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E-Biz Forum highlights: IDEA releases schema for attributed data

Sept. 25, 2009
IDEA today officially released a much-awaited schema for exchanging fully attributed product data throughout the electrical products channel. The schema gives manufacturers a detailed format for providing up to 27 fields of specifications and descriptors ...

IDEA today officially released a much-awaited schema for exchanging fully attributed product data throughout the electrical products channel. The schema gives manufacturers a detailed format for providing up to 27 fields of specifications and descriptors for their products -- 26 of them standardized, plus one manufacturer-definable field for describing what makes their product unique.

The schema will help electrical product manufacturers give their distributors the detailed information they need to make e-commerce catalogs and web storefronts more easily searchable.

The schema has been submitted for copyright and is owned by IDEA, but is intended as an industrywide standard. A table of standard abbreviations for industry terms is included and has been copyrighted separately, and contractor and installer groups have already begun adopting the abbreviations, said Mary Shaw, IDEA's director of standards.