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IDEA Releases Version 3.0 of the Electrical Attribute Schema

More than 1000 new product categories added to fuel the eBusiness information needs of the electrical channel

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  • Arlington, VA – The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA), the official technology service provider and eBusiness standards body of the electrical industry, today announced the release of the Attribute Schema v3.0, an industry-approved guide for electrical manufacturers to communicate standardized product descriptors to their trading partners through the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). Manufacturers can use the Schema to populate descriptive information for nearly 3500 product categories, expanding product coverage by 40% from the previous version and enabling additional manufacturers involved with related verticals including HVAC, plumbing, and industrial to participate.

    “The Attribute Schema is a testament to the enormous collaborative power of the electrical channel and an inspiring industry effort to advance eBusiness,” said Robert Gaylord, President and CEO, IDEA. “Much has changed since the Schema's initial release in 2009. Today, the overwhelming majority of electrical manufacturers are using the Schema to provide standardized marketing content. Distributors are hungry for this information to develop their own eStorefronts to sell products. The latest Schema release, combined with our work with ETIM International, enables companies to conduct eBusiness everywhere more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

    The third version of the Schema was developed in collaboration with DATAgility, and with the review and approval of the electrical manufacturers and distributors that comprise the IDEA Industry Standards Committee. The product descriptors are based on the product categories of the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code® (UNSPSC®), a global standard for product categorization. The Attribute Schema v3.0 is also being utilized to develop a cross-reference tool with its European equivalent, the European Technical Information Model (ETIM), to align standards internationally and enable manufacturers to quickly send descriptive information to their US, Canadian and European-based distributors simultaneously.

    “Similar to how young professionals now utilize Google Maps instead of road maps, young electrical industry professionals search the Internet instead of thumbing through paper catalogs," said Ann Jaehn, Chairman, IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC) and Director of Pricing, Thomas & Betts Corporation. "As a leader of the electrical industry, IDEA owes it to our partners to continue to improve the exchange of data content through initiatives such as the Attribute Schema to help prepare for the advancement of eBusiness. As a direct result of the support manufacturers have dedicated to providing attributed data, manufacturers enjoy cleaner data in their own systems and the entire channel benefits from accurate, robust data." 

    The Schema is a living document and will continue to expand and improve as other product areas are identified by manufacturers and distributors.

    The Attribute Schema can only be accessed and used by IDW customers. IDW customers can access this new version by signing into the IDEA Portal or by contacting an IDEA representative at . You can find out more about the Schema by visiting IDEA’s website

    About IDEA: The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) is the official technology service provider and eBusiness standards body of the electrical industry. The company helps thousands of electrical manufacturers and distributors find the most cost-effective methods for running day-to-day business. IDEA’s applications help connect the supply chain and make business processes efficient, easy and enjoyable for people every day. IDEA was founded in 1998 through a partnership rooted in the collective leadership of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) members. Their applications also bring value to vertical markets such as industrial, retail, and consumer-packaged goods. IDEA is headquartered in Arlington, VA ( 

    Tags for this post: idw attribute schema


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