ETIM classification with Pimcore’s classification store at JÄGER DIREKT GmbH & Co. KG

At Pimcore Inspire 2020 Dennis Pfahlbusch from our Gold Partner Intera talked about ETIM classification with the Pimcore classification store for one of their customers JÄGER DIREKT GmbH & Co. KG. Read more about their project and rewatch the talk here.

Classification standards such as ETIM or eCl@ss offer the possibility of organizing data based on a standardized structure. Thus, product classes, product properties, attributes, etc., are stored in a structured and standardized way. Classification standards are hence ideal for data exchange between companies that are committed to the ETIM standard. In addition, it can be used for omnichannel derivation, e.g., to provide product configurators, eCommerce solutions, digital platforms, etc., with uniform product data. 

What does ETIM mean?

ETIM is an abbreviation for the "Electrotechnical Information Model" and a freely usable classification standard. For the different ETIM versions, there are different mapping tables. For each ETIM version, there is a separate XML file with the necessary information about the structure.

About the project

JÄGER DIREKT is an owner-managed German manufacturer and wholesaler of electrotechnical products, systems, and services. The core of the assortment is the own brands produced in Germany, which many other trade goods of well-known manufacturers have completed. 

These more than 10,000 products and variants were previously stored and managed in a separate MSSQL-based data store.  

For performance and usability reasons, we decided to introduce a comprehensive PIM system based on Pimcore. In the old system based on MSSQL, ETIM was already used as the classification standard. However, the integration of a new ETIM version would have been possible only with very high manual effort.  

In the migration from MSSQL to Pimcore, a completely new data model had to be designed that matched JÄGER DIREKT's product portfolio. This Pimcore data model had to be easily expandable, e.g., when a new ETIM version was used.

Why we used the Classification Store?

Performance:
Initially, area bricks were used for the implementation to represent the individual ETIM groups. This led to a considerable loss of performance and even to system crashes. By switching to the Classification Store, we could significantly increase the performance and stability of the system.

Usability:
The user can very comfortably search and filter for desired ETIM groups, units, values, etc., and does not have to navigate many area bricks.

Reusability of fields:
Unlike the Area Bricks, the Classification Store can reuse any field. Thus, a new field does not have to be created each time, but the user uses previously created existing fields.

Data import

The definitions of the respective ETIM versions are imported into Pimcore via the Command Line Interface (CLI). For this purpose, the XML file of the ETIM version must be uploaded to Pimcore. Through parameters, the import is then performed in batch and the background. The whole process can be monitored comfortably via the ProcessManager in Pimcore. 

The import process creates a separate classification store for each ETIM version and imports and transfers the data from the XML file into the Pimcore data store.

How we mapped the different ETIM fields in Pimcore

ETIM groups are mapped via "Collection of Groups." The "GroupCode" property is used to assign the ETIM classes to the group.

ETIM units are mapped using "QuantityValueUnits." First, mapping objects are created. Then "Quantity values" are created, assigned to the "Available units" field via the mapping object.

ETIM classes are represented by "groups." Each class's values are assigned depending on its unique key (ETIM class code à ETIM value code).

ETIM values are displayed as "Select Field Values." The values are assigned to the XML via the "Values" property of each ETIM value.

ETIM features are represented as "key definitions." There are different types of features, e.g., logical or alphanumeric. These types are mapped to corresponding Pimcore data types (e.g., Bool is mapped as Checkbox). Each definition's keys are formed by concatenating the ETIM class code and the ETIM feature code to obtain a unique key.

The classification store's use for handling and managing classification standards within Pimcore can be considered "BestPractice." Users can search all available data very comfortably (e.g., for the ETIM unit code). The classification store also brings a considerable performance increase compared to classical approaches (such as AreaBricks).

Due to its easy scalability and extensibility, the classification store shows its enormous flexibility. The overall system is thus very stable and well-positioned for future requirements and extensions.  

This positive implementation experience and the customer's satisfaction with the solution confirm our choice.

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Pimcore Gold Partner
Dennis Pfahlbusch
  • Developer
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