PIM, Product MDM and Multi-Domain MDM

Over on the Informatica Perspectives blog Monica McDonnell of Informatica seems to be determined to separate Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Master Data Management (Product MDM) as we now have the second attempt in the post PIM is not Product MDM Part 2.

I can easily see the reason for this quest for Informatica, as Informatica will very much like to position the Heiler acquisition as an Informatica Multi-Domain MDM aware PIM solution as mentioned in the post MDM Aware MDM Solutions.

There will always be pros and cons for having capabilities delivered in smaller best of breed packages opposed to in larger integrated packages. On the MDM market the vendors pitch their offerings according to how they got there. SAP is using Hybris as an eCommerce focused PIM add-on to SAP. On the other hand Stibo Systems and Riversand have been adding MDM to PIM and now adds Multi-Domain to MDM as reported in the post The second part of the Multi-Domain MDM Magic Quadrant is out.

In the PIM / Product MDM realm we have several other considerations on how to address different disciplines with technology support. An important capability within PIM is Digital Asset Management (DAM) as described in the post Digital Assets and Product MDM. DAM can be a separate application or part of PIM / Product MDM. Technology support for Data Governance could also come separately as reported in the post Data governance tools: The new snake oil?

QuadrantNow, back to PIM versus Product MDM. I’m not sure it is wise to divorce these two. It seems to be a kind of back looking exercise. I would like to marry them as part of looking forward in a multi-domain MDM world. To catch up on Monica’s arguments PIM has been much about the sell-side of things. I think we should be better at integrating the buy-side and the sell-side of Product MDM / PIM as examined in the post An Alternative Multi-Domain MDM Quadrant.

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9 thoughts on “PIM, Product MDM and Multi-Domain MDM

  1. John O'Gorman 24th November 2014 / 18:01

    All the Domains should be ‘married’ and for the reasons you outline here, Henrik.

  2. Dennis Moore 24th November 2014 / 21:50

    Henrik –

    Lots of data we deal with in PIM are not master data attributes. Thus, master data management for Product is not the same as PIM. In fact, if they were the same, Informatica would not have acquired a PIM vendor at all, as we already have a longstanding capability to master product data.

    That said, there is little reason to care any longer. Informatica has done a great job of integrating its multidomain master data management capability, including product and supplier master, with its PIM offering, giving the best of both worlds.

  3. Gary Allemann 25th November 2014 / 06:23

    The challenge faced by the “grow by acquisition” strategy of most bigger vednors is it leaves you with a hodge podge of disconnected products that in some cases may compete and in some cases complement each other. Not surprising that the messaging gets confusing

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 25th November 2014 / 07:06

    Thanks John, Dennis and Gary for commenting.

    @Dennis: While you may argue that many of the product specific attributes and digital assets we handle in PIM do not look like master data to be used in many other applications they are not transaction data either. These data should be collected and consumed in the same processes as the “real” product master data.

  5. Dennis Moore 28th November 2014 / 22:37

    @Henrik –

    I agree, but there are many practitioners who do not. Our integration of PIM and MDM allows for either approach, despite the wishful claims of some competitors that there is some complexity in bringing these together. In fact, MDM hubs (at least well-designed ones) were built to deal with sources as diverse as flat files, web services, mainframe data stores, and OODBMS’s, so a PIM can be just another source/target. Someday I’d like to walk you through a concept I’ve been promoting about matching attributes, searching attributes, shared attributes, single-source attributes, and transient attributes. Can you contact Carter Lusher at Informatica to set up some time? Thanks …

    – Dennis Moore

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 29th November 2014 / 12:33

      Thanks again Dennis. I will.

  6. Garry Thomos 9th December 2015 / 10:22

    Thanks for sharing such a resourceful post on PIM and MDM solutions with us. Your post cleared all my doubts on PIM and MDM solutions cleared my so many doubts. I recently came across EnterWorks.com that offers the PIM and MDM solutions for enterprises of all sizes and niches. Feel free to visit them once.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 9th December 2015 / 10:47

      I should have marked this as spam but have approved it to show how SEO service providers ironically shows an MDM vendor as one who falsifies names. I can see the comment is made from an IP address in New Delhi. There is nothing wrong with New Delhi, but Garry Thomos isn’t a typical Indian name, is it? The kind words are too kind too. And the link to Enterworks site is odd.

  7. Sonu 30th March 2018 / 07:17


    Amaze! I have been looking bing for hours because of this and i also in the end think it is in this article! Maybe I recommend you something helps me all the time?

    They are mapping variables and workflow variables.

    I have created them in the mapping and assigned the value in the mapping. Created the workflow variables in the workflow and assigned the mapping variables to the workflow variables. They are not set to persistent. I need the values to get refreshed every time I run the workflow.
    Thanks a lot. This was a perfect step-by-step guide. Don’t think it could have been done better.



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