An electronic catalog contains product data in a form that can be read and processed by the business partner's software system. This requires two parts:
- A format that describes how data can be transmitted (XML structures are often used) and allows the receiving system to categorize the individual data elements (header information, product identification, general product features, technical product features, ...).
- A classification that allows to understand the meaning of the data.
The most important exchange formats are BMEcat und GS1/XML, both are XML-formats. Another commonly used format is also Datanorm, a file format that defines different record types in that different information is transferred.
All of these exchange formats already contain a detailed description of general features such as prices, logistical information (such as packaging size) or ordering information. This information can be used for all products. The specific technical characteristics of products, however, are defined by the classifications. In this step, characteristics are defined specifically for the individual product groups, which are very different for various product groups. While important properties for a screw are e.g. the width of the head, the total length, or the length of the thread; a laptop is described by completely different features such as the clocking of the processor, the main memory size, or the type of secondary memory. These numerous descriptions cannot be represented independently by the exchange formats; they can only be done by the classification systems with their class-related feature ledge. At the least the modern exchange formats BMEcat and GS1/XML offer the option to describe the prodcuts with classifications.
The ecatDESIGNER offers you the great possibility to generate electronic catalogs in different formats.
The process is always the same: You import your data into the ecatDESIGNER, create the mapping considering the characteristics defined by the setup and generate the electronic catalogs in the desired format with the push of a button. The ecatDESIGNER permits to describe the products according to any number of classifications. Your task is essentially to create the mapping - the rest is done by the ecatDESIGNER!