sections in the article
This article describes what a specification is and how it is used in inriver.
What Is a Specification?
A specification is a feature used for storing properties on an Entity, as well as grouping these properties into categories.
In an Elastic Data Model, a specification is an Entity Type that normally includes just one field; SpecificationName.
What Are Specifications Used for?
Specifications are normally used by companies that require specific technical details to handle specific attribute sets for e.g. products that can vary a lot between product categories.
When using Specifications a business user can add fields to a specification template. When linking a specification to another entity, the values of the fields defined on the specification template are linked to that entity. This is a dynamic way to apply different sets of attributes to different entities.
Using Specifications in inriver
To make the work with Specifications more accessible and easier, the specifications tab is located in the product 360 overview. Working with specifications in inriver is no different from editing any type of product information, and from the specifications tab it is possible to add and edit any type of specifications.
The illustrations below show how you create specifications in Enrich and how you populate the specification fields of an Entity.
Adding Specification Fields in Enrich
Entering Entity Specification Data
Formatting Specification Fields
In a specification template, field formatting makes it possible to concatenate multiple fields into one new field. The formatting can also add a prefix or suffix to the actual field data.
[[Width]] X [[Height]]
Following the above example, the specification template needs to have fields set up with the following two ID's: 'Width' and 'Height'.
Normally, specification fields have a GUID as a default ID. The GUID is used to add formatting. A formatted specification field will automatically be read-only (grayed out) in inriver. When users enrich the specification fields, the formatted fields are populated automatically in accordance with the set-up format.
As illustrated below, you can combine field types in one field and write your own formatting.
Example of working with this formatting in the remoting api.
Searching on Specifications
By using the Query Editor, you can use the extended search capabilities of inriver to search links, relations, detailed specifications etc. The inriver Query Editor provides an easy way to add simple or complex queries to search any aspect of the specification data. This extended search feature provides a better overview and increased accessibility to specifications. This is especially useful when working with large numbers of product attributes.
Read more about searching in inriver here.
Using Specifications with the Rich Client
- Go to Control Center and make sure you have a Specification EntityType in your Marketing Model.
- In the RichClient, create a Specification entity and go to the Specification category in the Details panel.
- Expand the Specification category, right-click the area and choose Add field to add a field to the specification. This form is quite similar to the one used for creating FieldTypes in the Data Model.
- Create a link from the entity that the specification should be applied to. You will then be able to fill in values for that specific entity.
- Make sure you have a LinkType in your Model from your EntityType and Specification (for example ProductSpecification).
- If there is another entity using the same specification, you have the option of copying values from that entity. Click the Copy from button to do so.
- Click the Save button when you are done.
Should I Use a Specification or Elastic Data Model Fields?
In a specification, you define fields for storing data in the same manner as you set up fields in your Elastic Data Model. So why use specifications instead of regular fields from the marketing model?
Below is a list of advantages of using specifications that illustrates the difference between the two approaches.
- You can create/edit/delete any fields on the Specification inside the clients, instead of having to make changes in the Elastic Data Model, which would be the case for normal fields.
- Each specification field can include Unit of Measure (UOM)
- Possible to categorize and order specification fields.
- You can easily copy values from another Entity using the same Specification.
- You can edit the formatting rules for certain Specification fields, for example present two field values in the same field.
- You can inherit Specifications by linking, making it possible to combine fields from two different specification templates.
Also read Using Fieldsets and Specification Templates to get guidance on when to use what feature.
Good to know
- Specification field data can’t be imported/exported in the standard Excel function (unless you use this template: Import/Export).
- Specification templates/fields is ‘content’, not model changes.
- Limited search options – within one template at a time.
- No field history.
- No support for Completeness.
- Could requires specific logic in the system consuming the information when publishing to a channel that contains specification fields.
- Adding Parent - Child CVLs is currently not supported for Specification templates.
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Articles on Specifications
Glossary article on Specifications
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