Microsoft has announced an acceleration of its focus on Master Data Management. The acquisition of a 16 headcount company by a mammoth like Microsoft might be considered a neglectable incident by the majority of industry watchers. From my point of view it indicates that somebody seems to have understood the implications of the data war and started to influence the set-up or the next battlefield. Here’s the news:
- Microsoft is acquiring Stratature, a private company based in Alpharetta, GA., a provider of Master Data Management (MDM) products. This acquisition will help accelerate Microsoft’s delivery of technology in the MDM market.
- Stratature’s technology and product portfolio will become a core part of Microsoft’s product offering, and will significantly enhance the value delivered to customers to manage their important business hierarchies.
- MDM capabilities will be delivered through Microsoft Office system applications and servers on top of an infrastructure provided from SQL Server. Over time, these capabilities will become an integral part of the Microsoft Office Business Platform, benefiting our customer’s investments in our PerformancePoint, Dynamics, Project Server, and SharePoint lines of products.
- Stratature’s existing customers will continue to receive the same level of support they received from Stratature prior to the acquisition. Microsoft and Stratature will work together to ensure all customer and partner agreements are satisfied.
- Future equivalent and additional functionality will be provided through Microsoft branded products.
That fits well into the recently announced reorg, moving Microsoft’s Server & Tools business under the Office group.
Some additional pieces of information, from the Q&A, to shed more light on Microsoft’s strategy in that area, starting with BI:
What exactly is MDM? MDM, or master data management, can be described by the way that master data interacts with other data. Master data can be described by the way that it is created, read, updated, deleted, and searched. For example, in transaction systems, master data is almost always involved with transactional data. A customer buys a product. A vendor sells a part, and a partner delivers a crate of materials to a location. An employee is hierarchically related to their manager, who reports up through a manager (another employee). A product may be a part of multiple hierarchies describing their placement within a store. This relationship between master data and transactional data may be fundamentally viewed as a noun/verb relationship. Transactional data capture the verbs, such as sale, delivery, purchase, email, and revocation; master data are the nouns. This is the same relationship data-warehouse facts and dimensions share. For more information, please visit: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb190163.aspx.
What is the future roadmap?The first delivery of MDM related technology from Microsoft will focus on analytical hierarchy management. This functionality will help business executives obtain information in a way that accurately reflects their own view of their departments, while simplifying the job of business analysts via the reuse of existing data hierarchies and the creation of custom ones. The solution will also help IT staff provide application developers with a single source of authoritative data to simplify data integration and development tasks, while helping IT executives retain control and governance over corporate information.
Will you add it to SharePoint in the future? Yes. Stratature’s product will be integrated in a future version of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.
How do these products relate to SQL Server? MDM capabilities will be delivered through Microsoft Office System applications and servers on top of an infrastructure provided from SQL Server. Stratature’s products are currently implemented using SQL Server.