Models (Master Data Services)

Models are the highest level of data organization in Master Data Services. A model contains the following model objects:

  • Entities

  • Attributes and attribute groups

  • Explicit and derived hierarchies

  • Collections

This image shows the relationship between the objects in a model.

Model objects

A model contains entities. Entities contain attributes, explicit hierarchies, and collections. Attributes can be contained in attribute groups. Domain-based attributes (DBAs) exist when an entity is used as an attribute for another entity.


Derived hierarchies are also model objects, but they are not shown in the image. Derived hierarchies are derived from the domain-based attribute relationships that exist between entities. See Derived Hierarchies (Master Data Services) for more information.

Master data is the data that is contained in the model objects. In Master Data Services, master data is stored as members in an entity.

Your Master Data Services implementation can have one or many models. Each model should group similar kinds of data. In general, master data can be categorized in one of four ways: people, places, things, or concepts. For example, you can create a Product model to contain product-related data or a Customer model to contain customer-related data.

You can assign users and groups permission to view and update objects within the model. If you do not give permission to the model, it is not displayed.

At any given time, you can create copies of the master data within a model. These copies are called versions.

When you have defined a model in a test environment, you can deploy it, with or without the corresponding data, from the test environment to a production environment. This eliminates the need to recreate your models in your production environment.

Model objects are maintained in the System Administration functional area of the Master Data Manager user interface.


In the following example, the objects in the Product model logically group product-related data.

Model structure

Other common models are:

  • Accounts, which could include entities such as balance sheet accounts, income statement accounts, statistics, and account type.

  • Customer, which could include entities such as gender, education, occupation, and marital status.

  • Geography, which could include entities such as postal codes, cities, counties, states, provinces, regions, territories, countries, and continents.