This posting is a tutorial for installing Master Data Services on your Windows Server 2012. Microsoft SQL Server Master Data Services (MDS) is a Master Management product from Microsoft, code-named Bulldog. It is the rebranding of the Stratature MDM product, titled +EDM and acquired in June 2007 by Microsoft. Initially, it was integrated for the first time in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as an additional installer. But since SQL Server 2012, Master Data Services is integrated as a feature within the SQL Server installer.


Master Data Services is part of the Enterprise Information Management (EMI) technologies, provided by Microsoft, for managing information in an enterprise.

EMI technologies include:

  • Integration Services
  • Master Data Services
  • Data Quality Services


Master Data Services covers five main components:

  • MDS Configuration Manager tool: used to configure Master Data Services
  • MDS Data Manager Web Application: used essentially to perform administrative tasks
  • MDS Web Service: used to extend or develop custom solutions
  • MDS Add-in for Excel: used to manage data, create new entities or attributes …

SQL Server Editions & Versions

Master Data Services can be installed only with the following SQL Server Editions & Versions:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 edition: Datacenter or Enterprise versions
  • SQL Server 2012 or SQL Server 2014 editions: Enterprise or BI versions

Master Data Services prerequisites in SQL Server 2012

First, Master Data Services is based on an application web named Master Data Manager Web Application, in order to perform administrative task, for example. This web application is hosted by Internet Information Services (IIS), so it is a necessary prerequisite.

Furthermore, to be able to display the content from the web application, you need Internet Explorer 7 or later (Internet Explorer 6 is not supported) with Silverlight 5.

Moreover, if you planned to use Excel with Master Data Services, you also need to install Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime, plus the Master Data Services Add-in for Microsoft Excel.

Finally, often forgotten, but PowerShell 2.0 is required for Master Data Services.

Let’s resume the requirements for Master Data Services:

  • Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Internet Explorer 7 or later
  • Silverlight 5
  •  PowerShell 2.0
  • Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime and Excel Add-in for Microsoft Excel (only if you plan to use Excel with Master Data Services).

Configuration at the Windows Server level

In the Server Manager, you have to activate the Web Server (IIS) Server Roles to be able to host the Master Data Web Application, as well as the .Net 3.5 feature.

For the Server Roles, you have to select:

  • Web Server (IIS)

For the Server Features, you have to select:

  • .NET Framework 3.5 Features
    • .NET Framework 3.5
    • HTTP Activation
  • .NET Framework 4.5 features
    • .NET Framework 4.5
    • ASP.NET 4.5
    • WCF Services
      • HTTP Activation
      • TCP Port Sharing



    For the IIS features selection, you have to select:

      • Web Server
        • Common HTTP Features
          • Default Document
          • Directory Browsing
          • HTTP Errors
          • Static Content
        • Health and Diagnostics
          • HTTP Logging
          • Request Monitor
        • Performance
          • Static Content Compression
        • Security
          • Request Filtering
          • Windows Authentication
        • Application Development
          • .NET Extensibility
          • .NET Extensibility 4.5
          • ASP.NET 3.5
          • ASP.NET 4.5
          • ISAPI Extensions
          • ISAPI Filters
        • Management Tools
          • IIS Management Console




    Installation of SQL Server 2012

    Master Data Services stores its data on a SQL Server database, so you need a SQL Server Engine installed.

    Of course, SQL Server Engine can be installed on a different Windows Server. So the Windows Server with Master Data Services installed is used as a Front Server.

    Then, in order to personalize the roles of your Master Data Services, you also need to install Management Tools.

    At the features installation step, you have to select:

        • Database Engine Services
        • Management Tools
        • Master Data Services


    At this point, Master Data Services should be installed with all the needed prerequisites.



    However, Master Data Services cannot be used without configuring it. Three main steps need to be performed through the MDS Configuration Manager:

      • First, you have to create a MDS database
      • Then, you have to create a MDS web application hosted in IIS
      • Finally, you have to link the MDS database with the MDS web application