprise applications. What this means to you is a reduction in the time-to-solution from idea to delivery. Experience the value MDS can bring to your organization!

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