Before I start to explain the question in topic, below is a list of tasks summarized from BOL for installing Master Data Services.
- Verify Installation Requirements
- Configure required roles, role services and features
- Review language support considerations.
- Run master data services Setup
- Allow Master Data Services Configuration Manager to open and complete post-installation operations
- Create a Master Data Services database
- Create a Master Data Manager Web application
- Associate a Master Data Services database with a Web application
- Enable Web services
Now coming to the point that I am not pleased with is the point highlighted above.
- When you want to create the Master Data Manager web application, you need to have IIS installed as it's one of the prerequisite for this application. For those who are completely blank about MDS, MDS Configuration Manager can be seen as SSRS Configuration manager and this web application can be seen as Reports Manager kind of application.
- If you want to enable web services or you want to associate MDS database with the web application, you need to have the web application installed on the local machine on which the database exists.
- If I consider a scenario, where I am deploying MDS in a server farm or in an environment where I have multiple servers having MDS on it, from the above two points I derive that I need to have IIS on all those machines. Even though using SSRS 2008 or higher versions, I can skip IIS dependency, if I want to use MDS, I would be again stuck with IIS.
- My point is, if we take a look at the history of SSRS, in 2005 version IIS was a prerequisite. With 2008 and higher versions, this dependency was removed smartly. Why MDS didn't took lessons from this architecture revision of SSRS ?
I am sure there would have been some real technical challenges for hosting on IIS, but I would wish that in the next version this dependency should be removed like what SSRS did in it's release cycle. Also one more feature in my wishlist is that it should be enabled for 32-bit systems also. As of the date of draft, it's supported only on 64-bit systems. Do feel free to share your views on this with me by your comments.