Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Miska Kaipiainen

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

Master Data Management Meets SOA

A symbiotic relationship

Master Data Management (MDM) is often defined as "management of master data (customer, product, supplier, etc.) that is shared across disparate IT systems and groups." However, this simplistic description doesn't do justice to the complexity of the MDM's task and problem area. Master Data Management encompasses areas such as Customer Data Integration (CDI), Product Information Management (PIM), and Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN); and partially overlaps the areas of Identity Management System (IdM), Business Intelligence systems, data quality, and data integration. This broad area of potential application causes multiple perspectives, diversity of stakeholders, and a fair amount of confusion across clients investigating an MDM solution.

The business need for MDM is made manifest both implicitly and explicitly. Its utility tends to be obvious in efforts around conformance and auditing, accurate reporting efforts, and a single view of the customer initiatives. However, MDM is often also a hidden requirement for successful consolidation projects after mergers and acquisitions. Its value in terms of return on investment, cost savings (reduced storage, reduced analysis, development, and maintenance, etc.), increased revenue (consistent view master data, reduced time to resolution, and effective decision making), and competitive advantage (operational efficiency, improved visibility to company performance, etc.) has been well documented by multiple reputable groups and authors (AMR Research, Forrester Research, Gartner, and the Yankee Group) so we won't explore the existing benefits that the reader can easily reference. We will however discuss the benefits of MDM as they relate to SOA enablement.

MDM systems can be "federated," "integrated," or "hybrid" reflecting a combination of the first two fundamental architectures. These three types of system characteristics are as:

  • Federated MDM - cross references key identifying information from participating systems to implement a registry-style solution. The main benefit of a federated solution is non-intrusiveness on participating systems that maintain their original context.
  • Integrated MDM - stores all master data information from all participating systems in a centralized MDM repository. This centralized repository houses the "gold copy" of all master data information. The main benefit of the integrated approach is that it provides the most complete, accurate, and consistent single view of master data.
  • Hybrid MDM - stores common data elements from participating systems creating a "light gold copy" of the master data, while disparate elements are referenced from their original system of record. The benefit and drawback of the hybrid solution is the partial combination of the federated and integrated benefits.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
From a systems design perspective, SOA is an architectural approach based on distributed computing principles. SOA has numerous other aspects in topics as diverse as business process design and IT governance. However, these aspects go beyond our scope here.

As an architectural paradigm, the participating components of a SOA system include: service providers, service consumers, intermediary services, and registries. A service provider publishes a service in the registry to be consumed by a service consumer who can identify the interface, purpose, and location of the service from the registry. Intermediary services intercept and handle operations that are common across services and can be leveraged instead of recreated every time. Typical intermediary services include: authentication, auditing, logging, monitoring, and message routing. All communications are done through commonly agreed on standards (UDDI, SOAP, WSDL, XML, HTTP/SSL). The design principles governing SOA are primarily object-oriented paradigms extended to address the service-oriented requirements. These service design principles include: loose coupling, service contract, abstraction, composability, autonomy, reusability, statelessness, and discoverability.

Services access information from a data services layer. A data services layer provides an abstraction layer between producers and consumers of data. The data services layer presents consumers with a virtual aggregated view of data from multiple data sources in a consistent and centralized fashion. The layer's interface supports all consumers (human, application, external parties, or business services) while providing agility to data source providers.

A data service layer offers many benefits. Consumers are insulated from complexity, location, and changes in source data systems through abstraction. Providers have the flexibility to change underlying data schemas without impacting consumers through abstraction. Companies can centrally manage, monitor, measure, and report on the enterprise view of the data and metadata.

The three main categorizations of services in the data services layer are: Enterprise Data Services, Enterprise Metadata Services, and Enterprise Data Platform Services.

  • The Enterprise Data Services area encompasses all the services around the data. For example, a request to be addressed by this area would be: Retrieve "gold copy" of "customer A" record.
  • The Enterprise Metadata Services area includes all the services around the metadata. This area would address items such as: Retrieve master data schema of "customer A" record.
  • The Enterprise Data Platform Services area supports all the services around the platform including management, monitoring, and reporting. An example of a request here would be: Retrieve MDM system, quality of service targets.
Services are defined in each area based on function (examples are shown in Figure 1). In each service and across all three areas, methods for search, access, create, update, delete, manage, monitor, and reporting functionality should be evaluated for applicability and realization.

MDM Meets SOA
MDM and SOA evolved separately but share many design principles.

  • "Contract first" applies to the interfaces in MDM and the service definition in SOA
  • "Reusability" applies to data through conformance in MDM and services through SOA principles in SOA
  • "Discoverability" applies to data through the master data repository in MDM and services through registry in SOA
  • "Abstraction" applies to source system complexity and MDM and underlying service complexity under SOA.
MDM, however, typically doesn't embrace SOA's "loose coupling" principle. Extending MDM with loose coupling allows support for SOA's semantic conformance needs.

As MDM practitioners contemplating supporting today's SOA systems, we need to become familiar with SOA standards and strive for loose coupling with external systems. Eliminating point-to-point interfaces and replacing them with service-enabled integration minimizes the impact of changes from integration partners and consumers. Loose coupling should be applied internally as well to create an agile MDM system. An agile service-oriented MDM system provides its data quality, conformance, and other MDM functionality as business or data "services" available for net-enabled consumption by external parties. Finally, MDM systems should be able to handle the extensible data types (XML, HTML, PDF, and e-mail) common to net-centric application and be able to expose the master data model as part of the enterprise canonical data model (CDM) for service consumption.

More Stories By John Kalogirou

John Kalogirou is MomentumSI's information management director. He has 15 years of experience in managerial and technical roles guiding SMBs and Fortune 500 companies to implement information, integration and intelligence solutions toward improved business effectiveness and profitability.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software sec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Analysis of 25,000 applications reveals 6.8% of packages/components used included known defects. Organizations standardizing on components between 2 - 3 years of age can decrease defect rates substantially. Open source and third-party packages/components live at the heart of high velocity software development organizations. Today, an average of 106 packages/components comprise 80 - 90% of a modern application, yet few organizations have visibility into what components are used where.
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That’s how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well. There’s no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there – there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for conta...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Large enterprises today are juggling an enormous variety of network equipment. Business users are asking for specific network throughput guarantees when it comes to their critical applications, legal departments require compliance with mandated regulatory frameworks, and operations are asked to do more with shrinking budgets. All these requirements do not easily align with existing network architectures; hence, network operators are continuously faced with a slew of granular parameter change req...
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.