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SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): Master Data Services

SQL Server Master Data Services (MDS) has a number of enhancements in SQL Server 2012:

Improved web user interface – If you are a current user of MDS in SQL Server 2008 R2 you know that it’s pretty difficult to navigate and feels like a “1.0″ version.  In SQL Server 2012, it is now built with Silverlight and has a much more natural in-place navigation system.

Excel add-In (download) - Instead of using the web user interface, via an Excel add-in you can use Excel to manage MDS.  From within the Add-in, users can publish data to the MDS database with the click of a button.  You can also create new model objects and load data without ever launching any administrative tools.   All master data remains centrally managed in MDS, while the ability to read or update the data is distributed to those who need it via the Excel add-in.  Watch a video demonstration or Learn how to use the Add-in for Excel.

Integration with Data Quality Services – Before adding more data to MDS, you can now confirm that you aren’t adding duplicate records.  The MDS Add-in for Excel uses SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) to compare two sources of data: the data from MDS and the data from another system or spreadsheet.  DQS provides suggestions for updating your data, along with the percent of confidence that the changes are correct.  Learn how to use the DQS component of the Add-in for Excel.

Entity-Based Staging – Master Data Services has completely re-architected the staging process.  A new schema (stg) has been created to hold staging tables that map directly with the each MDS entity.  These tables integrate well with SSIS, requiring no additional pivot of the data to load into MDS.  Learn how to use the new staging process.

Installation is part of SQL Server – You can now install Master Data Services while you’re installing SQL Server instead of using a separate installer, as was required in the previous release.  You can install Master Data Services by using the SQL Server Installation Wizard or a command prompt.

More Info:

Master Data Services in SQL Server Denali–Preview in CTP3

TechEd Video Managing Master Data with MDS and Microsoft Excel

Master Data Services – What’s New In SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3

What’s New in Master Data Services (MDS) in Denali CTP3

James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger (JamesSerra.com) and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.


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