Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Kevin Jackson, Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg

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
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
The reality of data ubiquity is here—data is buried in operational statistics, machine logs, stacks of overflowing tickets and customer details, among other things. How can any user get valuable information amid this rapid influx of data? Imagine a situation where your firm’s revenue takes a hit owing to an unexpected failure in some business process. It would be a nightmare for IT admins to sift through the interminable piles of data to deduce exactly why and where the problem occurred. To sav...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, 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. Me...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There's a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive. Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressi...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
In the decade following his article, cloud computing further cemented Carr’s perspective. Compute, storage, and network resources have become simple utilities, available at the proverbial turn of the faucet. The value they provide is immense, but the cloud playing field is amazingly level. Carr’s quote above presaged the cloud to a T. Today, however, we’re in the digital era. Mark Andreesen’s ‘software is eating the world’ prognostication is coming to pass, as enterprises realize they must be...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
Hybrid IT is today’s reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it’s in every IT professional’s best interest to know what to expect.
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
Companies have always been concerned that traditional enterprise software is slow and complex to install, often disrupting critical and time-sensitive operations during roll-out. With the growing need to integrate new digital technologies into the enterprise to transform business processes, this concern has become even more pressing. A 2016 Panorama Consulting Solutions study revealed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects took an average of 21 months to install, with 57 percent of th...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Colocation is a central pillar of modern enterprise infrastructure planning because it provides greater control, insight, and performance than managed platforms. In spite of the inexorable rise of the cloud, most businesses with extensive IT hardware requirements choose to host their infrastructure in colocation data centers. According to a recent IDC survey, more than half of the businesses questioned use colocation services, and the number is even higher among established businesses and busine...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...