December 6, 2017

IDEA Releases 2018 eBusiness Standards Updates


November 30, 2017


IDEA Contact: Reina Munsch

Phone: (703) 562-4681



IDEA Releases 2018 eBusiness Standards Updates

All Changes to Industry Standards Slated for Implementation in mid-2019

ARLINGTON, VA – The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA – announces the 2019 eBusiness Standards update, with all changes to be implemented in the middle of 2019.


Over 80 electrical industry experts from 45 companies volunteered their time to contribute to these standards in the past year. 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, we will not be implementing these changes until mid-2019, to give manufacturers time to prepare.

As when any new industry data standard is released, manufacturers should immediately review the changes and determine what in their data management processes need to change to support the standards and plan accordingly. This should be done for all delivery methods when providing data to their distributor customers, including IDEA’s data synchronization platform. IDEA goes through the same review to ensure our platform ensures the new standards. Distributors should do same.

“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. “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 2019 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,” said Mary Shaw, IDEA Director, eBusiness Standards.


What’s updated


  • 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


Major 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 mid-2019.
  •  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.





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 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 (