The ETIM model describe producted based on five different levels of information. This way, any product can be identified by:

- Product group (indicative)
- Class
- Features
- Values
- Units

Architecture d'une classe produitEach class, feature, value or unit has a unique identifier which is langage-independant:

EntityIdentifierExampleDescription max. length
Group EG + 6 digit EG000017 80 characters
Class EC + 6 digit EC000016 80 characters
Feature EF + 6 digit EF000138 80 characters
Value EV + 6 digit EV000147 80 characters
Unit EU + 6 digit EU000015 15 characters (abreviation ex: mm)
80 characters(description ex: millimetre)
Synonym - - 80 characters

 

Group
The ETIM model is a two-level classification model. The two-levels consist of the product group and product classes. The product group is used to order the product classes. Every product class is assigned to exactly one product group. Nevertheless, ETIM is organized flat, because the groups are only for the convenient organization of the management of the product classes. Essential – and that is the real focus of ETIM- is the definition of product classes and their features.

Class
Describes similar products, bundles products of different manufacturers or suppliers; all product classes have features to specify the technical characteristics of the products in the class, the features of each class are ordered due to their importance and are also structured meaningful (dimensions, features of electrical data, …)

Feature
A feature is clearly described by: description, feature type, unit and/or value. 
Feature types: 
A – alphanumeric = list of possible values (e.g. red, green, long, short, …) 
L – logic = yes or no questions (also known as Boolean; “true” or “false”) 
N – numeric = one numeric value 
R – range = two numeric values that limit a range of values

Value
To each alphanumeric feature of an ETIM class, a fixed list of possible values is assigned; the order of this value list of a feature within an ETIM class is sorted language-dependent; so the value list of the feature “EF000007 – Colour” can be different in each ETIM class that uses this feature.

Unit
Numerical and range features always need a unit of measurement which defines what value is expected. An exception are features like “number of...”. These numerical features do not need a unit.

Synonym 
Also often referred to as “keyword”, it means an alternative name for a product class (not for a product group) and a reference to several product classes is possible, a product class can have several synonyms, synonyms are not related to each other. A synonym does not have an ID, it is directly assigned to an ETIM class (language-dependent). The local ETIM organization is responsible for the synonyms in the local language. Since there is not yet a (native English speaking) local ETIM organization in Great Britain, the TC has the final responsibility regarding the English language version, including the synonyms.

An example of an ETIM class which contains all relevant feature types:

Exemple d'une classe ETIM