It is my understanding that AX has good master data management capability. I believe workflows can be configured in AX that allow users to centrally manage master data such as customers, product, vendor, chart of accounts etc. and then release it to specific regional companies. Also some third party AX add-ons allow regional companies to independently manage master data attributes and share it with the global company.
I would like to ask the following questions to the experts:
1. Many companies have dedicated CRM and other operational systems which continue to exist after AX implementation. Can AX be the master data hub and share master data with other non-MS systems using integration tools packaged with AX (not Biztalk)? If yes, what integration options are available?
2. If all master data can be easily managed using AX and shared with other systems, why do I need SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services? Users will manage all master data using AX so is SQL Server MDS really required?
3. If SQL Server 2012 MDS can play a role in this setup, will it simply be nothing more than a centralised database where master data is collected from AX and then distributed to other systems? I know that MDS has a web interface and excel plug-in to manage data but is there any point in enabling these interfaces if all master data is managed through AX?
1) If you have Microsoft CRM 2011 you can use Microsoft CRM Connector for integration. If it is 3rd party CRM you can always integrate with Axapta (AIF) which is Webservices exposed for bi-directional data exchange and you can develop / customize as your own.
2) MDS is component of SQL Server installed it helps you if you plan to migrate data from old systems. Essentially you do not need it in Axapta context to run.