PIM Glossary

MDM, ERP, CMP, DQM, MAM, DMS, ESB - there's really a huge amount of acronyms and abbreviations in the world of Product Information Management. No, PIM does not refer to a "Positive Ikea Mattress" or a "Personal Income Machine". In order to avoid such misunderstandings, we would like to explain the most important terms and acronyms.



Terms from the world of product data management

Trade item or merchandise. An article is a specific variant of a product. It is a physical object.

Assortments are subsets of the product master file that are published, for example, in catalogues or online shops.

Attributes are properties that describe an article or a product that are not included in the classification systems' categories.

Best-of-breed is a method to find the best possible (sub-) system (by different vendors) for each application area of enterprise software and integrate them as an overall solution to the problem.

In catalogue management, it designates a rich XML standard used for exchanging catalogue data.

The term "catalogue" comprises, in a broad sense, objects that are available either as printed media (print catalogues) or in an electronic format (file, database).

Catalogue format
Denotes catalogue files such as BMEcat, XLS, CSV, xCBL, cXML and Datanorm.

Assigning an object (e.g. an article or product) to a structured system.

Cross-Media Publishing. Publishing content (texts and images) based on media-independent data, reaching your audience via any channel.

Content Management System. An editing system used to manage content, for example of a website. Content and layout are edited separately.

Customer Relationship Management.

Comma-separated values. CSV is a simple text file format for exchanging simply structured data. Values are stored in a table as a series of ASCII text lines organized so that each column value is separated by a character (a comma or semicolon) from the next column's value and each row starts a new line.

Database Publishing
Database contents such as article number, price and product information are used to fill in pre-formatted layout documents and to update them automatically when there are changes to the database items.

A (German) file format used to exchange article master data between product supplier, wholesaler and craft enterprises.

data field
Data object of a particular type, e.g. belonging to the data type "product". Data types have data fields where content can be stored, e.g. the data type "product" comprises the data fields "description" and "manufacturer". There are simple and qualified data fields. Qualified fields need to be further specified using additional settings (e.g. the language)

data source
Each data source provides a number of data fields. Depending on the data type and subtype of the data source, certain data fields may be selected.  At the time of an export, the data source supplies the data.  A data source can be further specified through parameters, e.g. the data source "article list" may have a data field "article number" and the subtype "attribute".

data type
A data type indicates the data category of a data source, a variable, a data source parameter or a re-export parameter. Each data source, variable and parameter can only have one data type. Possible data types are: clients, suppliers, sales discount groups, structure groups and structure system.

Document Management System. A system used to manage, track (in terms of history tracking) and store documents (PDF, CAD drawings etc.)

Data Quality Management.

DTP Document
InDesign document. The result of a data transfer to print, where the layout has to be modified subsequently.

eClass / eCl@ss
A product and services classification standard that is used across all industry sectors.

An entity - also called information object - defines, in the data modelling context, a uniquely identified object used to store or process information. The object may be tangible or intangible, concrete or abstract. Attributes identify the properties of entities.

Electronic Product Code for RFID technology usage.

Electronic Procurement or supplier exchange. E-Procurement denotes the business-to-business purchase of products through digital networks.

ERP system
Enterprise Resource Planing system. ERP systems are large merchandise planning and control systems to manage the business in order to efficiently organize resources such as assets, human resources, material, funds, IT systems, goods and logistics.

Enterprise Service Bus.

Electro-Technical Information Model. Initiative to standardize the electronic exchange of product data for electrical and electronic products in cooperation with the industry, retail and the trades.

Setting up a list of requirements to be met by a software solution. An evaluation is the most important step to ensure success.

Within the scope of classification system, features are property identifiers, that are defined for all products and articles in order to ensure comparability.

Global Location Number.

Golden Record
Refers to the practice of  consolidating all information about the customer such that all corresponding data is stored in a single data record and that it can be distributed as one.

Global Product Classification.

Global Trade Item Number.

Media Asset Management / Digital Asset Management. System to manage digital content, mainly media data such as images and audiovisual media data, that can be used as visualized article description.

A company that makes goods for sale or that markets goods produced elsewhere under its own brand.

Master Data Management. Its aim is to improve, in the long run, data quality and to ensure data consistency across all applications.

Data that is media-independent or media-neutral is not specific to certain output channels and can be distributed to any channel.

Product Data Management.

Product Information Management.

Product Life Cycle Management. A process or system used to seamlessly integrate all data associated with the life of a product.  PLM systems are also used to align product versions.

Denotes a group of articles and cannot be sold.

Product master file
The product master file covers the complete range of products of a retailer. It includes selected articles of suppliers and manufacturers that have previously been imported into the product master file. The product master file provides e-catalogues and publishing media with current data.

An independent and neutral initiative for the classification of product data in the field of building trade and HVAC service providers within a consistent classification system.

Requirements Traceability Matrix. A requirements traceability matrix may be used to check to see if the projekt requirements are being met and to determine, whether these requirements will comply.

Subdivision of inventory items into several (three) product segments such as, for example, the standard range.

A list of selected candidates compiled from a longlist. It includes vendors that meet the requirements (also in terms of the price) stated in an RFI or similar.

Supplier Portal.

Structural system
A structural system is used to subdivide articles in structured classes. Standard structural systems such as eClass or UNSPSC may be used, but it is also possible to define and implement your own structural system.

Translation Memory.

Translation Memory System or Translation Management System.

United Nations Standard Products and Services Code. A (US) taxonomy of products and services for use in eCommerce.

A defined sequence of processes or tasks that reflects all steps of existing business processes.

Extensible Mark-up Language. A mark up language (text format).

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