The following improvements have been made in this release of Master Data Services.

Note: Portions of the Master Data Manager web application use Silverlight. To install the version of Silverlight that works with SQL Server 2012 MDS, go here:

Excel Improvements

You can now manage your master data in the Master Data Services Add-in for Microsoft Excel. You can use this add-in to load a filtered set of data from your Master Data Services database, work with the data in Excel, and then publish the data back to the database. If you are an administrator, you can also use the add-in to create new entities and attributes.

In columns that display domain-based attributes, both the name and code are now automatically displayed.

The workflow for loading data has changed slightly. In order to load data, you must now open a new worksheet.

Changes have also been made to increase the visible workspace. The Master Data Explorer pane now closes when you load data, and information about the active worksheet has been combined into a single row at the top of the sheet.

It is now easier to share shortcut query files, which contain information about the server, the model, version, entity, and any applied filters. A new toolbar button allows you to send the shortcut query file to another user via Microsoft Outlook. 

Match Data before Loading

Before adding more data to MDS, you can now confirm that you aren’t adding duplicate records. The MDS Add-in for Excel uses SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) to compare two sources of data: the data from MDS and the data from another system or spreadsheet. DQS provides suggestions for updating your data, along with the percent of confidence that the changes are correct.

Learn how to use the DQS component of the Add-in for Excel (XPS document)

Load Data into MDS More Easily

Loading data into MDS has become easier. You can now load all members and attribute values for an entity at one time. Previously you had to load members and attributes in separate batches.

Learn how to use the new staging process (link to MSDN)

Redesigned and Higher-Performance Web User Interface

The Explorer and Integration Management functional areas of the Master Data Manager web application have been updated with a new SilverLight® look and feel. You can now add and delete members more quickly, as well as move members in a hierarchy more easily

Many-to-Many Mapping Improved

MDS can now be used more effectively to manage many-to-many relationships.

Links have been added, allowing you to more quickly access related entities. For more information, go to

Collections UI Updated, Weights Added

The user interface (UI) for collections now uses Silverlight® and has been improved for usability.

Each collection member can have a weight value assigned. When you use the Collections subscription view format, a Weight column displays the value set in the UI. For more information about collections, go to

Security Simplified

To make assigning security easier, you can no longer assign model object permissions to the Derived Hierarchy, Explicit Hierarchy, and Attribute Group objects.

Derived hierarchy permissions are now based on the model. For example, if you want a user to have permission to a derived hierarchy, you must assign Update to the model object. Then you can Deny access to any entities you don’t want the user to have access to.

Explicit hierarchy permissions are now based on the entity. For example, if the user has Update permissions to an Account entity, then all explicit hierarchies for the entity will be updateable.

Attribute group permissions can no longer be assigned in the User and Group Permissions functional area. Instead, in the System Administration functional area where attribute groups are created, users and groups can be given Update permission to attribute groups. Read-only permission to attribute groups is no longer available.

Codes Automatically Generated

It is now easier to have Code attribute values automatically created for new members. To do so, edit an entity’s properties and select the Create Code values automatically check box. Previously, you had to create a business rule to automatically create values for the Code attribute. For more information, go to

New Model Deployment Tool

To deploy models with data, a new, higher performance command-line tool is now available. The model deployment wizard in the web application can now be used to deploy model structure only; to create and deploy packages with data, you must use the command-line MDSModelDeploy tool. 

If you installed MDS at the default location, the tool is available at drive:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Master Data Services\Configuration\MDSModelDeploy.exe. For more information about this tool, go to

SharePoint Workflow Integration Introduced

Two new features have been introduced to contribute to SharePoint workflow integration.

Microsoft Silverlight 5 Required

To work in the Master Data Manager web application, Silverlight 5.0 must be installed on the client computer. If you do not have the required version of Silverlight, you will be prompted to install it when you navigate to an area of the web application that requires it. You can install Silverlight 5 from

Installation is Part of SQL Server

You can now install Master Data Services while you’re installing SQL Server instead of using a separate installer, as was required in the previous release. You can install Master Data Services by using the SQL Server Installation Wizard or a command prompt.

Learn how to install Master Data Services (link to MSDN).