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IDEA to Roll Out All Changes to 2018 eBusiness Standards in June

Jan. 11, 2018
More than 80 electrical industry experts from 45 companies volunteered their time to contribute to IDEA's 2018 eBusiness Standards.

 The Industry Data Exchange Association Inc. (IDEA), Arlington, VA, says  its 2018 eBusiness Standards update will have all changes implemented at the beginning of June 2018.

Over 80 electrical industry experts from 45 companies volunteered their time to contribute to these standards in the past year, according to an IDEA press release. This new standards release was developed by reviewing thousands of attributes, business rules, and standards for marketing content, data, and international trade. Although this release was delayed due to the substantial number of changes needed to support the IDEA Connector platform, IDEA said it would not be implementing these changes until June 1, to give manufacturers time to prepare.

“By working together on these standards, the wholesale industry is developing a more efficient and accurate way of sharing information among all organizations,” said Paul Molitor, IDEA’s president and CEO, in the release. “As competitive pressure continues to grow, it’s critical that we continue to be forward-thinking and proactive in developing industry standards to support future business opportunities.”

“The 2018 eBusiness Standards came together with the support of many people and organizations in our industry. I’d like to thank each of our experts for volunteering their time and knowledge to develop the Standard and it’s supporting documentation, with it’s a standardized vocabulary, format, and data quality standards for exchanging data within the wholesale channel,” added Mary Shaw, IDEA Director, eBusiness Standards.


  • The Classification and Marketing Descriptor Model (CMD), formerly called the Electrical Attribute Schema, is a standards template based on the global United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes (UNSPSC) product categorization system. It enables manufacturers to communicate standardized product descriptors — such as brand, special features, voltage, wire range, and color — to trading partners through IDEA’s data synchronization platform.
  • The Wholesale Product Attribute Standard, formerly called the PDD, is the foundation for the platform’s format specifications and guidelines, offering a standardized template that defines every product-centric data field in the data synchronization platform.
  • The Best Practices and supporting documents to accompany the Wholesale Product Attribute Standard have also been updated to coincide with the changes 


New Standard Format. The new Wholesale Product Attribute Standard will now contain a “Simple Layout” tab, that is intended to communicate the industry-developed standard for exchanging product information within the channel, separating it out from the platform implementation specifications. It still contains however, a “Full Layout” tab that shows the technical details needed for implementing the standard.

Name Changes. All reference to the previously used names PDD and IDW, have been updated to reflect the new names, Wholesale Product Attribute Standard and the IDEA Connector data synchronization platform.

Critical Attribute Identification. The distributor ad-hoc committee reviewed 175 product categories and identified 902 attributes as critical. These attributes will be clearly indicated on the Classification and Marketing Descriptor Model (CMD) standard as “distributor identified critical.” Although not required to load data to the IDW, these new critical attributes will be implemented into the data quality program in June 2018.

Field Changes for the Standard. The new standard will include fields needed for Canadian customers to better identify products being sold into Canada; additional URL fields like 360 degree view; removal of some no longer relevant fields; and the addition of fields to identify substitute and associated products. There are many additional changes made to better communicate product details to the downstream channel.

Original press release:

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