This SQLServerCentral article caught my eye because it explains a process I will soon be carrying out, moving MDS data from development to production. It looks as though the advice given could save a substantial amount of trial-and-error. Thanks to the author, James Serra, and SSC!
(The author’s original post, with comments, can be found here.)
Update (11/16/12): I never did get this to work. Instead, I migrated from development to production by backing up and restoring my MDS database. After that I had to run the MDS Configuration tool, connect to the database, and do a “Repair.”
Once I had the restored database working with the MDS web application, I found that I was able to go in and clean up obsolete entities that were “stuck” (could not be deleted). Much of the trouble before may have been with the web app rather than the database, and I believe that the migrated database will be fine now in production, and free of corruption.
Using the deployment tool can be tricky. I attempted to migrate that way, using both the deployment utility (not the wizard) and the package editor, but I ran into numerous issues and error messages of the “there’s an error but we aren’t going to tell you what it is” genre.
I couldn’t identify all of the issues, but a major one seemed to involve domain-based entities and their dependency on other entities. I suspect that the tools were not re-creating the entities in the correct order — dependencies first followed by dependent entities. It’s really hard to tell when all the error message gives you is the name of the web service method, and doesn’t identify the specific object!