December 18, 2014

Recently Updated IDW Standards Documents

IDEA has updated the following Standards documents to reflect recent changes to the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW): 

  • Flat File Specifications: IDEA is phasing out the EZView Flat File as a means of loading or extracting product data from the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), effective October 1, 2015. The EZView Flat File will be replaced with a new set of Flat Files, each comprised of “like” fields, such as basic product information, packaging, pricing, etc.
  • Product Descriptor Database (PDD): The foundation for all IDW-related format specification standards and standards guidelines; Defines every data field in the IDW.
  • Data Validation and Change Rules (aka Scrubbing Rules): Dictate how data is handled as it is loaded into the IDW (e.g. if values loaded for a SKU do not match the scrubbing rules for all IDW fields, the data for that SKU will not be permitted to be loaded into the IDW).
  • ALLXML: A file transport format used to load data into the IDW via XML in one format and file (a combination of the PDD and Electrical Attribute Schema data). 
  • EDI B-Views December 2014: A data transport format used to load data into the IDW via electronic data interchange (EDI).
  • Attributed Data XML Format v4.0.1 December 2014: A data transport format used to load attributed data into the IDW via XML. 

Why the switch?

IDEA’s management and Board of Directors have mandated the population of 43 critical data fields in the IDW, two of which are new to the IDW. These 43 fields contain transactional and descriptive product information that distributors need to conduct business and sell manufacturers’ products. To accommodate the 43 critical fields, all related Standards documents are in the process of being updated.

For example, the EZView was a subset of the Product Descriptor Database (PDD), which is the standard file specification and definition of every data field in the IDW. The EZView contained only basic product data fields and does not include all 43 of the critical data fields, limiting the data a manufacturer can supply to the IDW. The use of the new Flat Files, on the other hand, will accommodate the 43 critical fields, as well as other additional PDD product information a manufacturer is required to provide.

What’s new?

  • Flat File Specifications: The Flat Files include the two new fields that were added to the IDW (an ARRA indicator and a Buy American Act indicator), as well as a set of new “report group code” fields added by the IDEA Industry Standards Committee. The Flat Files are now ready for use to load data to the IDW. Additionally, manufacturers can extract their data in these new formats to see which critical fields are not complete.
  • Product Descriptor Database (PDD): The updated PDD is coordinated with the February set of Flat Files that are replacing the EZView Flat File as a means of loading or extracting product data into or from the IDW. The use of the updated PDD with those Flat Files will accommodate the 43 critical fields and additional product information that a manufacturer may be required to provide.
  • Data Validation and Change Rules (aka Scrubbing Rules): These rules support the updated PDD requirements and are considered compliancy rules for the Data Certification Program.
  • ALLXML: This zipped file contains the ALLXML format layout, three examples, and an .xsd file needed by programmers to validate that the XML file conforms to the defined specification format when programmed.
  • EDI B-views December 2014: This zipped file contains all of the EDI B-Views required to load data into the IDW via EDI. These B-Views are an electrical industry subset of the ASC X12 EDI Product and Pricing (EDI 832) standard. All B-Views are needed to populate the 43 critical data fields. 
  • Attributed Data XML Format v4.0.1 December 2014: This zipped file contains the Attributed Data XML Format (AD-XML) layout used to load product category and attributed data into the IDW based on the Electrical Attribute Schema 4.0. The zipped file also contains an accompanying .xsd file needed by programmers to validate that the XML file conforms to the defined specification format when programmed.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Data Management Specialist if you have any questions about the updated Standards documents.