What's New (Master Data Services)
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services contains the following new features.
Use Excel to Manage Master Data
You can now manage your master data in the Master Data Services Add-in for Excel. You can use this add-in to load a filtered set of data from your Master Data Services database, work with the data in Excel, and then publish the data back to the database. If you are an administrator, you can also use the add-in to create new entities and attributes. It is easy to share shortcut query files, which contain information about the server, the model, version, entity, and any applied filters. You can send the shortcut query file to another user via Microsoft Outlook. You can refresh data in the Excel worksheet with data from the server, refreshing either the entire Excel worksheet or a contiguous selection of MDS-managed cells in the worksheet. For more information, see Master Data Services Add-in for Microsoft Excel.
Match Data before Loading
Before adding more data to MDS, you can now confirm that you are not 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. For more information, see Data Quality Matching in the MDS Add-in for Excel.
Load Data into MDS Using Entity-Based Staging
Loading data into MDS has become easier. You can now load all members and attribute values for an entity at one time. Previously you had to load members and attributes in separate batches. See Importing Data (Master Data Services).
New Model Deployment Tools
To deploy models with data, a new, higher performance command-line tool is now available. The model deployment wizard in the web application can now be used to deploy model structure only; to create and deploy packages with data, you must use the command-line MDSModelDeploy tool. For more information, see Deploying Models (Master Data Services).
A new Model Package Editor enables you to deploy selected parts of a model, rather than the entire model. You can use the Model Package Editor to select those parts of a model that you want to deploy, and leave out other parts. For more information, see Edit a Model Deployment Package.
Redesigned and Higher-Performance Web User Interface
The Explorer and Integration Management functional areas of the Master Data Manager web application have been updated with a new Silverlight® look and feel. You can now add and delete members more quickly, as well as move members in a hierarchy more easily. Each collection member can have a weight value assigned. When you use the Collections subscription view format, a Weight column displays the value set in the UI. For more information, see Importing Data (Master Data Services).
To work in the Master Data Manager web application, Silverlight 5.0 must be installed on the client computer. If you do not have the required version of Silverlight, you will be prompted to install it when you navigate to an area of the web application that requires it. You can install Silverlight 5 from here.
SharePoint Workflow Integration Introduced
Two new features have been introduced to contribute to SharePoint workflow integration.
The Master Data Manager web UI can now be cropped for better display in SharePoint or other websites. By adding the query parameter &hosted=true to the website URL, you remove the header, the menu bar, and padding at the bottom of the page. For more information, see Display the Master Data Services Web Application in SharePoint.
When using the MDS Add-in for Excel, you can create a shortcut query file to connect and load frequently-used data from the MDS repository into the Add-in. These query files are XML files that can be saved to SharePoint in order to be shared with users who want to access the same dataset. For more information, see Shortcut Query Files (MDS Add-in for Excel).
Multi-level Recursive Hierarchies Support
Master Data Services supports creating a recursive hierarchy with three or more levels. This enables you to build a multi-level derived hierarchy with one recursive relationship and one or more non-recursive relationships spread over different levels. You can also add a non-recursive parent node at a level above a recursive node while still supporting anchor null relationships. For more information, see Recursive Hierarchies (Master Data Services).
Many to Many Mapping Improved
MDS can now be used more effectively to manage many-to-many relationships. When you use an entity as a mapping table for other entities, in the Master Data Manager web application, you can now click through to view related entities. For more information, see Many-to-Many Mapping in Master Data Services.
Codes Automatically Generated
It is now easier to have Code attribute values automatically created for new members. Previously, you had to create a business rule to automatically create values for the Code attribute. For more information, see Automatic Code Creation (Master Data Services).
To make assigning security easier, you can no longer assign model object permissions to the Derived Hierarchy, Explicit Hierarchy, and Attribute Group objects.
Derived hierarchy permissions are now based on the model. For example, if you want a user to have permission to a derived hierarchy, you must assign Update to the model object. Then you can assign Deny permission to any entities you don’t want the user to have access to.
Explicit hierarchy permissions are now based on the entity. For example, if the user has Update permissions to an Account entity, then all explicit hierarchies for the entity will be updateable.
Attribute group permissions can no longer be assigned in the User and Group Permissions functional area. Instead, in the System Administration functional area where attribute groups are created, users and groups can be given Update permission to attribute groups. Read-only permission to attribute groups is no longer available.
For more information, see Security (Master Data Services).
Installation is Part of SQL Server
You can now install Master Data Services while you are 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. For more information, see Install Master Data Services.