Installing Master Data Services in SQL Server 2012

Master Data Services provides a central location where you can store non-transactional information. This repository serves as the primary source for accurate data within your organization. In this post I will show you how to install Master Data Services for SQL Server 2012. First launch the ‘Master Data Services Configuration Manger’ from the program menu.

MDS Config Manager

You will be presented with the main screen like the one shown below. If either of the two prerequisites, IIS and PowerShell, don’t check out you will need to install them before continuing with the installation.

MDS Config Manager Summary

Once you have PowerShell and IIS installed, select Database Configuration from the menu on the left.
On this screen you will be presented with two options. Create a new database, or select an existing MDS database. If you later decide to modify some settings on your MDS database, you can select your existing database from this screen, make your adjustments and then apply your changes. Since we are going to show a new installation let’s go ahead and select ‘Create Database’.

MDS Config Create Database

Now you will be presented with a Create Database wizard with several steps. First, we need to connect to the SQL Server instance where we want to install the MDS database. Select your authentication preference, User name and Password to connect. Click the Next button.

MDS Database Wizard Connect to Server

On the ‘Database’ tab of the wizard, enter a Database name. You can also set some settings such as collation. Once you are satisfied with the name and settings, click Next.

MDS Database Wizard Database Name

The next screen is where you enter the User name for the Administrator Account. Note: Once you click the Next button the wizard will try to authenticate the entered user account to a domain controller. You will need to make sure you can access the domain controller. If you cannot, it will provide an error and you cannot continue with the install.

MDS Database Wizard Administrator Account

Next is the ‘Summary’ screen, and finally the ‘Progress and Finish’ screen.
If everything checks out, you should see a success page like the one below.

MDS Database Wizard Success

Click Finish and you will be brought back to the Database Configuration section. However, this time you will now have a database and in the System Settings section you can make adjustments. Simply make your changes and click the Apply button.

MDS Selected Database

Next, we will configure IIS which will serve as one of the primary interfaces for MDS. Click on the Web Configuration option on the left. On this screen you can match up an IIS website with an MDS database. First we need to find a suitable IIS website for MDS. From the dropdown you can either select an existing website, or create a new one. Since we are doing a new install, we will select ‘Create new website’.

MDS Web Configuration Screen

Select a Website name and port. If MDS is the only website you plan on hosting from your server, you may want to leave it on port 80. If you host multiple sites, or are testing, feel free to enter in a new port number. In our case we are going to select port 991.

MDS Create Website

You can leave Protocol and IP Address as the default. However, you will need to add values to the Application Pool area. Select a name for your application pool, and provide a User name and Password. Once finished, click the OK button.

You should now have a Website listed. You should also have a Database listed under the ‘Associate Application with Database’ section. If you do not, simply click the Select button and find your MDS database you just created. You should now see a screen similar to the one below with an active ‘Apply’ button available to you. If you do, excellent, go ahead and click apply. This is where the leap of faith comes in. It can take about a minute to finish the install and it doesn’t give you a progress bar.

MDS Install Finish

After patiently waiting, you should finally be presented with a webpage like the one listed below. This is the Getting Started page. It offers some helpful links to get you going.

MDS Getting Started Page

Once you are ready to dig in, click the first link on the top called ‘Open the Master Data Manager home page’.
This will bring to you to the actual MDS home page where you can start working with MDS. I will cover those areas in more detail in future posts.

Even though the Getting Started page comes up, you will still have the last screen on the MDS installation open. If you have Data Quality Services installed and want to link it with MDS, this would be the time to do so. You would simply click on the now highlighted button called ‘Enable Integration with Data Quality Services’. More details about connecting MDS and DQS can be found on my other blog post here.

When you are done with the MDS configuration manager, simply click Exit and you’re ready to start using MDS!


5 responses to “Installing Master Data Services in SQL Server 2012

  1. Thank you for this valuable information. I looked everywhere online how to Install Master Data Services on SQLServer 2012, but most of the articles I came across are for SQLServer 2008.

    I am an Oracle DBA, I haven’t used SQLServer much, I was asked to install it for one of our projects, which I did successfully, but now they want to install these add-on modules: integration services, Master data services, Data Quality, Analysis Server & Reporting Server.

    For now, I am hoping to use your steps in this article to install “Master Data Services”, however, as I can see on your 1st screenshot above, but on my system I am not able to locate “Master Data Services Configuration Manger” from the program menu, it is not there. Could you please advice what I need to do to have MDSCM showing up on my program menu. Very possible I missed to check a component during the SQLServer 2012 installation, but not sure which one I need to select/check. I didn’t see anything that says Data Services. But I do see Data Quality Services because I did select it during installation.

    I’d really appreciate your help if you could direct me how to get Data Services installed and where I can get the installation info regarding these modules too for SQLServer 2012 please: Integration services, Data Quality, Analysis Server & Reporting Server. You are welcome to email me directly at

    Thank you.

    • Hello MoroccoIT. If you are missing several features, it sounds like you have one of two scenarios.
      1. You may not be using an edition that supports some of these features. Are you using Standard? You may want to try BI Edition, Developer, or Enterprise.
      2. Your installation did not install the desired features. You can check and add additional features by going to control panel, uninstall or change a program, select sql server, uninstall/change, and Add (to add features).

      Here is a screenshot of what the full list of features looks like on SQL 2012. Hope this helps!

      SQL Server 2012 Install Feature List

  2. Hi, I am not seeing this feature (Master Data Services) during the installation of SQL Server SP2. The funny thing is, I can garantee I used this same installer for another environment and it did appear.. Do you know why this could be?

  3. Hello, I’m installing SQL Server 2012 with SP1 and I can’t see the feature “Master Data Services” in order to select it (image in link:
    The very strange thing is, I used this same SQL Server installer in another environment and I was able to install Master Data Services.
    Do you know why this could be? I thought this could be related to .NET 3.5 Framework not being properly installed, or IIS not being installed either, but I’ve verified them both (image in link: ) and I’m out of ideas..
    The only difference between this installation and the other one was that the one that “worked” was a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard *Evaluation* whereas this new one is Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (not evaluation).
    Also, I don’t know how to search for this issue online so I’m wondering if you’ve seen this scenario before.

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