Is having SOA and Master Data Management at the same time a form of overkill?

Is having SOA and Master Data Management at the same time a form of overkill?

Summary: Is building out SOA and a Master Data Management (MDM)-based infrastructure at the same time too much for organizations to handle?That's what Gartner's Andrew White found in a study of companies that were wrestling with the two efforts.

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Is building out SOA and a Master Data Management (MDM)-based infrastructure at the same time too much for organizations to handle?

That's what Gartner's Andrew White found in a study of companies that were wrestling with the two efforts. He even observed that there is even fear among some companies with SOA efforts underway that adding MDM to the mix would be a form of "overkill."

However, working on SOA and MDM in a coordinated fashion is not "overkill" -- in fact, the two approaches depend on each other, as I explained in a recent post over at the Informatica Perspectives community.

SOA in and of itself holds little value to an organization unless it provides the capability to open up information to the enterprise. As is the case with SOA, successful MDM is a silo-breaker, invoking collaboration across the enterprise. MDM helps assure that the information populating SOA-based services is accurate, timely, and consistent.

Dave Linthicum adds another perspective to the MDM challenge -- in many situations, just as is the case with SOA, MDM efforts get gummed up by organizational politics. Thus, MDM devolves into an exercise in "Managing Dumb Meatheads."

So, as you can see, there is a lot of uncertainty about MDM, and a lot of education still required.

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3 comments
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  • MDM BPM SOA OMG

    In part this is dependent on the nature of the soa effort. SOA is an architectural world view that can be easily applied to MDM.

    Whether you are dealing with variants of interfaces, schemas, business processes, configurations or other asset types, SOA can be applied.

    The quality of the result can depend on a number of factors including the style of registry repository you are using for the effort and the facility with which it can handle the different asset types as first class citizens.

    I wouldnt focus on the idea that doing "soa" and MDM at the same time as necessarily doing 2 different things. In some cases it is 2 things and in other cases it's only 1 thing.

    My 2 cents,
    Miko
    mikojava
    • Re: MDM BPM SOA OMG

      Thanks, Miko. I've even heard data architecture described as a "service oriented architecture" in and of itself.
      joemckendrick
    • Great points

      Following SO and MDM principles (and others) when defining an architecture can be a Good Thing. The trick, IMO, is not getting too data-oriented if the goal is to be service-oriented.
      reamon@...