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Master Data Management and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3: Getting to a single source of truth

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

In Part I of this article, we told you about Master Data Management (MDM) and the role that it's playing in helping corporations streamline their master data across geographical boundaries, internally, and when using multiple ERPs. Later this year, Microsoft Dynamics AX users will gain greater access to MDM capabilities with the release of AX 2012 R3. R3 will introduce native master data management capabilities in areas like product information management (PIM), chart of accounts, and number sequences, to name just a few.

AX 2012 R3's MDM functionalities, which are designed to work with SQL Server Master Data Services, will allow users to define a set of master data that can be used for customer management, product management, and various other functions across enterprise systems. Synchronization of that data will be easier than it was before, says AX Pulse's Arif Vadsarya, and will encompass AX's import/export framework. "Companies will be able to configure their [data] with other instances of AX," says Vadsarya, "and sync the configuration data plus any test items as needed."

Using AX 2012 R3's MDM capabilities, Dynamics customers will be able to automatically sync master data more easily, create master entities, and develop batch files. Vadsarya points out that MDM only applies to master data - not transactional data - and says that this can be a confusing point for ERP users who think that the process can be used across all the data that's housed within their systems. "MDM isn't good for transactional data," says Vadsarya. "It covers the unique data set that's connected to the master itself - nothing else."

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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