Service-oriented architecture (SOA) allows an application’s business logic or individual functions to be modularized and presented as services for consumer/client applications. The key nature of SOA based application is that these services are loosely coupled; i.e., the service interface is independent of the implementation. Application developers or system integrators can build applications by composing one or more services without knowing the services’ underlying implementations.
Master Data Management (MDM) as we know is an enterprise wide initiative which enables managing and maintaining operational master data entities in a centralized repository. In other words, MDM decouples the master information from the application which created it to provide a single, unified view. This new system ensures that the data is clean and consistent as data quality and data governance are given major emphasis. Next step is to make sure this information is easily available across the enterprise. To achieve this, MDM system should be capable of providing SOA enabled services that can be consumed by multiple channels.
From my experience implementing MDM for several organizations over the years, I have seen customers starting off with SOA early in the MDM projects. Although it’s a good sign, what has been an annoying factor is the complexity involved in this effort. The time lines are relatively longer to setup a full fledged MDM system. Designing of enterprise service infrastructure which can support SOA needs specialized effort and careful planning. I can list down a page full of challenges I have encountered implementing MDM and SOA together – but I don’t want to go off-topic on that discussion.
Once the above mentioned hurdles are passed, the MDM system with a well built SOA layer around it can help organizations achieve the single golden view of master data. This integration provides desired infrastructure for making master data available seamlessly.
A blend of MDM and SOA is highly productive and one of the best option companies can pursue. Married together, these two technologies can revolutionize IT and provide potential business value as the data quality improvements are realized to every business process. The organizations who have successfully deployed these two technologies together have realized significant sustainable advantage over their competition.