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James Serra's Blog

James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

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

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