Core SQL Server 2008 R2 Technologies: Deploying Master Data Services


Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Administration Cookbook

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Administration Cookbook

Over 70 practical recipes for administering a high-performance SQL Server 2008 R2 system

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(For more resources on Microsoft SQL Server, see here.)

Installing and configuring a Master Data Services Solution

The administrative control of data is a primary task in any line of business management; as long as the data-flow is intended to meet enterprise level business needs, it serves the purpose. The essence of Master Data Management (MDM) is identified when the data is used for operational and analytical processes; however, those management processes must be able to clearly define the business concepts, identify different ways the data sets represent commonly understood concepts, and integrate the data into a consistent view that is available across the organization.

SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces Master Data Services (MDS), which is designed to provide hierarchies that can be customized to group and summarize the master data. This kind of hierarchical representation helps to change the reporting structures and incorporate new aspects of the business rules by reducing the data-duplication. The best usage of MDS will help us to maintain a central database of master data, which is managed for reporting and analysis. In this recipe, we will go through the important steps to install and configure an MDS solution on an existing data platform. The core components of MDS are MDS configuration manager, MDS manager, and MDS web service.

Getting ready

There are certain pre-installation tasks required to install Master Data Services (MDS) and the setup must meet minimum requirements. The installation requirement is divided into MDS setup, MDM web application services, and MDS database.

The MDS setup prerequisites are as follows:

  • The MDS setup is possible only on the 64-bit versions of SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, and SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer editions
  • The supported operating systems are Enterprise Editions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7, and Windows Vista Ultimate. Also, Windows 7 or Vista Professional edition support this feature
  • Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 Service Pack1 is required, to download refer to
  • The user account used to install MDS must be a member of the Administrators group on the local server

The MDM web application and web services prerequisites are as follows:

The MDS database prerequisites are as follows:

  • MDS requires a database to support MDM web applications and web services
  • In this recipe, the machine that hosts an MDS database is using an instance of SQL Server 2008 R2 database engine

How to do it...

To implement the Master Data Management solution, MDS must be installed, which has two main components, an MDS database component and an MDS web component. Ensure that all of the prerequisites (mentioned in the earlier sections) are in place and by default the MDS is not installed as a part of the regular SQL Server 2008 R2 installation. We need to install the MDS separately as follows:

  • On the SQL Server 2008 R2 installation media, navigate to the \MasterDataServices\X64\1033_ENU folder and double-click on masterdataservices.msi file that will present a welcome screen
  • Similar to the SQL Server installation screens, the MDS setup requires default information on the remaining steps that are self-explanatory
  • The presented screens are License Agreement, Registration Information, Feature selection, and Ready to install to complete the Master Data Services installation

Now that we have installed the Master Data Services components on the server, we need to configure the MDS to make it available for use.

  1. The MDM configuration is implemented as a two-fold phase: Databases and Web Configuration.
  2. To launch the MDS configuration manager, go to Start | All Programs | SQL Server 2008 R2 | Master Data Services | Configuration Manager.

  3. The tabs on the left-hand side represent Databases and Web configuration. Databases configure and store MDS configuration, web configuration for MDS, and web service for application integration.

  4. Make sure you click on the Databases page to create an MDS database to configure and store MDS objects. The database that is used or created must be on SQL Server 2008 R2.

  5. To ensure that the supplied configuration is working, click on the Test Connection button.
  6. Click Next to create a new Master Data Services database.
  7. On the Create Database screen, provide the database name and collation (choose SQL Server default collation or Windows collation). The collation is a single-selection, when we choose the SQL Server default collation, the Windows collation and other options (binary/case-sensitive) are disabled.

    The Collation is an important step to plan when Unicode data is stored and managed within the database. It is essential to plan proper collation settings during the SQL Server installation.

  8. The remaining two options Service Account and Administrator Account are self-explanatory.
  9. The username specified in the Service Account screen is added as member of dbo role for DBIASSQA_MDS_DB database. The user name specified in the Administrator Account screen will be the site administrator (super user) and will also have permissions to log on and add users to MDM applications.
  10. The account must be a domain account that is required to use application pools to connect to a database. Access the database using MDS manager site and web services based on the permissions.
  11. The Summary screen is an informative window that will help to review the details, click Next to start the configuration.
  12. The status for the MDS database creation and configuration will be shown as a Success.
  13. Click Finish to complete the Create Database wizard. To hold the metadata for the MDS repository, proceed to Metadata Services configuration manager.
  14. It is ideal to leave all the System Settings to default except Master Data Manager URL for notifications value.

  15. The MDS configuration manager for Databases is complete, so we will now proceed to the Web Configuration tab.
  16. Click on the Web Configuration option, which will present the following screenshot.

  17. The configuration will provide you with various options such as:
    • Select the required website (from Web site drop-down) and web applications that hold MDS and can be configured
    • Select required websites that do not have MDS and click on Create Application
    • Create a new website by clicking on Create Site–that is specific to MDS only–that automatically creates a web application
  18. To choose an existing SQL server instance and database for MDS web application to access, click on the Select button.
  19. For this recipe, we will use an existing website: DBIASSQA-MDS, so select an existing SQL Server instance: DBIA-SSQA\SQL2K8R2 and database: DBIASSQA_MDS_DB.
  20. To configure the web services to enable programmatic access to MDS, click on the Enable Web services for this Web application option.
  21. Click on Apply to complete the MDS configuration. This completes the configuration and presents a popup indicating that the MDS configuration is complete.
  22. On the Configuration Complete screen, choose the Launch Web application in browser option and click OK to open the MDS Getting Started page in the browser.

This completes the configuration of the Master Data Services databases and web configuration that will enable you to feature the MDS solution on an existing data platform.

How it works...

The Master Data Services setup will host the MDS web application and installs relevant MDS folders and files at the location and assigns permission to the objects. The setup will register MDS assemblies in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). The MDS snap-in for Windows PowerShell is registered and installs the MDS configuration manager. A new windows group called MDS_ServiceAccount is created to contain the MDS service accounts for application pools. The MDS installation path creates a folder MDSTempDir where temporary compilation files are compiled for the MDM web application, and permissions are assigned for the MDS_ServiceAccount group.

The web application configuration section follows a different workflow method, by including an option to Create Site followed by specifying settings for the new site and the MDS web application configured as the root web application in the site. This process will not allow you to configure the MDS web application under any virtual paths or specify an alias for the application. The Create New Application process enables you to select a website to create an MDS application in and the Create Application screen allows you to specify settings for the new application. The MDS application will be configured as an application in the selected site at the virtual path and at a specified alias.

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(For more resources on Microsoft SQL Server, see here.)

Designing and deploying framework to use Master Data Services

The Master Data Services (MDS) helps to solve the problem of storing, integrating, and enforcing processes. This helps to decide which data we want to manage, build a model and rules for, load data and establish workflows and notifications. In this recipe, we will go through the process of designing and deploying a framework to use MDS effectively, that includes deploying a package of a model to a target MDS environment.

Getting ready

The prerequisites for this recipe are as follows:

  • Ensure that the account used to perform the procedure has permission to access the System Administration functional area in the target MDS environment
  • Ensure that a model deployment package exists. We can create a package of a model from the source system and deploy it directly to another MDS environment; use the package to create a new model or update an existing model

For this recipe, we will use the sample package files that are included when installing MDS. These package files are located by default under \%Program Files%\Microsoft SQL Server\Master Data Services\Samples\Packages directory or the installation path that is chosen when installing MDS. When we deploy these packages, sample models are created and populated with data.

How to do it...

The following steps are essential for package deployment and building a model to design and deploy a framework to use MDS. As per the sample package files installation directory, the three packages are installed: ChartofAccounts, Customer, and Product.

  1. Open the Admin page of MDS from the Browser.
  2. The MDS web page can be opened using IIS. Navigate to Start | Run | Inetmgr and go to the website that is hosting the MDS application. In this case, go to DBIASSQA_MDS.
  3. Navigate to Master Data Services Application and right-click to choose the Manage Web Site option to click on Browse.

  4. The MDS homepage will present you with the options Explorer, Version Management, Integration Management, System Administration, User, and Group Permissions.
  5. Click on the System Administration option to open the Model deployment wizard that will deploy an existing package.

  6. This will redirect you to a new page by presenting a drop down selection deployment option. Click on the Deployment option.

  7. The Deploy Package will appear, click on the Browse button to point to the package file (.pkg extension) located under \%Program Files%\Microsoft SQL Server\Master Data Services\Samples\Packages directory.
  8. Click Next and Next again to begin the deployment process.
  9. If the model already exists, we can update it by selecting the Update the existing model option and selecting a version to update.
  10. To create a new model, we must select the Create new model option and enter the name for that new model.
  11. For this recipe, we are choosing the Product.pkg file to deploy. Similarly, the previous steps can be followed to deploy ChartOfAccounts and Customer packages.
  12. The successful deployment will present a message: The Package for the model was deployed successfully.
  13. Click Refresh on the browser and select the drop-down list from Model to see the successful deployment of the Product package.

  14. Select the Product package from Model drop-down and click on Explore to view the information about entities and attributes of a selected model.
  15. The different entities of the Product model are presented as a drop-down list along with the highlighted Attributes and Derived Hierarchies.

You should now have successfully designed and deployed a framework to use MDS effectively.

How it works...

The package deployment process is a pre-defined process within MDS that follows the steps to create a package of a model from the source system (file based), and deploy it to a defined MDS environment. The Model deployment wizard can be used to create a new model or update an existing model. When creating a deployment package, we can decide whether or not to include data. If data is included, then we must select a version of data that will compile the data by using the MDS staging process.

It is essential to know about the model view presentation that represents various components for each model object, such as:

  • Model: Highest level of data abstraction layer, which contains multiple entities and other related objects
  • Entities: These are objects in the MDS model and a container of members, which are defined by various attributes
  • Attributes: These are represented as domains that differentiate each Entity Member
  • Members: A single instance of Entity or a row of tables. This will have two types (consolidated members and leaf level members)

Furthermore, a model package is an XML file that is saved with the .pkg extension. It is ideal to refer to the steps for the Model Deployment package using XML schema from


This article covered the installation and configuration of Master Data Services in the first section. The second section was about designing and deploying framework to use Master Data Services.

Further resources on this subject:

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