Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Jyoti Bansal, Yeshim Deniz, Dan Blacharski, Elizabeth White

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
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Is your application too difficult to manage? Do changes take dozens of developers hundreds of hours to execute, and frequently result in downtime across all your site’s functions? It sounds like you have a monolith! A monolith is one of the three main software architectures that define most applications. Whether you’ve intentionally set out to create a monolith or not, it’s worth at least weighing the pros and cons of the different architectural approaches and deciding which one makes the most s...
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this ...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
A Man in the Middle attack, or MITM, is a situation wherein a malicious entity can read/write data that is being transmitted between two or more systems (in most cases, between you and the website that you are surfing). MITMs are common in China, thanks to the “Great Cannon.” The “Great Cannon” is slightly different from the “The Great Firewall.” The firewall monitors web traffic moving in and out of China and blocks prohibited content. The Great Cannon, on the other hand, acts as a man in the...
To more closely examine the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating cloud services, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles, SolarWinds recently released the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid Organization. This annual study consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
This recent research on cloud computing from the Register delves a little deeper than many of the "We're all adopting cloud!" surveys we've seen. They found that meaningful cloud adoption and the idea of the cloud-first enterprise are still not reality for many businesses. The Register's stats also show a more gradual cloud deployment trend over the past five years, not any sort of explosion. One important takeaway is that coherence across internal and external clouds is essential for IT right n...
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
In large enterprises, environment provisioning and server provisioning account for a significant portion of the operations team's time. This often leaves users frustrated while they wait for these services. For instance, server provisioning can take several days and sometimes even weeks. At the same time, digital transformation means the need for server and environment provisioning is constantly growing. Organizations are adopting agile methodologies and software teams are increasing the speed ...
Software as a service (SaaS), one of the earliest and most successful cloud services, has reached mainstream status. According to Cisco, by 2019 more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud, up from 65 percent today. The majority of this traffic will be applications. Businesses of all sizes are adopting a variety of SaaS-based services – everything from collaboration tools to mission-critical commerce-oriented applications. The rise in SaaS usage has m...
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
We'd all like to fulfill that "find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" cliché. But in reality, every job (even if it's our dream job) comes with its downsides. For you, the constant fight against shadow IT might get on your last nerves. For your developer coworkers, infrastructure management is the roadblock that stands in the way of focusing on coding. As you watch more and more applications and processes move to the cloud, technology is coming to developers' rescue-most r...
2016 has been an amazing year for Docker and the container industry. We had 3 major releases of Docker engine this year , and tremendous increase in usage. The community has been following along and contributing amazing Docker resources to help you learn and get hands-on experience. Here’s some of the top read and viewed content for the year. Of course releases are always really popular, particularly when they fit requests we had from the community.