Jeremy Kashel's Blog

Master Data Services SQL Server 2012 Vs 2008 R2

I’ve given quite a few MDS demos recently and one question I seem to get asked often is “What features does MDS 2012 have compared to MDS 2008R2?”. As its happened quite a few times, I thought it would be a good idea to put a quick post together to explain the differences. The table below details all the features MDS has and compares the two versions:

Feature

MDS 2012

MDS 2008 R2

Front End

·         New Silverlight UI added for the Explorer area. Better performance, with less clicks to get tasks done.

·         Excel Add-in introduced

·         HTML based ASP.NET implementation.

·         No Excel Add-in

Modelling

·         Carry out in the web UI, plus some tasks can be carried out in Excel

·         Allows the auto generation of a code without using business rules

·         Carry out modelling in the web UI only

Hierarchies

·         Three types of hierarchies

·         Manage hierarchies in the new Silverlight UI

·         Three types of hierarchies

·         Manage hierarchies in the older UI style

Collections

·         Add members from Explicit Hierarchies or other Collections

·         Maintain a weighting on a member by member basis

·         Add members from Explicit Hierarchies or other Collections

Staging Process

·         A staging table is created per entity that you create in MDS. The table mirrors the exact structure that you see when you view the entity in the front end, making loading easier.

·         A generic staging table is used for all entities. This means, for example, you must load attribute changes in attribute name/value pairs

Deployment

·         Deploy the model structure from the front end.

·         Deploy the data from the new command line deployment tool

·         Deploy model structure and data from the front end

Security

·         Grant permissions to models, entities, attributes and attribute groups

·         Security cleaned up and simplified (no longer necessary to grant permissions to hierarchies)

·         Grant permissions to models, entities, attributes, attribute groups and hierarchies

Business Rules

·         Alter attribute values, validate data integrity, initiate workflow.

·         Some minor validation changes around using business rules to auto-generate Code values

·         Alter attribute values, validate data integrity, initiate workflow.

 

SharePoint Integration

·         Initiate a SharePoint workflow from MDS business rules

·         New functionality to embed the web UI inside a SharePoint page

·         Initiate a SharePoint workflow from MDS business rules

 

Data Quality Services (DQS) Integration

·         Connect to a DQS matching policy from Excel, against MDS master data

·         No DQS capability, as DQS is new in SQL Server 2012

Version Management

·         Create multiple copies of your master data and work with them independently as needed

·         Some minor UI improvements have been added

·         As SQL 2012, create multiple copies of your master data and work with them independently as needed

Transactions (auditing)

·         Transactions removed from Explorer and now are only available in Version Management

·         Therefore users cannot reverse their own transactions, only administrators can do this

·         Annotations are now permanent and cannot be deleted

·         Transactions viewable in two areas, Explorer and Version Management

·         Users can reverse their own transactions

·         Annotations can be deleted

Metadata

·         No support to view Metadata – this is now a deprecated feature

·         Customise the metadata for most objects in MDS

·         View metadata in the metadata explorer

Installation & Configuration

·         Installation from the main SQL Server setup program

·         Minor changes to the configuration settings

·         Installation from the SQL Server media, but not included in the main setup program

 
For me the improvements to the performance and the addition of the Excel Add-in are the most compelling reasons to upgrade. The great thing in particular about the Excel Add-in is that data stewards can manage data with the familiarity of Excel, but the data itself will be stored in SQL Server 2012.