August 6, 2020

New Documents Available in the IDEA Learning Portal

IDEA is pleased to announce that the following IDEA Connector℠ user documentation is available in the Learning Portal.  The two documents are the brand-new IDEA Connector℠ Data Dictionary v07 and the updated Category Attribute Specification v07 (CAS).

IDEA Connector℠ Data Dictionary v7.0

The data dictionary replaces the Product Attribute Standard v06.05 and the IDEA Data Validation and Change Rules v06.02.  This new document is a comprehensive list of the IDEA Connector℠ attributes with definitions, data formats, as well as data validation and data processing rules.  There are two primary tabs in the document – the data model and the data dictionary.

  • The data model is a list of IDEA Connector℠ attributes and their respective repositories. Here you will find the attribute characteristics and data requirements, rule numbers and definitions, and references to corresponding data code sets.
  • The data dictionary contains the list of IDEA Connector℠ attributes and their definitions. Users can browse this tab to find all the information available within the IDEA Connector℠.

Additional tabs on this document include:

  • all of the code sets and values used for data validation within IDEA Connector℠. Code sets include currency codes, language codes, country codes, and weights and dimensional units of measure.
  • Metric Conversions, where the user will find the Imperial to Metric calculations and UOMs used to convert imperial values to metric values.


Category Attribute Specification v07 (CAS)

There are no new functionality or programming changes required with the new CAS.  The CAS has been updated with the ‘look and feel’ of IDEA Connector℠ and replaces the Classification Attribute Specification v6.05.

The CAS is still based on v1900501 of the United Nations Product and Services Codes (UNSPSC).  Newer versions of the full code set will be reviewed in the coming months for inclusion in the CAS.  The IDEA Connector℠ User Group will be advised if changes to existing codes is required due to a version update.  The IDEA Connector℠ can accept codes from more current releases of the UNSPSC code set, by submitting a request to the IDEA Connector℠ User Group at

This document has two ‘looks’ at the product category attributes assigned to each UNSPSC code included in the current specification.  One look presents the product attributes vertically by UNSPC; and the other presents the product attributes horizontally by UNSPSC.  The layout is really a user preference, and one that resembles the data load formats available.

The CAS has several additional tabs with useful and important information:

  • all of the product attributes names, their definitions and data characteristics, and unit of measure expectations.
  • a comprehensive list of abbreviations for colors, materials, and other attribute types. These suggested abbreviations help to standardize the data values so distributors and other data consumers can use the data more effectively in web store search results.
  • all of the UNSPSC codes that were reviewed by the Product Information task force of IDEA distributors to identify which attributes are ‘critical’ for web store searches. Critical attributes are not mandatory, but are strongly suggested.
  • the full set of UNSPSC Commodity codes from version v190501. Why?  When product managers are bringing new products to the marketplace, they need to assign the correct UNSPSC code to their parts.  This full set of commodity codes allows the product manager to search for the best fit, even if the code is not part of the Category Attributes sub-set.