If your partner requests that you provide data in conformance with ECLASS, then they require proper allocation of products to the classes of the 4th level of the ECLASS classification system with indication of the ECLASS version. If material descriptions are to be provided in conformance with ECLASS, then entries have to be made in the property fields required in each case. However, in most cases it is not necessary to evaluate all properties, but only those required by the order.
ECLASS e.V. provides several options of searching in ECLASS. The searches by class, property and value names or keywords can be especially helpful to new users or those who only use the service periodically. ECLASS returns all classes, properties or values containing the search term. Those who make regular use of the service have the option of researching within the ECLASS structure using hierarchical class searches. Use of this function requires certain knowledge of the class structures and the contents of these structures.
If you are not able to find precise class allocation for the sought product at the fourth level, then you should allocate it to an appropriate group or main group. Classes with the class code 90("unspecified") at the end are allocated to each group and each main group at the fourth level. You can allocate products to these classes, for which the group or main group is appropriate but for which no more precise allocation is possible. In case something is missing from your point of view, you may always request missing content on the ECLASS ContentDevelopmentPlatform.
ECLASS knows various descriptive codes: the groups xx-xx-xx-91 "parts" and xx-xx-xx-92 "accessories". The difference between parts and accessories in the allocation of products is defined in ECLASS as follows:
- “parts” are objects which are of spare part nature
- “accessories” are objects which extend the possibilities of a machine or apparatus, i.e. they are rated as “Add-ons”. The most important distinction against the “part”-group is that the machine, apparatus is able to carry out its intended operation even without these objects.
Fully automated classification is not possible. Tools to simplify classification are available. Our cooperation partners provide various tools for this purpose.
Starting with ECLASS release 7.0, ECLASS distinguishes between value lists that are restricted and value templates that are suggested. The value list is a restrictive, i.e. closed list of valid values for a property. That means that these and no other values are valid specifications of a property.
The value template is a compilation of the most often used specifications (values) of a property. It can, but does not have to be complete. The required value is selected from the template. If the required specification is not found in the value template, then it can be entered manually. Use of the value lists and value templates ensures unified notation of the entries, which simplifies and accelerates subsequent searches in the database. In addition to this, it is possible to use the value identifiers upon transferring data so as not to be hindered by language differences.
ECLASS has reserved the whole segments 98-00-00-00 and 99-00-00-00 for the creation of individual (proprietary) classes. Each user can develop and use these segments for his or her own purposes, but the formal and technical rules laid forth by ECLASS should be adhered to in all cases.
The ECLASS data model is designed in such a way that products and services are classified at the commodity group level (level 4) as only these classes can be described with the help of properties. Data exchange with the ECLASS classifiction system should only be done if all products and services are classified at level 4. Nonetheless, ECLASS does not restrict this and can only advise to assign products only to product classes, i.e. commodities on the 4th level.
The use of individual properties of an ECLASS set of properties depends on the product specifications to be described and the processes in which the sets of properties are to be used. Therefore the use of ECLASS properties is optional from the association's point of view. ECLASS does not define mandatory properties. Your decision as to which properties to use from a set of properties depends on your own requirements as well as the needs of your customers and suppliers.
Yes, you can download all ECLASS Releases in all available language versions starting from ECLASS Release 4.1.
The ECLASS offices also offer introductory consulting services, in which you can learn how ECLASS can benefit you, how you can optimally introduce the standard in your company, and in which you can ask any other questions you may have.
Because adopting ECLASS requires some experience, we’ve built up a network of authorized service providers, all of which are members and are highly familiar with ECLASS and its application possibilities. These authorized IT service providers offer software installation, consulting and other support services.
In this case you may want to request the missing content and use the ECLASS ContentDevelopmentPlatform to submit a Change Request.
It offers the possibility to:
- request changes and/or additions online and free of charge,
- check the status of changes and/or additions requested at any time,
- discuss this online together with the ECLASS Expert Groups.
ECLASS is available in several languages as complete versions and other part translations. Each release will always be completely available in English (pivot language) and German (main language). Other translations include French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Czech. Further versions only comprising classes (and partly keywords) are: Turkish, Dutch, Thai, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Russian, Japanese. Language versions are being added on an ongoing basis. ECLASS ensures ongoing maintenance and high quality of the translations.
In addition to its Head Office in Germany (at the Cologne Institute for Economic Research), ECLASS maintains Regional Offices in China, Austria, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, the United States and Switzerland.
Yes, all ECLASS Releases are available in English. Starting with version 4.1, you can download them in our Shop.
ECLASS is already being implemented worldwide. Current download statistics show downloads from more than 80 countries. Downloads are primarily performed from Europe, North America and Asia.
ECLASS is used by companies representing a wide range of business areas. Representative of various sectors, please have a look at the long list of our international member companies.
Mapping tables to other classification systems are not available from ECLASS directly. However a mapping exists from ECLASS 6.0.1 to the UNSPSC v11, the GPC 30092011 and the CPV 2008 which was created within a CEN project (European Committee for Standardization). The result of the cMap project are linked on the CEN page.
Other mappings have been produced or can be provided by certain ECLASS IT ServiceProviders, please see their portfolio pages for further information.
Please also see Release Update File for mappings between different ECLASS versions.
Several committees inspect each change request for correctness with regards to form and content to ensure the high quality of ECLASS. Each change request has to meet formal criteria which are inspected upon receipt by the ECLASS office. The required foundation is developed by the Center for Research and Development. The Head Office forwards the change request to the responsible expert group. The content is inspected with regard to correctness and conformity to the underlying standards (e.g. ISO 13584, IEC 61360, DIN 4002,... ). Requested properties are compared to those in the DIN property server and applications are made for new properties if necessary. The final inspection is done by the Head Office checking each request with regards to ECLASS conformity.
An expert group consists of specialists in a single topic area. Among them are manufacturers, retailers and buyers. Normally the area is defined as an ECLASS specialist area. The expert group is headed by an expert group leader. This person has to be an ordinary member of ECLASS e.V.
The main task for an expert group consists of evaluating submitted change requests. It decides which changes are integrated in ECLASS. The expert group focuses on its particular topic area. The requirements of the classification and the sets of properties are processed within the expert group. Change requests can be derived within the expert group. Final release of the changes is carried out by the Head Office. It inspects the completed change requests as regards content and conformity with the rest of the system.
ECLASS has co-operative agreements with several companies. These partners can provide you with competent help. You can contact these companies via the service desk or directly via our web site at www.eclass.eu. To do this, either select the required service from the "Services" section of our website or refer to the "Organization" section for an overview of our co-operation partners.
ECLASS sends out a newsletter on a regular basis to inform you of changes and enhancements as well as important events. To receive the newsletter, you have to enter your address in the mailing list for the newsletter subscription.
Yes, if you want to use all of the advantages of ECLASS classification quickly and easily offline, the ECLASS co-operation partner e-pro Solutions GmbH provides helpful tools. These tools are available to members of ECLASS e.V. at discounted rates.
Together with the official ECLASS co-operation partner BASF IT Services GmbH, ECLASS e.V. provides an SAP Competence Center to ECLASS association members and all other interested parties. This competence center provides consultation and support services for implementing ECLASS in SAP. Please see the "Services" section for more information.
Yes, the data model of the ECLASS classification system is based, among other things, on the structures of the standards DIN 4002, IEC 61360 and ISO 13584.
Starting with ECLASS version 5.1, all properties were restructured in accordance with DIN 4002 to allow for their inclusion in the DIN property server. This provides ECLASS users and software manufacturers increased planning reliability in the integration and use of ECLASS.
ECLASS has been relying on a long-time cooperation with other important existing branch standards. Among them have been in recent years
- ETIM (International electrical engineering)
- proficl@ss (German tools)
- bau:class (German construction industry)
- PROLIST (German process control and electrical engineering)
- CECED/PI (European white goods standard)
- IMT (International medical devices)
- EDMA (International in-vitro diagnostics)
- eCALS (East Asian electronics)
The objective is to achieve interoperability to other systems.
Interoperability can also be reached by mapping to other classification systems such as the UNSPSC, the GPC and the CPV.
ECLASS is a classification systems that ensures its users a high level of planning security. Therefore the publication of ECLASS release and the release roadmap are announced well in advance. Customer requirements are thereby implemented in an efficient and targeted manner. Please see The Release Process.
You do not necessarily have to download each and every update. The current version is always recommended as the standard version for technical reasons. But in the end, the choice of the release used in your systems depends on the release versions of your business partners. If you use ECLASS for electronic data exchange with your customers or suppliers, it can make a lot of sense to carry out the updates at least once a year to remain up to date. More and more, updates can be installed in a semi or fully automated manner without system conflicts with the help of RUF and TUF.
The ECLASS release roadmap comprises three types of releases, the order of which is clearly defined to ensure planning reliability for all users. Please see The Release Process.
Update Files are available for all updates starting with ECLASS version 4.0. The Update Files are made available to ordinary members for internal usage free of charge. All other users can order the Update Files starting from version 6.x in our ECLASS Shop.
It is only possible to carry out updates using the identifier. These identifiers are unique codes used to identify the respective objects in a database. The 8-digit class number can change within the context of structural changes in a new Major Release.
The processing time for change requests depends on the type and scope of the change. If a structure already exists and only requires modification, then the request may be integrated as early as the next Minor Release, but is usually integrated in ECLASS within twelve months. Applications made by ECLASS e.V. members for integration of new classes and properties will be handled with priority. Requests requiring vast changes to the existing structure can only be implemented every 3-4 years within the context of a major release.
Every user has the option to make change and enhancement requests on the ECLASS ContentDevelopmentPlatform.
ECLASS is developed by its members and users. The economical use of ECLASS results in high levels of distribution and use. Therefore change requests are constantly being sent to ECLASS from outside of the organization. ECLASS cooperates with requestors to maintain ECLASS across industry boundaries.
A user-oriented classification system requires continual maintenance. This is the direct result of the innovative capacities of the participating companies and the emergence of entirely new sectors. New products are being placed on the market on an ongoing basis and all of theses products require classification in the ECLASS system.
Yes, we welcome your input in our ECLASS ContentDevelopmentPlatform which is open to everyone and can be used free of charge after registering once. The contribution is not bound to a membership in the ECLASS association. The lion's share of the development work is carried out by the expert groups and it is therefore extremely beneficial if this work can be distributed among several parties. However, membership in ECLASS e.V. has many attractive benefits.