Structure of the ETIM Data Model

The Six Key Elements of the ETIM Standard

The ETIM data model contains six key elements, and each one is explained in detail below:

  1. Product Groups
  2. Product Classes
  3. Synonyms (and Keywords)
  4. Features
  5. Values
  6. Units

On the right, we’ve created a visual representation of ETIM’s structure, using Compact Fluorescent Lamps as an example, and the Identifier Codes

An illustration of the ETIM Classification Model

All text values in ETIM are linked to a unique 8 character identifier code comprising a (normally) 2 character alpha prefix and 6 character numeric suffix.

The alpha prefix identifies which data element is identified by the code e.g. all ETIM Product Classes are identified using codes prefixed EC.

Each identifier code is linked to all language versions of the associated text, enabling simple translation of data between languages.

For a multi-national manufacturer this means that data created in, say, Germany can be auto-translated for re-use in the UK.

Product Groups

The Product Group is a high level classification enabling a number of Product Classes, containing similar products, to be grouped together under one umbrella heading.

For example, Lamps is a Product Group, as is Cables or Circuit Breakers or Fuses and so on.

All Product Groups have an Identifier Code prefixed EG, for example EG000028 is the code for “Lamps”.

Product Classes

The Product Class is the fundamental building block of the ETIM model and is used to group similar products together (regardless of manufacturer).

Every Product Class is linked to one Product Group, but there will be multiple Classes in any Group. For example, the Product Group for “Lamps” may be linked to classes for “LED lamp”, “compact fluorescent lamps with integrated ballast”, “high voltage halogen lamp” and so on.

All Product Classes have an Identifier Code prefixed EC, for example EG000819 is the code for “Compact fluorescent lamp with integrated ballast”

Synonyms (or Keywords)

Multiple Synonyms may be linked to each Product Class. Each national ETIM organisation is responsible for creating synonyms in its local language.

Synonyms provide alternative names for each Class, to aid searching. As Synonyms are linked directly to classes, they do not have a separate Identifier Code.


Features are the technical attributes which define each product in a Product Class. Thus each Product Class may be linked to multiple features. A Feature may be linked to more than one Product Class. This is a useful facet e.g. when dynamically building filters on a web site.

There are 4 types of feature available in ETIM:

  1. Alphanumeric (A): Alphanumeric features (e.g. Colour, Material) are linked to a defined set of allowable Values (see below)
  2. Logic (L): Logic features have allowable values Yes or No
  3. Numeric (N): Numeric features will have a numeric value.  Some have an associated Unit in which case the numeric value must be the value in this Unit.
  4. Range (R): Range features will have two associated values marking the two ends of a range (e.g. frequency 50-60Hz).  As with Numeric features they may be associated with a Unit.

All Features have an Identifier Code prefixed EF, for example EF000007 is the Identifier Code for “Colour”.


To maintain consistency ETIM does not allow free text entry of values for Alphanumeric features. Instead, each Alphanumeric Features is linked to a pre-set list of allowable Values.

This list is defined both by the Feature and Product Class so the list of allowable values for Colour may differ between, say, a Socket outlet and a Steel pipe. A Value may be linked to more than one Feature.

All Values have an Identifier Code prefixed EV, for example EV000080 is the Identifier Code for “Blue”.


Units, or units of measurement, may be associated with both Numeric and Range type Features, in which case the values entered must be in the specified Unit.

Units have an Identifier Code prefixed EU, for example EU570054 is the Identifier Code for “Watt (W)”

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