YellowParts fully supports eCl@ss, the world-wide leading, best and most comprehensive product classification system. eCl@ss is fully integrated into the YellowParts software and it is also used by CATpool.

Companies and products on YellowParts are grouped by eCl@ass to make them easier selectable and searchable for visitors and users. That is another unique feature of YellowParts (and here are more).

eCl@ss is the cross-industry product classification system that was developed by a joint initiative of leading German companies and that has become the standard for data interchange between suppliers and customers. eCl@ss is completely vendor neutral and it is being published by the non-profit eCl@ss organization (more details below).

The greatest advantage of eCl@ss is that it delivers standardized attribute definitions in a language neutral format. These standardized product attribute definitions deliver various important advantages as you will see from this page and we think that they account for more than 90% of the benefits and advantages of eCl@ss.

eCl@ss consists of:

  • Cross industry product classification system (tree of product groups)
  • Detailed attributes definitions (data fields) on the level of product groups
  • Multi-language terms and definitions for product groups and attribute definitions

eCl@ss is structured as a hierarchical four level classification system and it comprises of more than 75.000 terms in the keyword register and it is available in the most important business languages.

Linking your company and your products to the groups of eCl@ss

Company on YellowParts should be linked to all eCl@ss product groups that they somehow deal with. This is in their own interest, because the better they do this the better and more often will be they found by visitors. Linking must be done by the companies themselves and the quality of the links on YellowParts depend on their accuracy. Linking is done in the member's area. You must be registered (it's free) to be able to log in.

The products and product catalogs on YellowParts should also be linked to eCl@ss so that they can be found by visitors via navigating the eCl@ss product groups.

The data that you have imported into or created in YellowParts-PCM can be linked automatically to the product groups of eCl@ss and, of course, also to the several other product classification systems like Etim or UN/SPSC and to several of your own private product grouping systems that are supported by YellowParts-PCM and by the Elestore software.

eCl@ss for the data export

When exporting your data for other applications (software) or users (customers) you can also export the links to the eCl@ss groups as well as the eCl@ss attributes owned by each particular product. This can also be exported into the BMEcat or Etim formats based on XML. Of course, the YellowParts-COM data exchange system also supports eCl@ss.

Data export for Internet marketplaces, e-procurement and electronic catalogs

This will soon be available in English!

Beyond YellowParts many operators of Internet marketplaces or e-procurement systems require product data in XML format linked to eCl@ss. With YellowParts-PCM and Elestore these requirements can be fulfilled easily and you can additionally deliver your data in various other standard data exchange formats.

YellowParts is your bridge to many data standards

Elestore as well as YellowParts-PCM can be connected easily with your existing databases. This enhanced as your existing IT systems for free or at very low costs by the widespread eCl@ss data format.

eCl@ss also defines product attribute (data fields)

eCl@ss is much more comprehensive than all other product grouping systems, because eCl@ss also defines the needed attributes (data fields) for most product groups.

This automatically standardises the data structures for your products for all supported product groups.

These standardised data attributes deliver you enormous advantages, because this normalisation of data fields is the absolute requirement for a truly automatic data exchange and all of this happens automatically in the YellowParts-PCM (Elestore) software by just linking a product to an eCl@ss group.


This will soon be available in English!

YellowParts-PCM comes with all eCl@ss attribute definitions

YellowParts-PCM always comes with a full set of ready to use eCl@ss data and attributes definitions. You only have to import or enter your product data and link it to an eCl@ss group. This will attach the needed product attributes to the particular product. Of course, you can enhance these eCl@ss attributes by your own attributes if really needed.

eCl@ss attributes for your product catalogs and quotes

The standardized product attributes (data fields) as defined by eCl@ss are also used by the YellowParts publishing modules and by EleExxel, ElePricelist, EleProductSite and Elepub. This saves you from having to define your own layout modules, because you can refer to the available standard layouts from the EleFamily software products.

Your practical advantages

  • Standardised data attributes delivered by eCl@ss for your product data
  • Export a your product data linked to eCl@ss groups with standardised attribute definitions
  • Use of eCl@ss also for your existing data via interfaces to Elestore
  • Delivery of your eCl@ss data to electronic catalogs, Internet marketplaces, e-procurement systems etc
  • Automatic attaching of eCl@ss attributes (data fields) to products
  • Quick linking of your products to eCl@ss groups also by data inheritance
  • Very fast and simple data maintenance in YellowParts-PCM (Elestore) via use of eCl@ss attributes

Your strategic advantages

Classifying products by eCl@ss delivers sellers as well as buyers enormous advantages.

As a buyer (as a procuring enterprise) you have these advantages:

  • You automate the data exchange by avoiding any normalisation of data fields
  • You reduce your transaction costs
  • You receive a greater market transparency
  • You enable an automatic data exchange with vendors
  • Your product data received from vendors will be better and easier comparable

As a vendor (as a supplying enterprise) you have these advantages:

  • You automate the data exchange by avoiding any normalisation of data fields
  • You reduce your transaction costs
  • You fulfil customers requirements to deliver eCl@ss data linked to eCl@ss
  • You simplify the data exchange and import of your data for your customers
  • The maintenance of your own data is simplified by the eCl@ss standard attributes definitions

Standardised attribute definitions / data fields

The most important speciality of eCl@ss is in the availability of standardised attributes definitions (data fields) for products and services on the level of the product groups. These attributes definitions are fully embedded and used by YellowParts-PCM (Elestore) and they enhance the attached attributes (data fields) of an article object as soon as an article object (product) is linked with an eCl@ss product group in YellowParts-PCM (Elestore).

The greatest advantage of these standardised attributes definitions is in the fact that they enable a truly automatic exchange of product data with business partners, because they enable an automatic import of delivered data and they avoid the otherwise always needed manual normalisation of attributes, which causes a lot of work and confusion. We think that they account for more than 90% of the benefits and advantages of eCl@ss.

Language neutral attributes definition keys

Additionally, the attributes definitions are defined by language neutral data keys so that attributes created in German, for example, can be automatically and correctly imported and used in any of the other supported eCl@ss languages. This saves the otherwise always needed effort and costs to standardise and to translate attributes definitions.

Who is behind eCl@ss?

The eCl@ss non-profit organisation (e.V. = Verein) was founded in December 2000 in Köln by major companies like AUDI AG, BASF AG, Bayer AG, Degussa-Huels AG, E.ON AG, Henkel KGaA, chemfidence GmbH, SAPMarkets Europe GmbH, Solvay Alkali GmbH, Wacker-Chemie GmbH, Volkswagen AG and a few more.

Further details on eCl@ss

You find further details on eCl@ss on the eCl@ss website. See some comments on Etim and US/SPSC below.


A special note to Non-European and especially to readers in the USA

Germany is the country where today's standardisation was first created and first practised in the broader range. This tradition dates back to the early 19th century and to the roots of the TÜV and the DIN Institute whose great wealth of norms and standards have become a major component of ISO with world-wide impact.

It is an old German tradition that such standards and norms are developed by non-profit organisations, which are typically backed by major enterprises but in some non-profit industry organisation and without (and that is the great difference to the USA) them trying to enforce their own pseudo-standards trying to increase their own influence.

eCl@ss, BMEcat and the other essentially similar initiatives were and are all practised with the sole goal in mind to develop a workable and practical but vendor-neutral solution that all market participants can use and profit from.

Not because the author is German himself but because there simply are no other comparable data standards available world-wide we have completely embedded and are using these non-profit data standards in all of our software and projects and we strongly recommend all YellowParts users to also consider employing these standards (which may be a bit difficult for some USA companies for the simple reason that these standards are coming from old Europe — but just try to forget this and take advantage of them!).


Note that the exception to the above is Etim for the electric industry with Dutch origin, which closely co-operates with eCl@ss, which is fully integrated into BMEcat and which has been adopted long ago by the German electric industry and recently also by the UK.


Elestore also supports this United Nations ISO standard, because it is used by some very large enterprises although:

  • It does NOT deliver any attribute definitions
    which we consider to account for more than 90% of the benefits and advantages of eCl@ss
  • We have heart primarily negative comments from practioners.

Therefore, we strongly recommend you to better forget about UN/SPSC and to use eCl@ss.