January 30, 2008

GS1 and IDEA Part Two: Understanding GS1 GDSN and IDEA’s Role in Achieving Global Data Synchronizati

The Basics of Global Data Synchronization

In a trading relationship, you need to define:

  • WHO you are
  • WHERE you are
  • WHAT you have to trade
  • WHICH target market you’ll be trading in
  • WHO you are trading with

To answer these questions, GS1 has developed GS1 Identification (ID) Keys –a globally managed system of numbering to identify trade items, logistic units, locations, legal entities, assets, service relationships, and more. The numbers are built by combining the GS1 Company Prefix with standards based rules for allocating reference numbers.

The GS1 ID Keys most vital to data synchronization are:

Global Product Classification (GPC) – the key enabler for the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and category management. All current published GPC content is available free of charge, without any usage restrictions.

Global Location Number (GLN) – the GS1 ID Key used to identify legal entities, trading parties and physical locations of items in the supply chain.

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) – the GS1 ID Key assigned to any product or service that may be priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in any supply chain.

Since the keys alone do not provide sufficient information, they are supplemented by attributes describing them such as an item description, price, size, name address, etc. This attributed data supporting the trading partner relationships is known as master data or transactional data and is available through GS1 certified data pools.

What is GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)?

GS1 GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) is an automated, standards-based global environment that enables secure and continuous data synchronization, allowing all partners to have consistent item data in their systems at the same time. The GDSN concept was developed in order to help streamline supply chain transactions and reduce supply chain costs.

The network connects retailers, distributors and suppliers, via their GDSN-certified selected data pools, to the GS1 Global Registry.

GS1 Data Pools

GS1 certified data pools are electronic catalogues of standardized item data. They serve both as a source and/or recipient of master or transational data, and can be run by a GS1 Member Organization, supplier, customer or service provider. Certified data pools interoperate with the GS1 Global Registry and each other. Since they are interoperable, a supplier providing data through a certified data pool meet data synchronization requirements and do not have to participate in a specific data pool that is preferred by a retail participant. Other terms and their definitions can be obtained from the IDEA Customer Portal (www.myideaportal.net).  


1SYNC is a GS1 certified data pool that was formed by the merge of UCCnet and Transora. They offer a full range of data pool services that support user needs and make implementation easier. 1SYNC operates as a not-for-profit subsidiary of GS1 US to help the industry maximize the value of data synchronization.

The 1SYNC technology platform aids companies in the elimination of costly data errors, bringing about increased supply chain efficiencies, to lay the foundation for next-generation eCommerce initiatives. 1SYNC is one of many participating data pools in the GDSN today.

The GS1 Global Registry

The GS1 Global Registry is the directory of the Global Data Synchronization Network for the registration of Items and Parties that validates registered data and ensures the uniqueness of Items and Parties based on their Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN) and Global Location Numbers (GLN). The GS1 Global Registry lets companies locate source (supplier) or recipient (retailer) data pools so data can be standardized and synchronized between trading partners on a near real-time basis. In other words, the GS1 Global Registry is the “yellow pages directory” for suppliers and retailers that:

  • Provides information for subscription sharing
  • Enables data pool interoperability
  • Guarantees uniqueness of the registered items and parties
  • Ensures that all data pools in the network are complying with a common basic set of validation rules
  • Stores the information about who has subscribed to trade item or party data

IDEA’s Role in the Global Data Synchronization Network

IDEA’s Industry Retail Database (IRD) is a single solution that consolidates all the eCommerce tools and services retail trading partners need to comply with industry standards (GS1–GDSN), meet retail mandates, exchange transactional data, and streamline processes to do business more efficiently. IDEA represents its customer’s positions in the GDSN standards development process as a 1SYNC data pool partner.

IRD creates a bridge between suppliers and retailers by delivering an environment in which suppliers can load their data into the 1SYNC™ Data Pool using our templates or other data formats. The data is then automatically registered in the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) and made available to authorized retailers in the supplier’s network via any data pool they choose.

To meet the data synchronization requirements IDEA licensed a certified software application to interface with the 1SYNC data pool, CERICOMX®. The software application synchronizes and evaluates the supplier’s business information against the requirements established for the GDSN and retail end users.

IDEA IRD customers are provided a full service that enables them to meet their trading partner data synchronization requirements at a substantial savings over alternative services or individual programs.

If you are a supplier to the retail market, contact John Etrie at (703) 562-4624 to get connected and start saving today.

*Excerpts from: The GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network: What You Need to Know