Master Data Services Overview

The following workflow provides an overview of how to use Master Data Services.

You might want to complete the following tasks in a test environment and use the sample data provided when you install Master Data Services. For more information, see Deploying Models (Master Data Services).

Unless otherwise noted, all of the following procedures require you to be a model administrator. For more information, see Administrators (Master Data Services).



Related Topics

Create a model

A model is the highest level of organization in Master Data Services. Each model you create should address a specific business need.

For example, you might need to track a master list of products or customers. When you create a model, it is considered VERSION_1.

Models (Master Data Services)

Create a Model (Master Data Services)

Create entities

Entities are model objects that contain members. Members are the physical master data that you manage in Master Data Services.

Create as many entities as you need to contain your members. For a Product model, you might create a Product entity to contain the master list of product members.

Entities (Master Data Services)

Create an Entity (Master Data Services)

Create entities to use as domain-based attributes

A domain-based attribute is an attribute with values that are populated by members from an entity. To create a domain-based attribute, first create the entity to populate the attribute value list.

For example, you might create a Color entity to contain a master list of colors. These colors can then be used as attribute values for the Product entity.

Domain-Based Attributes (Master Data Services)

Create a Domain-Based Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create attributes for your entities

Create attributes to describe members. A Name and Code attribute are automatically included in each entity and cannot be removed. You might want to create other free-form attributes to contain text, dates, numbers, or files.

For example, a Product entity might have free-form attributes for Cost, Weight, or SellStartDate.

Attributes (Master Data Services)

Create a Text Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create a Numeric Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create a Date Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create a Link Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create a File Attribute (Master Data Services)

Create attribute groups

If you have more than four or five attributes for an entity, you might want to create attribute groups. These groups are the tabs that are displayed above the grid in Explorer and they help ease navigation by grouping attributes together on individual tabs.

Attribute Groups (Master Data Services)

Create an Attribute Group (Master Data Services)

Import members for your supporting entities

Begin populating your master data by using the staging process. You may want to start by importing the members for your supporting entities.

For the Product model, this might mean importing colors or sizes.

You can also create members manually.


Users can create members in Master Data Manager if they have a minimum of Update permission to an entity's leaf model object and access to the Explorer functional area.

Importing Data (Master Data Services)

Load or Update Members in Master Data Services by Using the Staging Process

Create a Leaf Member (Master Data Services)

Create business rules to ensure data quality

Create and publish business rules to ensure the accuracy of your data. You can use business rules to:

  • Set default attribute values.

  • Change attribute values.

  • Send email notifications when data doesn't pass business rule validation.

Business Rules (Master Data Services)

Create and Publish a Business Rule (Master Data Services)

Notifications (Master Data Services)

Configure Email Notifications (Master Data Services)

Configure Business Rules to Send Notifications (Master Data Services)

Import members for your primary entities and apply business rules

Import the members for your primary entities by using the staging process. When done, validate the version, which applies business rules to all members in the model version.

You can then work to correct any business rule validation issues.

Validation (Master Data Services)

Validate a Version against Business Rules (Master Data Services)

Validation Stored Procedure (Master Data Services)

Create derived hierarchies

Create derived hierarchies from the domain-based attribute relationships that exist between the entities in the model. These level-based hierarchies can be updated as your business needs change and ensure that all members are accounted for at the appropriate level.

Derived Hierarchies (Master Data Services)

Create a Derived Hierarchy (Master Data Services)

If needed, create explicit hierarchies

If you want to create hierarchies that are not level-based and that include members from a single entity, you can create explicit hierarchies.

Explicit Hierarchies (Master Data Services)

Create an Explicit Hierarchy (Master Data Services)

If needed, create collections

If you want to view different groupings of members for reporting or analysis and do not need a complete hierarchy, create a collection.


Users can create collections in Master Data Manager if they have a minimum of Update permission to the collection model object and access to the Explorer functional area.

Collections (Master Data Services)

Create a Collection (Master Data Services)

Create user-defined metadata

To describe your model objects, add user-defined metadata to your model. The metadata might include the owner of an object or the source the data comes from.

Metadata (Master Data Services)

Add Metadata (Master Data Services)

Lock a version of your model and assign a version flag

Lock a version of your model to prevent changes to the members, except by administrators. When the version's data has validated successfully against business rules, you can commit the version, which prevents changes to members by all users.

Create and assign a version flag to the model. Flags help users and subscribing systems identify which version of a model to use.

Versions (Master Data Services)

Lock a Version (Master Data Services)

Create a Version Flag (Master Data Services)

Create subscription views

For your subscribing systems to consume your master data, create subscription views, which create standard views in the Master Data Services database.

Exporting Data (Master Data Services)

Create a Subscription View (Master Data Services)

Configure user and group permissions

You cannot copy user and group permissions from a test to a production environment. However, you can use your test environment to determine the security you want to use eventually in production.

Security (Master Data Services)

Add a Group (Master Data Services)

Add a User (Master Data Services)

When ready, you can deploy your model, with or without its data, to your production environment. For more information, see Deploying Models (Master Data Services).