09 July 2014

inRiver Information Integration Definitions

Data hierarchies
According to the definition of PIM, the applicability of the data model to a number of aspects of the business process is one of the most important criteria for a PIM solution. Any PIM data model must be able to:
  • Model the complex relationships between the internal application sources inside the organization, business and consumer customers, as well as intermediaries and other parties
  • Map to the master product information requirements of the organization across item masters, catalogues, e-commerce and syndication requirements, and expose underlying business rules and associated metadata
  • Be customizable, configurable, extensible and upgradable
  • Support industry-specific requirements as well as multiple hierarchical and aggregated views associated with product and catalogue structures related to channels and customers
  • Provide a base for the required workload mix and level of performance
  • Support complex parametric search capabilities servicing even external Web service requests

In order to fulfil these requirements, the inRiver PIM is built from the ground up, using type information to provide media-independent persistence services for any configuration of an entity model.

In the inRiver Marketing Model, the Product holds all information that is common for all items linked to this product. The product acts as a placeholder for all the common information of all items. In order to minimise maintenance of product information and reduce risk of inconsistency, it is essential that metadata (information fields) or resources that are common to all items of a product are associated with the product and not copy/pasted on items.

Product type
A product type is merely a predefined set of dynamic fields, valid for all products of a certain product type. E.g. a company with shoes as a part of its assortment would probably define a product type shoe that at least has a size field.

An item can be described as an entity that usually has a unique bar code, e.g. a jacket with a specified colour and size. Items are typically the entities that can be ordered in e.g. a web shop (as opposed to products which typically cannot be ordered).

Resources are placeholders of e.g. images, videos or text that are related to an item or product. A typical example is a photograph of an item. The actual representations of the resources are uploaded to resource files, which are attached to the resource entity. In the case of image resources, uploaded files can be in the form of e.g. PSD, EPS, JPEG, TIFF and PNG-files.

Assortments are collections of products with or without a taxonomy/structure. Assortments  can be managed without being connected or used in a channel. This makes it easy to create generic assortment structures that can be re-used in print or in different (digital) channels, where new channel specific structures can be built and maintained for example creating a Channel Node navigation for an eCommerce site or a campaign site.

All communication channels within your inRiver, both Attracting channels (Catalogues, brand sites, campaigns, CMS etc.) and Converting channels (eCommerce, Stores, mCommerce etc,)

Nodes are collections of products with or without a taxonomy/structure specific for one or more Channels. When a Node navigation is put together, it is often channelled to several sites at the same time, necessitating a tool for generic selection. The Product Channel Manager for Channels (PCM) manages channelling to the e-channels, making it very easy to work with e-channelling - selecting and controlling what information goes to the different channels.

The possibility to create, update and delete Channel Nodes, i.e. groups consisting of products and/or items and to re-use and/or re-purpose this information makes the work with assortments & Channel Nodes faster as the work can be re-used across sales channels. 

Custom entities
In some cases there is a need to extend the standard model with custom entities and inRiver PIM supports this directly out-of-the-box. Examples of this can be an entity called ’Device’ that represents a product that is not marketed and sold, but needs suitable accessories and/or spare parts that are sold and marketed. Another example can be a ‘Printer’ entity that is not sold or marketed but its ink cartridges are.


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