Getting started with SQL Server 2008 R2's Master Data Services

Wednesday Sep 15th 2010 by Arshad Ali
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The Master Data Management (MDM) platform is built on top of the SQL Server 2008 R2 database and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). This article offers a step-by-step guide to installing and configuring this new capability, called Master Data Services (MDS).

The Master Data Management (MDM) platform is built on top of the SQL Server 2008 R2 database and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). This article offers a step-by-step guide to installing and configuring this new capability, called Master Data Services (MDS).

Introduction

SQL Server 2008 R2 introduced an extensible Master Data Management (MDM) platform, which is built on top of the SQL Server 2008 R2 database and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). This new capability is called Master Data Services (MDS). In this article, I am going to help you, step by step, to understand how to install this new capability and then how to configure it to use this great feature for creating, organizing, and managing master data centrally.

Note: Master Data Services is available with SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise edition, Datacenter Edition, Developer edition (for development purpose only) and Evaluation edition (for evaluating the product) only. For licensing details, you can visit the Master Data Service site.

Prerequisites

Master Data Services (MDS) has two main components viz. MDS database component (which stores all of the versions of master data, meta data, system wide settings, security related data, transaction logging, etc.) and Web component (a web portal called Master Data Manager and WCF Service to programmatically access all the features of MDS). You can install both of these components on the same machine or you can install them separately on different machines. These are prerequisites for installing and configuring Master Data Services:

Installing MDS

When you install SQL Server 2008 R2, this new capability, called MDS, is not installed by default or as part of the regular installation. You need to install it separately from the SQL Server 2008 R2 installation.

Go to the “Master Data Services” folder in the SQL Server 2008 R2 installation media, there you will find masterdataservices.msi; double click on this file to get started, and you will see a welcome screen.

Master Data Services Installation Welcome Screen
Figure 1 - Master Data Services Installation Welcome Screen

Click Next and then you will see the License Agreement screen. Read through the details and select “I accept the terms in the license agreement” radio button and finally click on the Next button to move ahead.

Master Data Services Installation License Agreement
Figure 2 -Master Data Services Installation License Agreement

The next screen will ask your name and your company name to personalize your installation. Enter these details and click on the Next button.

Master Data Services Installation Registration Info
Figure 3 - Master Data Services Installation Registration Info

on the next screen you can see that all of the components of Master Data Services are selected for installation along with a default installation path. If required, you can change this default selection to suit your environment and need.

Master Data Services Installation Features Selection
Figure 4 - Master Data Services Installation Features Selection

The next screen is the final screen. Here, if you want to change your selection you can go back and change it or else simply click on the Finish button to start the installation of Master Data Services.

Master Data Services Begin Installation
Figure 5 - Master Data Services Begin Installation

The installation will take few minutes and then finally you will see a completion screen with installation status.

Master Data Services Installation Completion
Figure 6 - Master Data Services Installation Completion

Now that we have installed the Master Data Services bits on the machine, we need to configure it to make it available for use. The next section discusses how to configure both the database and web application components of Master Data Services.

Configuring MDS

As I said before you need to configure two different components of Master Data Services; you can install both of these components on the same machine or on separate machines. Once installed, launch Master Data Services Configuration Manager (START -> All Programs -> SQL Server 2008 R2 -> Master Data Services -> Configuration Manager) as you can see below. This screen will let you know if the required prerequisites are available or not. On the left side you can see “Databases” and “Web Configuration” pages; configure them respectively.

Master Data Services Configuration
Figure 7 - Master Data Services Configuration

Click on the Databases Page to configure the database for storage of MDS objects. As you can see in the next screen you can either create a new database or can use an existing database for storage; this database must be on SQL Server 2008 R2.

Master Data Services Database Configuration
Figure 8 - Master Data Services Database Configuration

As we are working for the first time, let me show you how to create a new database. Simply click on the “Create Database” button to launch the Create Database Wizard.

Master Data Services Database Configuration -
Create Database 1
Figure 9 - Master Data Services Database Configuration - Create Database 1

On the next screen, specify the name of the SQL Server instance and type of authentication to be used to connect to that instance. You can verify the connection by clicking on the “Test Connection” button.

Master Data Services Database Configuration -
Create Database 2
Figure 10 - Master Data Services Database Configuration - Create Database 2

On the next screen, specify the name of the database that you want to create for storage of MDS objects and also specify whether do you want to use SQL Serve default collation for your MDS database or you want to use Windows collation.

Master Data Services Database Configuration -
Create Database 3
Figure 11 - Master Data Services Database Configuration - Create Database 3

On the next screen you need to specify the service account and the Administrator account that will have administrative privilege on the MDS database, including access to the all the models created in MDS. (I will be talking about model and other types of MDS objects in the next article.)

Master Data Services Database Configuration -
Create Database 4
Figure 12 - Master Data Services Database Configuration - Create Database 4

On the next screen, you can review your selection and click on the Next button to start configuration of database component of Master Data Services.

Master Data Services Database Configuration -
Create Database 5
Figure 13 - Master Data Services Database Configuration - Create Database 5

Once the MDS database is configured, you can see the default system wide setting, which you can change as per your need if you want. If you scroll down the page shown below, you will get an option to specify a Database Mail Profile, which will be used to send notification by Master Data Services. You can also create MDS database using a PowerShell script, for more details click here.

Master Data Services Database Configuration Done
Figure 14 - Master Data Services Database Configuration Done

Once the MDS database component is configured, you need to configure the web component. Click on the Web Configuration page in the left pane and you will see a screen as shown below. Click on the Create Site and follow the instructions to create the web application. Then you need to associate this web application to use the MDS database that you created earlier; for this click on the Select button to select the SQL Server instance and database.

Master Data Services Web Application
Configuration 1
Figure 15 - Master Data Services Web Application Configuration 1

The web application provides an UI (User Interface) to access all of the features of MDS. This UI is called Master Data Manager. This is not the only way to access to MDS features; you can enable WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services to access these features programmatically.

Master Data Services Web Application
Configuration 2
Figure 16 - Master Data Services Web Application Configuration 2

Conclusion

Master Data Services is a great feature of SQL Server 2008 R2 to remove master data duplicity across the line of businesses of an enterprise and allowing you to create a centralized hub for your master data. This centralized master data hub acts as a single authoritive source for all master data for an enterprise. This feature is not installed with regular SQL Server installation like you do for SSIS, SSRS and SSAS; you need to install and configure it separately, which is quite simple and easy as demonstrated above. In my next article, I am going to talk more in detail about what master data are, Master Data Management and Master Data Services.

References

MSDN: Installing and Configuring Master Data Services

MSDN: Web Application Requirements (Master Data Services)

» See All Articles by Columnist Arshad Ali

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