In May of 2011 SAP Master Data Governance Solution aka Embedded MDM solution became SAP Master Data Governance is now Generally Available!. Some brief information about the value proposition of this framework for your organisation can be read Innovations 2010 in SAP Master Data Management.
Before I dive into describing some of the features of MDG which I find really useful let me describe the need that this solution majorly targets.
Need of an embedded MDM (embedded on ECC system) solution : Managing a solution built on the same/similar system where master data resides is highly desirable from application architecture point of view. It reduces the complexity of the solution to be built and thus also helps reduce long term maintenance cost. It also reduces the footprint of the application largely. Also reusage of the components (out of the box validations) etc helps to create uniformity on what the user experiences while creating data conventionally and via MDG change request framework. This also helps manage the change management activies easily for example end user training etc.
Now some of the smart features in MDG application framework which can help you design an optimum Master Data Governance Solution according to me are :-
1. Change request based processes : Having uniform user experience for differenet data domains such as suppliers, material etc. This framework also exposes historical data changes in the form of change documents (both from the change request and outside of change requests).
2. Flexible processes : The processes (change requests for create / update etc) can be designed on a generic out of the box business workflow. In broader terms this workflow solution has two components – 1. business workflow and 2. BRFPlus application. These two tied up together create a very basic but effective BPM environment where via quick and easy to do configuration, a process can be easily setup / modified to meet business requirements. This again helps expedite application building and also reduces process maintenance turn around times.
3. Data model & related UI views and validations : The MDG solutions need a data model which mirrors the relational model of the master data in question for creation of change request UI, staging area (explained below) and to create validations (both out of the box or custom). The smart thing here is that the application inherits the validations related to master data directly into the change requests as well gives the end user option to code validations via BADI’s or though BRFPlus rule sets.The framework also has the capability where data duplication can be prevented via configuration.
4. Staging Area : The work in progress data is not stored in the master data tables but a temporary database until completly approved by the concerned user. This helps control availability of data in transactions.
5. Smart UI : The UI for the embedded MDM solution is primarily ABAP WebDynpro based and can easily configured using FPM configurations. The resuting views can be same as the conventional master data maintenance transactions (SAP GUI) or can be modified as per business requirements.
6. Integration with Enterprise Search : Easy information search options.
7. EHP5 added functionaity like BCV (Business Context Viewer) : The BCV can be used as a side bar addon on the NetWeaver Business Console (NWBC) for integrating master data key elements to other relevant data and view it in different avaliable options. For example Data relevant to a given material can be obtained from PLM system or CRM sysem etc. So with this information integrations becomes seamless and thus representation of data is better.
8. Deployement Options : Can be standalone on one system (ECC 6.0 and EHP5) or can be on top of an existing ECC 6.0 system by updating it with EHP5. The MDG system can also integrate with other non SAP systems to create one enterprise solution. More about this can be read Cross System Master Data Processes with SAP Master Data Governance.
With these features, SAP has given the customerrs an option to create solutions which are robust, which donot compromise on data quality aspects but at the same time are flexible and have low cost of development and maintenance.