For close to two years, Microsoft hasn't said much about its plans for MDM (meaning Master Data Management, rather than Mobile Device Manager, in this case). But it looks like the Softies will have some new MDM technology to show and talk about at its TechEd 2009 conference in mid-May.
Last anyone heard, Microsoft had launched a first tech preview of its "Bulldog" MDM technology in the fall of 2007. After that, radio silence. This week, there was new word that the original tech preview was discontinued in preparation for a new Community Tech Preview.
(A quick Microsoft MDM refresher: Master data management is technology that allows for the management of common reference data across disparate IT systems or groups. Microsoft stuck a toe in the MDM space in June 2007 with its acquisition of privately held MDM specialist Stratature. Microsoft said at the time of the acquisition that it planned to withdraw existing Stratature products from the market and instead integrate the Stratature +EDM technology into Office applications and servers, starting wtih Office 14.)
According to a new blog post by Kirk Haselden, Group Program Manager for Microsoft Master Data Management, Microsoft is planning to roll out a new test build, as well as announce its go-to-market plans for its MDM product line real soon now. On April 14, Haseldan blogged:
"For those that may be wondering if the Stratature product lives on, I can definitely say yes. The core capabilities will be there, the people that came to Microsoft from Stratature are still part of our team and contributing with those that have joined since to deliver the next release."
Microsoft officials have said previously that its MDM offering will be synched to arrive with the rest of the Office14/Office 2010 family (so I'm assuming, at this point that it will ship in the first half of 2010).
According to the Microsoft MDM roadmap (dating from last year but still on Microsoft's Web site), Microsoft was planning to make MDM available as part of the SharePoint 14 installation. The Bulldog release was slated to be integrated with Excel, Dynamics ERP/CRM and PerformancePoint Server (a product Microsoft recently admitted will be discontinued). It is expected to rely on SQL Server as its core database.
The roadmap also said that Microsoft is building its MDM release "upon the solid foundations of Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Windows Communication Foundation, the ADO.Net Entity Data Model (EDM), Integration Services, BizTalk Server, and other key Microsoft technologies."
I asked Microsoft for an official update on its MDM rollout plans. No word back yet.