October 7, 2014

IDEA Dictionary: What is a View?

When dealing with data, and all related terminology, you may feel like you’re trying to speak a foreign language. In the interest of keeping things clear and simple, we will introduce commonly used terms in each newsletter that will help you navigate the data shorthand and learn the lingo.  This week, we bring you: view.

“View” is a term used by IDEA to differentiate different subsets of data broken out from the original full ANSI X12 EDI 832 Price/Sales Catalog (EDI 832) standard of which the IDW is based on, intended to make data loading/extracting an easier process.  Each view is comprised of “like” fields, like basic product information, packaging, pricing, etc. * 

Possible views are as follows:

B1 – Basic item identification data, such as UPC, catalog number, and UNSPSC
B2 – Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
B3 – Catalog Long Description (product description)
B4 – Packaging
B5 – Pricing
B6 – Kits, assemblies (not implemented in IDW)
B7 – Enriched/Marketing Content, such as URLs
B8 – Attributes (Note: The term “view” is only informally used in reference to B8; it is not actually in the EDI 832 standard.)


Data is loaded to the IDW by view, regardless of the data’s original format. For example, flat file, EDI, and XML formats are each broken down into these different views and loaded, rather than being loaded as one bulk file. If you are loading your own data into the IDW, you have the option of loading one view at a time. However, an item’s B1 basic item identification data must be loaded first (i.e. the item must exist) before any other views can be loaded for the same item. 

If you have any questions regarding the meaning of “view” or any other IDW terms, please contact your Data Management Specialist. Requests for future definitions can be sent to communications@idea4industry.com


* Earlier, this post stated that a “view” is “A subset of the information available in the manufacturer’s entire electronic catalog, comprised of “like” fields, e.g. all fields containing packaging information, all fields containing pricing information, etc.”  That definition has since been corrected to what is seen above.