(this post was contributed by Matt Anderson, Senior Software Engineer on the MDS team)
Master Data Services (MDS) is now available as part of the November CTP of Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2! An overview of MDS can be found on the product home page and documentation is available in SQL Server Books Online.
This post covers the basic steps for installing and configuring MDS as well as some behind-the-scenes information about what is happening and why. Please let us know your thoughts about the install and configuration experience and any questions you have.
Master Data Services consists of an ASP.NET web application (Master Data Manager), a WCF service hosted in IIS, and a SQL Server 2008 R2 database. MDS web and database components can be installed on a single server or on multiple servers. MasterDataServices.msi installs the pages, database scripts, samples, and assemblies for MDS, and a separate utility called Configuration Manager is used to create MDS web applications and databases.
- Install one of the supported Windows operating systems for MDS.
NOTE: MDS is supported on x64 operating systems only.
- Install the Web Server (IIS) role on the machine that will host the MDS web site. Ensure that both the ASP.NET and Windows Authentication role services are installed as well. For a list of the specific role services and features, see Web Application Considerations (Master Data Services) in SQL Server Books Online.
The MDS Web application and WCF service require Windows Authentication. Active Directory users and groups can be assigned permissions in MDS to control access to features and data. Local users and groups can also be used in a single machine (i.e., development or test) environment.
- Locate and run the MasterDataServices.msi. The location for the msi varies based on how you downloaded MDS:
- DVD Image: <drive>:\MasterDataServices\x64\1033_ENU\MasterDataServices.msi
- Self-extracting executable: <extract location>\1033_enu_lp\x64\setup\masterdataservices.msi
MasterDataServices.msi download: Wherever you saved the msi during download
- Follow the steps in the wizard to install the MDS pages, database scripts, samples, and assemblies. No web applications or databases are created during the installation. Those tasks are done using Configuration Manager, which is started automatically at the end of the wizard.
After the install, you should find that the MDS pages, scripts, and assemblies are in the target location selected during the install wizard.
The MDS assemblies and resource should also be present in the Global Assembly Cache:
- The MDS Configuration Manager is started automatically at the end of the installation. If you want to start it manually, click the Start menu link: Start –> All Programs –> Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP –> Master Data Services –> Configuration Manager
- Review the status information shown in the “Server Configuration” panel to ensure that the required components are found on the machine.
- Click “Databases” in the left pane and then click the “Create Database” button to start the Create Database wizard. Follow the steps in the wizard and supply the required information to create a new MDS database. For more information about the requirements for a computer that hosts the Master Data Services database and the options in the wizard, see Database Considerations (Master Data Services) and Create Database Wizard (Master Data Services) in SQL Server Books Online.
NOTE: The MDS web application uses Windows Authentication to connect to the MDS database. The “Service Account” step in the wizard allows you to specify the Windows user that should be used for this connection. The service account will be granted the correct permissions in the newly created MDS database and should also be configured as the identity for the MDS Application Pool in IIS when the MDS web application is created (see step 5.2 below). The service account should be a low privilege domain account that can connect to the database server hosting the MDS database.
NOTE: The “Administrator Account” is the user that should have full access to all MDS functions and data. During database creation the specified account will be granted these permissions.
Database creation can take several minutes as the required objects are created and system data is inserted.
- After the database is created, various system settings can be adjusted. For more information about system settings, see Database Page (Master Data Services) in SQL Server Books Online.
- Click “Web Configuration” in the left pane to configure a new IIS web application for MDS. The MDS web application can be created as its own web site (i.e., root application) or within another web site. For more information about the options on the Web Configuration page, see Web Configuration Page (Master Data Services) in SQL Server Books Online.
The simplest configuration is to create the MDS web application within the existing Default Web Site, which is described below:
- Select “Default Web Site” in the Web Site drop down list.
- Click the Create Application… button to create a new MDS web application. Accept the defaults for web application Alias and Application Pool Name unless you have reason to change them. Type the User name and Password for the identity of the MDS application pool. This should be the same account as provided in the Service Account step of the Create Database wizard (see step 3 above). Click the OK button to create the new web application.
- Within the Database section of the Web Configuration page, click the Select… button. Then, in the Connect to Database dialog, connect to the database server hosting the MDS database and select the MDS database. Click the OK button to select the database for the MDS web application.
- Within the Web Services section of the Web Configuration page, check the “Enable Web services for this Web application.” checkbox if you would like to expose the MDS WCF application programming interface for this web application.
NOTE: If you plan to create custom solutions using this API, you should enable the web services. Otherwise, leave them disabled to reduce the surface area of the MDS instance. The Master Data Manager web UI does not require the services to be enabled.
- Click the Apply button to save the Web Application settings. In the Configuration Complete dialog, optionally check the Launch Web application in browser window to open Master Data Manager for the web application and then click OK.
The Web Configuration should look similar to that shown below:
If you chose to launch the web application, you will be taken to the MDS getting started page. Click the Open the Master Data Manager home page link to open the Master Data Manager.
Master Data Manager Getting Started Page
Master Data Manager Home Page
Although not shown above, multiple MDS web applications and databases can be created using Configuration Manager. This can be useful when you want to configure development, test, and staging environments. You can also use Configuration Manager to change the database that should be used for an MDS web application.
NOTE: Configuration Manager can create databases on remote database servers, but it can only create web applications on the server where it is running. As a result, you will need to run Configuration Manager separately on each server that is hosting one or more MDS web applications.
MDS installation and configuration are complete. Some suggested next steps are listed below.
- If this is a production MDS instance, setup a database maintenance plan and backup schedule. The maintenance plan should include updating statistics on the database.
- If this is a production MDS instance and/or it contains production data, configure the MDS web application to use TLS/SSL to help protect the master data as it is transferred across your network.
- Create and configure the mail profile for the MDS instance if you want to enable email notifications.
- Deploy sample package(s) into the MDS instance.