IBM rolls out Master Data Management server

Oil IT Journal discusses data warehousing and SOA-based MDM with IBM’s Fred Busche.

IBM unveiled its Master Data Management (MDM) Server this month, a service-oriented architectured (SOA) system for central management of master data for real time use. Master data management promises a single, ‘multi-purpose’ view of master data for use in multiple applications and by many different users.


While the MDM initially targets the retail and financial services sectors, the topic is potentially of interest to users in other verticals including oil and gas and process industries. Oil IT Journal talked to IBM MDM guru Fred Busche about potential application in oil and gas. Busche explained, ‘In the commercial world, MDM is used to get a single view of a customer who might be involved in a multitude of transactions. Most MDM solutions therefore have a transactional bias.’


‘Mapping the transaction paradigm to the upstream requires a rethink of what an oilfield really is. In fact the issues involved in optimizing performance across multiple wells of fields depends on a single view of data over the whole entity and involving multiple applications. This is where the dynamic warehouse concept, along with MDM comes in to federate data. Data cleansing is important to create a ‘gold standard’ data set for the oilfield.’


‘Once the dynamic warehouse is established it can be leveraged with data mining techniques to ‘pre-think’ activities and optimize complex operations like sand control.’ IBM is currently trialing the technology with a couple of major producers. Busche didn’t want to name them but did admit that, ‘It is taking time to understand the business requirements of the upstream. Mapping from the transactional environment to the oilfield also involves a few issues, wells are not customers!’

Information Server

IBM’s MDM offering is based on the DB2 data warehouse and the WebSphere Information Server which includes extraction transform load (ETL) technology developed by Ascential which was acquired by IBM in 2005.

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