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SAP MDM Product Solution

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Master data is mission-critical information that needs to be shared seamlessly across functional boundaries to allow an organization to operate efficiently and effectively. Master Data Management can be defined as the management of data related to the key business entities utilizing a various patterns, applications and technology. In information and process driven business environments, the ability to standardize core enterprise information is of strategic importance – operate and transact efficiently, single version of the truth, respond to rapid changes.

Solution Offering Purpose

The purpose of SAP’s MDM strategy is to arrive at confidence in the data. SAP MDM attempts to provide an organization with “One version of the Truth”. It tries to ascertain and improve the accuracy, integrity and completeness of data through a systematic utilization of Tools/Technology. SAP MDM enables master data on customers, partners and products to be consolidated and harmonized across the enterprise, making it available to all staff and business partners. A key component of SAP NetWeaver, SAP MDM ensures data integrity across all IT systems. The SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management (SAP NetWeaver MDM) component of SAP NetWeaver creates the preconditions for enterprise services and business process management. The functionality represents customers, products, employees, vendors, and user-defined data objects in unified form. With SAP NetWeaver MDM, customers can manage master data and supplemental content, such as texts, PDF documents, high-resolution images, or diagrams in a central business information warehouse.

Key capabilities that are unique to SAP MDM solution include:
Efficient Integration
SAP MDM can connect to Oracle, MS SQL Server, and DB2 systems ensuring compatibility with existing infrastructure. It has the ability to distribute data internally and externally to SAP and non-SAP applications.
One stop solution
SAP MDM provides the capability to maintain various Master Data Objects like Customer, Vendor, Employee and Material in a single instance. This alleviates the necessity to purchase specific software for each of the objects.
SAP Platform Compatible
SAP Master Data Management (SAP MDM) is a component of SAP's NetWeaver product group and is used as a platform to consolidate, cleanse and synchronise a single version of the truth for master data within a heterogeneous application landscape.

SAP MDM is a key enabler of SAP Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture. Standard system architecture would consist of a single central MDM server connected to client systems through SAP Exchange Infrastructure using XML documents, although connectivity without SAP PI/XI can also be achieved.
Supports Enterprise Solution Implementation
The three legs of the any enterprise MDM solution are People, Processes and Tools. SAP MDM provides tools for defining business rules, taxonomy and relationships, making it well suited for governance initiatives. SAP MDM 7.1 components like Import Manager, Data Manager and Syndication Manager allow validating, cleansing, mapping, moving and managing data. It also provides a workflow engine which allows customers to define industry standard and custom processes.

Solution Offering Relationship

MIKE2.0 Product Solutions

Differentiating Features

Key capabilities that are unique to SAP MDM solution include:
Inmemory Search: Rapid processing of queries against large amounts of data is enabled by SAP’s inmemory search capability.
Scalability: The various data formats supported by the SAP MDM clients allow it to be an extremely efficient and scalable solution. SAP MDM can import XML, Excel, Text etc files. It also can provide data in XML, Excel, and Text formats.
Database transparency: Supports all the major databases like Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and DB2 among others. It also can accept data from a range of legacy systems making previously isolated data available for reporting and analytics.
Ease of Use: All the GUI tools have a windows look and feel to them making the usability of the tool very high.

  • The Console allows the maintenance of repositories. All the maintenance and administration is point and click making it very easy to use.
  • The Data Manager provides an excellent interface to maintain data. The layout is very intuitive and extremely robust.
  • The data is stored in the databases transparently which leads to minimal maintenance requirements.
  • The Workflow engine is Microsoft Visio based and building a process is as simple as dragging and dropping the various tasks.

Lightweight Deployment: The MDM Package can be deployed as a standalone server installation independent of an overall SAP installation. While the overall solution is targeted at a SAP centric application architecture, this standalone characteristics allows the fast startup of integration activities in advance of a more tight integration.

Key Business Problems

Over the years companies through regular operations create and maintain their master data. This is normal course of action. Also, over the years through system creations, implementations of different applications, home grown, best of breed ERP systems etc. we have our master data dispersed through out the organization.

Since organizations are not static we acquire or create additional data through acquisitions, introduction of new services or product lines which all lead to more data to handle and manage.

Throughout the lifecycle of our data, individuals and departments add their “spin” to the data in the form of attributes, descriptions etc. These are maintained in several places. “Bad” master data can be costly in our everyday transactional processing. As organization we do find work-a-rounds to allow us to conduct business, but at what cost?

These heterogeneous landscapes can increase the cost of maintaining, cleansing, reconciling and synchronizing master data. Conducting regular business transactions becomes difficult and costly.

We are also heavily impacted by bad master data in our reporting capability. We lose the ability to view our customers, vendors, materials etc. at a global level. We have inaccurate attribute information about our master data. All these can lead to inaccurate reporting. This in turn leads to:

  • Missed opportunities for up-selling or cross-selling.
  • Not knowing what is our total spend per vendor or product. We can’t leverage our supplier network to minimize costs.
  • Inventory surpluses or shortages. We buy too much or can’t fulfill a customer order on time since we do not have the proper visibility to our inventory.

Enterprise wide reporting can be inconsistent and inaccurate. The cornerstone of good reporting is clean, accurate master data. SAP MDM is a data management systems that allows persistent, available, accessible, consistent and auditable data.

SAP MDM Scenarios

Master-Data Consolidation

  • Cleansing and de-duplication
  • Data normalization including categorization and taxonomy management
  • Interactive consolidation capabilities

Master-Data Harmonization

  • Automated synchronization of master data information that is globally relevant
  • Interactive and automated distribution capabilities

Central Master-Data Management

  • Central data creation

Rich Product-Content Management

  • Powerful capabilities to load, aggregate, and search on parametric product data
  • Intelligent image management and Web/print publishing

Global Data Synchronization (GDS)

  • Consistent trade item data exchange with retailers via data hubs (e.g. UCCnet or Transora)

Customer Data Integration (CDI)

  • Consolidating and managing customer data from all available sources Customer data management capabilities such as matching, standardization, and survivorship

SAP MDM Building Blocks

SAP MDM Components


The SAP MDM solution offers “user-centric data access” capabilities to facilitate the building of an enterprise wide Master Data Management System. The data and repository management capabilities provided are intuitive and scalable. SAP MDM provides pre-packaged content called iViews for the integration of SAP MDM with SAP NetWeaver Portal. These generic iViews are highly customizable. These iViews also provide integration to the Universal Worklist (UWL). Apart from this, the integration capabilities of SAP MDM are enhanced by the inclusion of:
  • API’s for custom development of data manipulation activities(JAVA, COM and ABAP)
  • Webservices to support SOA architecture
  • MDM Import Server and MDM Syndication Server work in close cooperation with Netweaver Process integration
  • Native connectivity to BI for improved efficiency
  • Enterprise Search connectivity


SAP MDM offers 2 generic GUI options:

  1. Windows based Rich Clients
  2. Web based Client via the Enterprise Portal

The MDM Rich Clients can be deployed either as full clients or via a Citrix distribution. The focus of the GUI clients is mainly for Administrators, Developers and Power Users like Data Stewards. They provide powerful selection, configuration and mass edition functions. The web based clients are targeted more at casual users.

The standard iViews and Webdynpro components offer support for single record review and editing, mass editing requires development. In combination with the BPM engine the Webgui allows for highly customizable workflows and presentation.

SAP MDM Console

The Console allows you to administer and monitor the MDM Server. It also allows you to create and maintain the structure of MDM repositories as well as to control access to them. Administrative tasks such as Role Definition, User Definitions, Access Control etc are maintained here.

SAP MDM Data Manager

The Data Manager the primary client of the MDM Server. It allows users to store, manage and update master data consisting of text, images, and other rich content, and to create taxonomies, families, and relationships.

SAP MDM Import Manager

The Import Manager allows you to import master data from most types of flat or relational electronic source files (e.g. Excel, delimited text, SQL, XML, and any ODBC-compliant source), and to restructure, cleanse, and normalize master data as part of the import process.

SAP MDM Syndicator

The Syndicator allows you to map and export master data to various remote systems (such as ERP master data clients, Web catalogs) and files with flat or relational formats. In combination with SAP PI, the typical scenario for the Syndicator is to map the SAP MDM Data structure to the respective IDOC structure. The Syndicator is then used to generate the XML files which are processed by SAP PI.

SAP MDM Image Manager

With the Image Manager you to create image variants for different publication channels and connect them to master data objects or object families. The image manager is mainly used in the scenario of rich product content, where you need to create from 1 master image multiple variants for different catalogs.

SAP MDM Import and Syndication Server

The Import Server allows you to import data automatically in conjunction with predefined inbound ports and import maps.

The Syndication Server allows you to export data automatically in conjunction with predefined outbound ports and syndicator maps.


CLIX is a command line interface which is used to manage the MDM software and MDM repositories.

SAP MDM Methodology

You can use the MIKE2.0 Methodology for a SAP MDM implementation. In the following some key considerations are presented as you move along the MIKE 2.0 implementation method for Master Data.

Strategy and Blueprint

SAP MDM can be applied to different MDM strategies. However it is not an all-purpose tool. Therefore during the strategy and blueprint phase the scope and the roadmap of the MDM intitative must be defined independent of the tool.

Tool selection

While SAP MDM can be used for different scenarios, there are a few considerations that should be taken into account as evaluation criteria when looking at SAP MDM. It is recommended to go through a structured tool evaluation based on the categories outlined.

  • Object Specific Requirements: SAP MDM provides Business Content for the Objects Vendor, Customer, Material, Product, Business Partner and Employee in an SAP oriented Data Structure. This will accelerate data modeling and integration in an SAP centric environment
  • General Functional requirements: SAP MDM offers as standalone tool very basic visio based workflow capabilities. Extended workflow functionality requires SAP Netweaver BPM in the SAP Enterprise Portal environement as an additional component. Also SAP MDM has strong data profiling and matching and merging capabilities, however for data quality reporting and measurement a data warehouse integration (using SAP BW or SAP Business Objects) should be considered.
  • Non functional requirements: SAP MDM is well integrated into a SAP landscape. SAP Solution Manager can be used for monitoring and managing the landscape. However you need to account for the fact that SAP MDM is a standalone tool and requires specific administration. Also if you want to use a Webgui interface, you must install and manage the SAP Enterprise Portal stack. Therefore this is highly recommended if you already use such an architecture


As SAP MDM 7.1 provides both pre-configured data models and business rules for SAP centric data models, the design of object specific model can be accelerated. For this the following method is recommended:

  • Research and map the existing data structures against the standard model
  • Design extensions to the model using rapid prototyping
  • Design extensions to data quality rules (data validations) using rapid prototyping against real data.
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