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Concept - Classification Catalog ETIM


Intershop 7 (IS7) provides out-of-the-box support for three standard classification mechanisms: eCl@ss, UN/SPSC and ETIM 6.0. A third standard classification catalog was introduced in IS 7.10.

The nature of a classification catalog is specified by its assignment to a given classification system. This concept discusses the ETIM 6.0 classification catalog.

Related Documents

Classification Systems

A classification system is a system of rules defining the behavior of the classification. This behavior is calculated by taking the values of the parameters coming with each classification system. Such a single system has the following parameters which determine the classification behavior:

  • levels - The number of classification levels (level of nesting)
  • groupIDHierarchy - A flag indicating that the classification group IDs are in hierarchical order, i.e., the ID of a classification group (which is a classification category) defines the position in the classification system.
  • multipleAssignments - A flag indicating whether products can be assigned to multiple groups (which are classification categories) of the classification system.
  • leafAssignments - A flag indicating whether products can be assigned to leaf groups (which are classification categories) of the classification system only.
  • inheritanceEnabled - A flag indicating whether predefined attributes of a group are inherited from parent groups.

By default, five classification systems with their properties and values are provided by Intershop 7, a system classification catalog, three standard and a custom classification system:

The diagram shows that for different classification systems different nesting levels are possible. This value indicates the number of meaningful levels, not the max level.

For ETIM 6.0 systems, level names were defined to describe each level of the classification system, resp. a business sector.

The ETIM 6.0 Classification defines the following category levels:

  • Level 1: Groups
  • Level 2: Classes

The ETIM Classification model is built using the following categories or entities:

  • Product groups
  • Product classes
  • Synonyms (Keywords)
  • Features
  • Values
  • Units

More information about the model can be found at ETIM International | Model-Information.

ETIM Classification Catalog


ETIM is a standard for information exchange between business partners.

It is very important in scenarios where catalog aggregation between multiple organizations is a key success factor for cost savings. Without compatible catalogs, catalog maintenance becomes a costly business.

ETIM offers an open standard for the unambiguous grouping and specification of products in the installation sector through a uniform product classification model. This classification uses: product classes, features, values and synonyms that make it easy to find the right product. The product classification itself is not a “final product”, but it offers a structure for an electronic product database and applications such as an online web shop, search engine or configuration software. ETIM classification is multilingual, media neutral and supplier neutral.

ETIM is characterized by a 2-level hierarchical classification system consisting of Groups with 'EG' at the beginning following by a 6 digit numerical code and the second hierarchy level Class with 'EC' at the beginning following by a 6 digit numerical code as well. The assignment to products always happens at the second Class level.

A standard keyword register extends the plain categorization tree and provides users with better search capabilities. Each commodity class (i.e., each leaf in the categorization tree) is associated with a set of keywords describing the type of items (i.e., products) that belong to the category. Since the ETIM standard committee maintains the keyword registry, a search based on these keywords provides better search results than a plain full-text search.

Most of the commodity classes are also associated with attribute lists that define the attributes of the items of that particular category. The attribute lists contain the attribute names as well as possible value sets. The attribute sets for commodity classes basically provide meta-data for the items/products contained in a category.

Values in the ETIM Classification Model

The ETIM Classification Catalog has predefined values for certain features (product attributes). This is different to the other two supported classifications catalogs.

The keys for these values have 'EV' at the beginning followed by a 6 digit numerical code. When attributes inherited by an assigned ETIM classification category have a predefined ETIM catalog value the code EVxxxxxx will be stored, not the actual localized description text of the EVxxxxxx code. This means when the product data is displayed at the storefront, the EVxxxxxx code must be resolved by retrieving its value from the ETIM classification category the product is assigned to. These values are displayed in the Commerce Management in a drop down box containing the available predefined ETIM catalog values with the code EVxxxxxx.

For the storefront, a ProductBOExtension is necessary to resolve the EVxxxxxx code value. e.g.: ProductBOEtimValueExtension.getValue()

Assignment with Product Import

The most common way to assign products to an ETIM Classification Catalog category is probably the product import.

This works like a regular product category assignment in the product import XML file. See the example XML below:

<product sku="3358377">
        <category-link name="EC002299" domain="Operations-etim" default="0" hotdeal="0" />
        <custom-attribute name="EF001836_Hz" dt:dt="string">
        <custom-attribute name="EF001532" dt:dt="string">0.5</custom-attribute>
        <custom-attribute name="EF005387_W" dt:dt="string">1</custom-attribute>
        <custom-attribute name="EF000187" dt:dt="string">EV000460</custom-attribute>
        <custom-attribute name="EF000010" dt:dt="string">EV000134</custom-attribute>
        <custom-attribute name="EF000040_mm" dt:dt="string">72</custom-attribute>
        <custom-attribute name="EF002950" dt:dt="string">wire</custom-attribute>

Classification Attributes

 Classification Attribute Pages

Classification attributes are features of the ETIM system classification catalog categories. These attributes are automatically assigned to all products that use the respective classification category and their values can be defined in the Classification tab of the assigned product.

The general purpose of classification attributes is their assignment to a product. When a product is assigned to a classification catalog-category and this category contains attributes, these attributes will be added to the product as well after the assignment. If the attributes do not have a value they will not be displayed in the product attributes list.


The Product Classification catalog cannot be assigned to a product. This is only possible for subcategories that are on the last hierarchical level.

In the Intershop Commerce Management application there are 3 places where the product <-> classification category assignment process can be done.

  • Product Page
    At the product page - Classifications tab, the respective product can be assigned to a selected catalog. The following picture shows where the product can be classified using the available classification catalogs. There are standard classification catalogs such as UN/SPSC, eCl@ss and ETIM, but the selected product can also be assigned to custom classification catalogs using the red framed Assign links.

The assignment can be done only if the catalog contains subcategories. Classification attributes can be localized, so their values can be viewed and edited in other languages if required. Product classification typically consists of two steps:

  1. Assign the product to exactly one leaf category of the selected classification catalog.
  2. Define valid attribute values for the classification attribute set provided by the selected leaf category.

    The picture above shows the page where a product can be classified. The combo boxes (framed red) can be used to select classification categories. The value of classification attribute is editable, but a change only reflects the assigned product attribute. The original classification attribute of the category is not changed.

  3. Click Apply to confirm the classification. The attribute (if it has a value) can be found below the selected category as the next picture shows or in product attributes list as the second next picture shows.

    The products attribute list picture:

  • Edit Selected Products page
    Another place where products can be assigned to classification categories is Edit Selected Products page in product list, as the following picture depicts.

The assignment here is a few steps process:

  1. Select the respective radio button and click Next>>.
    A new page - Step 2: Assign Products to Classification Catalog Category - Select Classification Catalog is displayed.
  2. Select a classification catalog and click Next>>.
  3. Select the classification category and click Next>>.
  4. The page Step 4: Assigning Products to Classification Catalog Category (Service Types / Customization SKU) - Confirm action shows to which subcategories of the classification catalog the product will be classified.
    Click Finish to start the batch process that performs the classification.


  • Category Page
    The third place where products can be assigned to classification categories is Category Page page of selected catalog. Only categories on the last level of the hierarchy can be assigned to a product. As the following picture depicts the products are assigned to the category Car Audio that is on the last (third) level of catalog-category tree: Product Types -> Audio -> Car Audio. All Car Audio classification attributes with values will be assigned to the products in the list.

    Optional: Use the Add button to assign additional products. The picture above the red framed section shows the product list of classified products. Here the user also can sort, delete and edit these products.

The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.
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