Using "M" Tools for Data Modeling

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Microsoft code name “M” enables model developers to design model schemas that include types, relationships, and constraints. Using “M” tools, you can load the “M” model schemas into a SQL Server 2008 database. The SQL Server Modeling CTP installs the following tools to support these tasks.

  • The code name “Intellipad” tool.

  • The “M” Compiler, M.exe.

  • Mx.exe.

These tools install to the bin directory of the SQL Server Modeling CTP. To access this directory, you can use the Microsoft SQL Server Modeling CTP Command Prompt from the Start menu. You can refer to these tools as the “M” tool “chain”, because they are used in distinct stages of the model development lifecycle in “M”. The following list reviews the normal steps of this development cycle.

  • Write “M” models in “Intellipad” and save them as “.m” files.

  • Compile “M” source files into “M” image files with the “M” Compiler.

  • Load “M” image files into a SQL Server 2008 database by using Mx.exe.

One optional step in this cycle is to export SQL Server database schemas from the database into “M” image files by using Mx.exe. Both the “M” compiler and Mx.exe accept references to image files to resolve dependencies. This means that you can reference any exported image file to resolve references in new “M” code that you are compiling and loading into the database. These image files can also be used to reload the same data models in other databases. Extracting SQL schemas is done as required and is not typically used as part of the normal compile and load procedures. For example, if you store all image files that load into the database, it is not necessary to extract the resulting SQL schemas back out of the database. Instead, you could resolve any external references by using the stored image files for your data models.


For more information about the “M” tool chain, watch the Videos on “Oslo” that relate to “M”.

In This Section

  • Writing "M" Files
    Discusses how to use the code name “Intellipad” tool modeling editor.

See Also

Other Resources

Designing Models and Domains Using "M"
Videos on “Oslo”