Wow, this Sounds Really Cool; Where Do I Buy It?
This is the one of the other really fantastic things about MMS: You don't have to buy it! The product is free! Wow, now that is cool, but how do I get my hands on it?
MMS is a simple tool to install, configure, and use. However, what is tricky are the business rules and information owner flow. If you get this wrong, you could end up deleting the records out of all of your connected directories. How? Well, when you run MMS for the first time, there is no information within the Metaverse. If the information flow goes in the wrong direction, you can actually overwrite a connected directory with no data. Not a very nice picture.
For this reason, Microsoft will not give you the software unless you engage its consultancy services to help you to implement the business rules and the information ownership. But this type of agreement allows you to implement MMS only within your own environment.
If like myself, you work for a consultancy company (a nice little plug for KPMG Consulting), you will need to do a little more than just engage Microsoft's consultancy services. First up, you need to become an MMS partner organization, which will allow you to go out to a client's site and do a full MMS implementation.
So how does your company become a MMS partner organization? Let me say that Microsoft will give you all the details that you need, but here are the basic requirements:
You need to sign a work order with Microsoft. This allows you to participate within the MMS partner program.
You need to send at least two employees to an MMS five-day MOC course (#2062A). You can get more information on this course by accessing this Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/syllabi/syllasearch.asp?PageID=2062aprelim
Finally, you and Microsoft Consultancy services need to do the first engagement at your client's together. This ensures that compliance with the recommendations by Microsoft happens.
Overall, it is not hard to get your hands on MMS; you just need to realize that it is not a toy. As such, Microsoft treats it very differently from most of its other products (not to say that other Microsoft products are toys).