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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services [Paperback]

Tyler Graham , Suzanne Selhorn

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Book Description

Feb. 24 2011 007175623X 978-0071756235 1

Best Practices for Deploying and Managing Master Data Services (MDS)

Effectively manage master data and drive better decision making across your enterprise with detailed instruction from two MDS experts. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services Implementation & Administration shows you how to use MDS to centralize the management of key data within your organization. Find out how to build an MDS model, establish hierarchies, govern data access, and enforce business rules. Legacy system integration and security are also covered. Real-world programming examples illustrate the material presented in this comprehensive guide.

  • Create a process-agnostic solution for managing your business domains
  • Learn how to take advantage of the data modeling capabilities of MDS
  • Manage hierarchies and consolidations across your organization
  • Import data by using SQL Server Integration Services and T-SQL statements
  • Ensure data accuracy and completeness by using business rules and versioning
  • Employ role-based security at functional, object, and attribute levels
  • Design export views and publish data to subscribing systems
  • Use Web services to progrmmatically interact with your implementation

Product Details


Product Description

About the Author

Tyler Graham is a Senior Program Manager with the Microsoft Master Data Services team. Before joining Microsoft, he spent 10 years in the field working with organizations on data quality issues. Tyler frequently assists with major implementations at Fortune 500 companies.

Suzanne Selhorn is Technical Writer on the MDS team. She was a major contributor to the SQL Server 2008 R2 Books Online content for Master Data Services.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The must starting point to Master Data Services March 29 2011
By Marius Zaharia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Being around Master Data Services - and master data management generally speaking - for more than a year, I was looking with interest to this book. It is rather a niche domain, so any investment in a dedicated documentation may be very valuable.

"Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services" is dedicated to the average user of the product as much as to the initiation in the master data management concepts.
The book - written by, probably, the best references in the field from the Microsoft team - takes a systematical approach of passing by all the necessary steps to mount a complete master data management system based on Microsoft Master Data Services. You will pass through product installation/configuration, project initiation, creating the model structure, integrating with and publishing to other systems, working with hierarchies & collections, mastering specific concepts like versioning, transactions, annotations, simple & advanced business rules; working with and extending metadata; implementing advanced security configuration, and so on. On every step when applicable, a parallel is made between the user interface manipulation and the equivalent web service API code.
While it exposes in structured way the already existing information from MSDN, the book adds value by using an example based approach - a fictive clothing company - which gives concreteness and understanding to the various concepts.

What I liked:
The systematical approach - if you pass through the whole book, you will have a complete overall understanding of the master data management, as much as of Master Data Services product itself.
The parallel made between the UI operations and the web service API calls - which let us understand a part of the internal functioning of the product.

What I didn't like:
While the book is very "correct" to the average user, I would have liked some more advanced scenarios - on both conceptual side and product customization.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notes from a BI Architect/Microsoft Certified Trainer June 27 2011
By Brandon Ahmad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I originally wanted to write this quite a while and am just writing it now.

My Perspective: I'm a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a BI Architect. I've had the experience of teaching many students Business Intelligence and of having architected solutions for Fortune 500 companies.

My thoughts...

This is one of the most well-written introductory books that I've seen. The exercises actually work on a virtual machine, which is always a plus. In addition, many complicated topics are simplified and presented in an introductory manner.

That said, the biggest advantage -- the ease and simplicity -- is also the biggest disadvantage.

To properly implement Master Data Services in an Enterprise scenario, one needs to have a full understanding of the theory within data governance. Otherwise, they will not be able to handle the complicated scenarios within an Enterprise. To properly understand data governance three holes need to be addressed, I recommend reading these books to address those holes in addition to this book:

1. Beginning Database Design: From Novice to Professional by Clare Churcher

2. MASTER DATA MANAGEMENT AND DATA GOVERNANCE by Alex Berson. --> Provides a deeper understanding of Data Governance Theory that is vendor neutral. This will be needed to understand any data governance solution.

3. Building a Data Warehouse: With Examples in SQL Server Vincent Rainardi --> Best and only book out there on building a data warehouse -- author supplements with some basic ETL theory on Data Warehouse Design, including the ETL. While the ETL isn't the newest out there, the theory on how to build ETL for a data warehouse is what is important. The ETL section was the weakest in this book.

All the supplemental thoughts aside, I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it. If the authors had addressed all of these topics in the book, the book would have been a couple of thousand pages easily negating its values. This is probably the best introductory book on data governance that I've seen.

I'd recommend reading it to not only understand how to use Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 R2 tool, but understanding that more information will be needed to successfully implement this on an Enterprise, Production-ready level.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to SQL Server's solution for Master Data Management June 29 2011
By Shane Willerton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Master Data Management, MDM, is a very broad topic. At a high-level, it entails managing data and metadata across multiple sources, throughout the data and business modeling process, through the Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) process(es) and into the Reporting layers. Many vendors tout their end-to-end MDM products. To get full benefit, a business typically has to purchase not only the vendor's MDM integration solution, but also their Data Modeling tool, their ETL Tool as well as their Reporting tool. Enterprise MDM solutions become very expensive, very quickly. Most businesses have an assortment of tools that frequently do not integrate easily without significant manual intervention.
Microsoft SQLServer 2008 R2 Master Data Services is Microsoft's solution to the integration nightmare confronting companies. This book is an excellent guide to getting up and running with the Master Data Services component of SQL Server 2008 R2. There are many screen-by-screen examples on setting up the application, configuring hierarchies, importing data model definitions. The primary users interact with Master Data Services via a web browser interface.
A word of caution, the tool, Master Data Services, requires a non-developer version of SQL Server 2008 R2 as a backend and the application itself can only run on a 64 bit machine running either Windows Server 2008 or later, Windows Vista Business or higher, or Windows 7 Professional or higher. Often companies that have Microsoft SQL Server will have a test server available that can be used to try it out, but the average home user will probably not have the spare server. I skimmed the setup and configuration sections which seemed easy to understand and very straight forward. I focused mainly on the sections that described the capabilities and functionality of the tool.

Most of the integration into and out of Master Data Services entails reading or generating flat files via SSIS packages into well-defined interfaces. There are views available in the database backend for external applications, such as ETL tools, to pull directly against for re-use.
The two main areas where this tool excels are in data model management (and/or business process management) and maintenance of conformed hierarchies. Master Data Services provides a generic structure for maintaining any domain model. The terms used in the book will be familiar to anyone knowledgeable with business process modeling or logical data modeling; domains, entities, attributes, etc.
The authors of this book do a very good job of defining some of the different roles that applications can play in relation to an organization's data. Three useful ones, in particular, are System of Entry, System of Record and Subscribing Systems. System of Entry (SOE) is a frontline data-entry system. System of Record (SOR) is a system designated as the authoritative system for a subject area; such as customer, account, etc. And Subscribing Systems are downstream systems that consume data from other systems without directly modifying the data.
Among the more interesting functionality provided by Master Data Services, the ability to create and maintain hierarchies by non-technical business users is the most beneficial in my opinion. Structured hierarchical data, such as Sales market and Corporate hierarchies (representing corporations and their subsidiaries), represent some of the most difficult and dynamic structures that Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse teams can manage. Often these structures are managed manually by an IT Developer who fulfills requests from a Business Analyst without truly understanding the relationships and/or the domain. Often, the updates have to be manually applied to multiple applications. Master Data Services allows the Business Analyst to centrally create and modify business rules related to enforce integrity in a hierarchy as well as add, move and delete nodes. These conformed hierarchies can then be published to other source systems and applications for re-use. Master Data Services provides support for multiple hierarchy types as well as generic collections for non-structured data.
The security model described in the book allows different users to maintain their own domains. One person could maintain the sales market hierarchy while another user can maintain a different domain.
Master Data Services is not an ETL, data modeling or reporting tool. It is a generic integration layer for all of these. For companies that lack the purchasing power to buy a completely integrated MDM solution, I would strongly recommend this book and tool for those shops which already have Microsoft SQL Server 2008 in house. While the tool itself does not integrate with third-party solutions, it does provide a generic file interface for import and export as well as database views for other tools to pull from.
I would have liked the authors to provide more concrete examples of the types of domains and hierarchies that could potentially benefit from this tool. Also, I found the definition of what constitutes Master Data to be somewhat murky and amorphous. The first chapter provides a decent high-level description of Master Data Management (also called Data Governance). The rest of the book is devoted to the tool's functionality. The authors could have better detailed the place Master Data Services fit into a Master Data Management strategy by giving a paragraph on the other aspects, such as ETL tools, Reporting tools, Modeling tools and other Source systems. Having a background in Data Warehousing and Data Governance, I found this book easy to follow. This book is not an introduction to Master Data Management, Data Warehousing or Data Integration. As an introduction on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone contemplating on implementing this package as part of their MDM strategy.
If you work in IT, are involved in Business Intelligence or Data Warehousing and your company is starting to look at integrated MDM solutions, I strongly recommend reading this book before your business analysts can. This tool or one like it is something Data Stewards and Business Analysts alike would immensely benefit from using. Be the one to bring this functionality to their attention. Don't get caught unprepared.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You get the MDS construction April 4 2011
By Magnus Wernersson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very functional book to read as an introduction to MS Master Data Services. You're well up and running after having red this book. The product still has some miles to walk before it can be called an enterprise platform though.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about Master Data Services March 16 2011
By Yair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is very well written and very easy to read.
It seems like the writers have a deep understanding of the MDM space in general and deep insights into the Master Data Services (MDS) offering by Microsoft.
The book will walk you through the concepts and features of MDS. The tips are just great and will probably save the reader a lot of time dealing with specific issues.
The writers chose to describe and demonstrate all the features through a single customer scenario. I think it was a very wise decision as it makes it much easier to understand how things fit.
The book also contains code samples and description of the MDS APIs.

Bottom line, for anyone that wants to learn more about MDS this is a must read book.

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