Case Studies: Microsoft Deploys ER/Studio to Establish an Enterprise Data Model

Microsoft is a worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions. Founded in 1975, Microsoft is widely known for the Windows operating system and Office suite, but Microsoft’s business is also diversified across cloud computing, video gaming consoles (Xbox), phones, search (Bing), and other technologies.


With a vast range of data needs, Microsoft had implemented different data architecture solutions over time, but it became increasingly clear that a cohesive data management strategy was needed. The lack of clear enterprise data standards at Microsoft fostered extensive variation in how data was modeled across business groups. Furthermore, management had become concerned about end-to-end tracking of customer and partner data. Microsoft could see the necessity and urgency to develop an enterprise data model.


Microsoft performed a thorough review of data modeling tool capabilities prior to making a long-term decision. As a result of this review, Microsoft’s IT department chose ER/Studio because it could offer:

  • Flexible partitioning of Microsoft’s extensive data model
  • Extensive compare and merge capabilities
  • Solid and responsive support interaction
  • Standardization functionalities such as naming conventions and metadata
  • The ability to consistently define entities for data models across the whole organization
  • A flexible and comprehensive macro capability


For Microsoft’s Enterprise Data Architecture team, ER/Studio will be a vital part of a multi-year initiative to build an enterprise data model. ER/Studio gives the team the means to apply a rigorous approach to data modeling as well as the ability to support requirements for a large data model. Data standardization allows for improved data quality and cost-savings as other data architects won’t be starting from scratch to create new models. Finally, having a standard data approach avoids creating incompatibilities and gaps in features between systems.

“Going from a logical model, doing the data design upfront, creating the physical model, and forward-engineering into SQL Server is a great productivity aid.”

— Aaron Hanks, Principal IT Data Architect, Microsoft





Data reuse

Tools Used:

 Data Architect  Model Repository Model Repository

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