SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) is a proven tool for operating process-based master data management. The SAP solution has various deployment options. SAP MDG on SAP S/4HANA (on-premise or private cloud edition) is an integrated component of SAP S/4HANA and is delivered with the latest ERP generation. The software can be operated either as a stand-alone application or as a core data owner or application data owner as part of a modular approach (federation) with multiple MDG instances.



Learn more about the different deployment options of SAP MDG

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With SAP MDG, cloud edition, SAP also offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution in the public cloud for master data management. SAP MDG, cloud edition can also be used stand-alone or as a core data owner, while other MDG systems can be connected for the maintenance of application-related data.


The main difference between SAP MDG on S/4HANA and SAP MDG, cloud edition is the underlying data model. SAP MDG, cloud edition uses the SAP One Domain Model and not the much more comprehensive SAP S/4HANA data model.


Functionalities of SAP MDG, cloud edition

SAP MDG, cloud edition runs on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and can be obtained via the usual subscription models. The three proven standard components – Consolidation & Mass Processing, Central Governance and Data Quality Management – are also available in SAP MDG, cloud edition.


However, there is one important limitation compared to SAP MDG on SAP S/4HANA: so far, only the Business Partner is available as a master data domain. According to the roadmap, the material master is planned as an additional master data domain for 2025. Accordingly, SAP MDG, cloud edition is currently suitable for master data management of the Business Partner core attributes based on the One Domain Model. Special scenarios such as the decentralized creation and modification of data can also be implemented. SOAP and SAP Master Data Integration (MDI) can be used for integration into target systems.




Data Quality Management

Data Quality Management (DQM) can be used to define, manage and apply validation rules for core Business Partner data. The data is analyzed and monitored on the basis of these rules. Thanks to the collaborative approach, several areas or departments can participate in describing, classifying and implementing rules. The rules can be used in the various areas within SAP MDG to ensure data quality during master data maintenance in individual processes (Central Governance) or in mass processes (Consolidation & Mass Processing). DQM is also suitable for visualizing master data quality and making it measurable in order to analyse and rectify data quality errors. The basis for this analysis is the evaluation of the defined rules against the active dataset.


Consolidation & Mass Processing

Consolidation & Mass Processing contains predefined process templates for consolidating Business Partner data in SAP MDG, cloud edition. The predefined standard templates can be extended and adapted to individual requirements. Data is imported via spreadsheets (csv or xlsx files).


Essentially the same functionalities are available as for SAP MDG on SAP S/4HANA and the process steps are almost identical. The initial check is used to check data consistency against standard check rules. The address data can optionally be validated using SAP DQM, microservices. Automatic duplicate matching is available to identify potential duplicates based on defined criteria and to approve or reject the corresponding matching groups using a review UI. The Best Record Calculation merges the duplicates into a Golden Record. In the final process step, the data is finally validated and activated.


Central Governance

Central Governance offers workflows for creating and changing Business Partners, including distribution to target systems. UIs based on SAP Fiori and SAP UI5 ensure a modern and intuitive user experience. The predefined templates include approval workflows with dual-control features to handle changes to sensitive fields accordingly. Data quality is ensured by checks against the SAP standard and individual validation rules. Data Provider Integration for CDQ is available as an optional feature out of the box to create or enrich Business Partner data by searching within a reference database. Additional licenses with the corresponding data providers are required for this service.


Decentralized maintenance and data integration

Decentralized maintenance of business partner data is also possible with SAP MDG, cloud edition. For example, this data can be created in SAP Ariba SLP and then distributed to SAP MDG, cloud edition.


Various options are available for data integration. SAP Master Data Integration is the preferred integration service on SAP BTP and offers predefined integration scenarios based on the One Domain Model. The familiar integration via SOAP web services is also possible. SAP Integration Suite is recommended for integration with third parties (non-SAP).


Federated master data governance

With its focus on the core attributes of Business Partner data, SAP MDG, cloud edition is suitable for the federated master data governance approach, which distributes data responsibility across multiple systems. This moves companies away from a complete harmonization of master data with centrally managed governance. In view of heterogeneous business departments and complex system landscapes, centralization involves enormous effort and consistent harmonization across all business departments is often not possible.


Core attributes are generally easier to harmonize than application data. Accordingly, the federated approach places the core attributes under central governance, while the application data remains decentralized in the responsibility of the business units on the local systems. The main advantages of this approach are a shorter time-to-market and greater flexibility. The prerequisite for such a scenario is to clearly define the desired degree of harmonization.


Conclusion: Who is SAP MDG, cloud edition suitable for?

Under the right conditions, SAP MDG, cloud edition is a worthwhile alternative for master data management in companies. The SaaS solution offers organizations that have not yet used SAP MDG the opportunity to start their master data initiative with low entry barriers by using ready-made content. Even those who only want to look at a reduced object and data scope or only want to manage core Business Partner data centrally should consider SAP MDG, cloud edition.


As described above, it is often not possible to achieve complete harmonization of master data due to distributed system landscapes. SAP MDG, cloud edition can be used to implement federated master data governance, with SAP MDG, cloud edition acting as the core data owner for Business Partner and SAP MDG on SAP S/4HANA as the application data owner for the customer/supplier views.


Other prerequisites for the use of SAP MDG as a SaaS solution are a general openness towards cloud computing and the pursuit of a clear SAP standard strategy. If these requirements are met, SAP MDG, cloud edition offers companies the opportunity to benefit directly from the latest innovations that SAP always provides first for its cloud products.


Learn more about the different deployment options of SAP MDG

Download white paper (in German)


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