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How does Microsoft MDS (vs Informatica MDM) fit with Azure architecture?

Richard Tibbetts - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Architect at Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Hi community,

I work as an Information Architect at a Government company with 5000+ employees.

I need a solution to manage client data across multiple systems:

  • 4000 users
  • 500,000 records
  • Federal Government regulatory agency

How does Microsoft Master Data Services (MDS) compare to Informatica MDM (or even Profisee) for integration with Azure?

Which of the solutions above will fit with Azure Data Lake Reference Architecture?

What about integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Thanks for your help!

    PeerSpot user
    35 Answers

    InitZero - PeerSpot reviewer
    Top 5LeaderboardReal User

    Hi @Richard Tibbetts,

    There's no short answer to your question. Nearly all existing MDM solutions on the market offer a broad range of patterns to ingest master data from various sources and distribute cleanse and consolidated information, also to the Azure stack. Many vendors offer prebuilt connectors for the most common sources (databases, various file types, storages, business applications including MS Dynamics, Salesforce, etc.), but also support a generic way of ingesting/exposing data via Rest APIs, file drops, etc.

    MS MDS is an extension of the MS SQL server 2016. I don't know Microsoft plans to extend it, but I know that Profisee and CluedIn are very active in promoting their solutions as-built having Azure in mind and being a part of the stack.

    Informatica MDM has three types of offerings these days: on-prem, hosted MDM, and cloud-native option - they differ in the functionality and integration options.

    Obviously, there are many more MDM tools on the market particularly good in various data domains (products, customers/suppliers - so yours, multi-domain, etc).

    I think that you should start your MDM journey by answering which current challenges you try to solve or what new capabilities you need to enable to the organisation. Once these questions are answered and based on your organization's Enterprise Architecture principles, look for the best fitting tool. It may (or may not) be the one that fits the best into the Azure Reference Architecture.

    I hope this helped.

    InitZero - PeerSpot reviewer
    Top 5LeaderboardReal User

    It's probably worth to add the Microsoft promotes using CluedIn as MDM solution on Azure stack. Please have a look at the Microsoft documentation:

    Last week Microsoft and CluedIn had a joined demo seesion. Perhaps you can ask for a link to a recording:

    GaryM - PeerSpot reviewerGaryM
    Top 5PopularReal User

    @InitZero Interesting - I like it's so integrated with Azure but not sure what problem its solving.  Nothing in what I can find in documentation about just doing simple reference data management.  Seems more about profiling/DQ types of functions and assumes you want a new central authority for master data such as customer.  Good luck convincing CRM stewards to let someone running this tool change their data for them.  Is there a Microsoft partner who doesn't try to solve problems I don't have?  I just want a replacement for MDS not a new DQ solution.  I would argue that  DQ is a different solution - master data should be an input to DQ just like CRM and applications are but not DQ itself. And mapping data that this does like with Purview - again that's a different function that can be an input but I don't want my master data tool trying to solve every IT issue.  Just manage and share my bloody hierarchies for me please and I'll be happy.  

    InitZero - PeerSpot reviewerInitZero
    Top 5LeaderboardReal User

    @GaryM - What data do you manage in MDS currently? That could be one of the leading factor which tool or type of tools to look for. Is it just the reference data which you mentioned in one place? If so, then indeed you can look for something rather simple and prebuilt, for example Reference 360 from Informatica or build your own bespoke solution. I have seen such bespoke systems working well for years in large organizations. Reference Data Management tools are in a nutshell very simple in terms of the data model: there are reference lists (let's take an example of ISO Country list Alpha-2) with reference codes, values and a few extra attributes (for example NL - The Netherlands), cross-references (cross-walks with source systems providing the reference lists, so for example they may use their own codes and have their own values), hierarchies (example: continent -> country -> state) and pretty much that's it. Then you need a simple UI, probably no workflows or a simple one, ability to specify basic business rules and finally pretty good support for various integration patterns. 

    GaryM - PeerSpot reviewer
    Top 5PopularReal User

    I agree with @InitZero... 

    I would add that there's no future roadmap for MDS and they don't have an Azure solution for it.  Since it's a free product with an SQL license, don't expect Microsoft to invest in it.  

    Even though we are highly dependent upon it currently I'm starting to look towards the future where we need to find a replacement - hopefully, a PaaS solution. It would be great if Microsoft came out with something in Azure but I'm not hopeful at this point.

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