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Microsoft MDS Room for Improvement

GaryM - PeerSpot reviewer
Data Architect at World Vision
  • Product Roadmap - it is unknown how Microsoft will support this tool long term as it now gets very few if any updates when new versions of SqlServer come out.  There is no known plan for Azure PaaS version.
  • It "can" have a bug where a model becomes corrupted.  It still operates but will no longer hard delete (purge function stops working) and can no longer migrate the model to another repository as the create or clone functions stop working.  It gives internal FK and duplicate row errors when attempting these functions.  
  • Another unpredictable bug:  Adding new attribute to entity doesn't show in web interface - only Excel.  Only known solution is to drop the entity and re-create it. Only experienced once so far.
  • Business Rules cannot prevent bad data entry!  Business rules cannot be used to prevent bad data from getting entered - it only marks the data as bad after it is saved because rules can only apply to data being saved.  And even then it requires the data steward to push a validate rules button.  If they forget they won't notice (and notifications won't go out) regarding rule violations.  In my 30+ years in IT I've never experienced a tool that only allows you to create reactive rules that identify bad data but never prevent it from getting saved. In a large enterprise I would rule this as a show stopper.
    • Bottom line:  Business rules need the ability to prevent data changes, not just validate saved changes
  • Second largest shortcoming:  Hierarchy integration views don't support custom attributes. This capability (which would be awesome if it worked right) is completely worthless without supporting custom attributes.
  • Explorer GUI is clunky and awkward.
  • Tool needs to get more frequent enhancements.  For example, since 2016 there has been no enhancement except replacing Silverlight in the 2019 version.
  • It needs the ability to publish only a single business rule. Publishing business rules requires publishing all rules and results in requirement for re-validation of all rules.  Until that is done the validation status on all affected records is in an "awaiting validation" state which can adversely affect data usage and validity.  
  • Needs ability to remove menu options that may not be relevant to data stewards such as Entity Dependencies, Collections or Changesets.
  • Needs ability to default user group's first screen.  For example defaulting to a specific hierarchy display.
  • Resolve a bug in the domain based validation business rule feature: the web interface will not allow correcting domain based lookups in the child properties (only works using hierarchy drag/drop or within Excel).
  • Hierarchy names should allow exceeding 30 characters.
  • Selecting child members within the navigator in a hierarchy results in the GUI just ignoring you... it should allow selecting children in the navigator or at least give an error message. (Note that 2012 version resulted in blank middle panel when this occurred rather than just ignoring you).
  • Needs to allow renaming the code and name attributes within the publication views (only allows renaming in the UI).
  • Derived hierarchy views should optionally include all attributes from all respective levels, not just the code and name attributes.
  • Needs to allow setting the CODE attribute datatype as numeric rather than forced datatype of string (which turns into nvarchar(250) behind the scenes). This is a significant headache as simple sorting on the CODE attribute with numbers causes numbers without leading zeros to not sort correctly and it requires adding business rule to enforce numeric datatype.
  • Needs to support setting view datatypes to varchar rather than forcing nvarchar so subsequent extracts do not have to do datatype conversion if not using unicode in your target database.
  • Versioning lacks granularity as it only supports model-level versioning.
  • The deployment migration GUI tool doesn't support data, only meta-data making the GUI export tool fairly useless. (Including data requires use of command line to support data)
  • The deployment migration tools do not support business rules requiring manual maintenance when using multiple environments (e.g. dev/sit/prod).
  • Excel plug-in needs to support hierarchies.
  • Needs to support email notification to more than one email group/user.
  • Staging process is non-intuitive and overly complicated.
  • Repository should utilize a prefix or unique schema for each model so that entities and views do not have to be uniquely named across models.
  • Needs ability to integrate seamlessly with data quality products. (DQS has some level of integration with MDS but the integration is overly complex and DQS's days are likely numbered).
  • Notification should work without an AD user first accessing the model. Once you setup the notification for an AD user or group it should just work without every user having to log on at least one time.  

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Suman Jupudi - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Database Developer at Hill Physicians Medical Group

The only drawback is that it does not have the matching, merging, and all true MDM components. For these, you have to use another competent called Data Quality Services (DQS). You need to plug it in and use it along with MDS for true MDM. Both of these are integrated together, but you have to do them separately, whereas, in Profisee, there are a couple of screens where you can configure the matching process, create matching rules, and other things, and everything is in one product, which is not the case with MDS. 

In order to implement a true MDM, you need MDS, DQS, and SSIS. You have to use MDS to store your golden records, DQS to configure and standardize all your rules and matching percentages, and SSIS to load the data to DQS and MDS. At the same time, you also need Melissa Data to clean up your addresses to validate and standardize the addresses. That's the main component of true MDM. It would be good if they can create a true matching component inside MDS and merge MDS and DQS.

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Satyam Saxena - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Software Developer at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees

I have faced data primary violation in MDS when the primary key was full and that is not good. There are occasions when the solution maintains SD and we get duplications of MDS. When I use the SIS package for batch activity and it's full, I have to delete the batch manually by going into the database. The solution can sometimes be slow. We are in a healthcare environment and I've faced some synchronizing issues with the test model. I've faced some issues as a consultant of this solution because of the above. It can be slow sometimes.

I rate the solution six out of 10. 

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Buyer's Guide
Microsoft MDS
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft MDS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ariful Mondal - PeerSpot reviewer
Consulting Practice Partner - Data, Analytics & AI at FH

The version that I work with is on-premises and it required an additional virtual machine on the cloud. It would be a better option to have an on-cloud version.

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Individual Contributor at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I would like to separate the website from the database side. By default, you have the webserver running on the same server as it is the database. This forces us to make a bigger VM which means more costing for the VM. We tried to go with a less expensive route and every now and then we run out of memory, you have to reboot the machine. It is okay in DEV and QA, but ideally, we should not have this happening.

I do not like using Silverlight and Internet Explorer. The new 2019 version gets rid of that, which is one of the reasons why we are looking to switch.

Additionally, the overall performance could improve.

View full review »
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft MDS
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft MDS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.