Product Information Management Architecture: Multi-tenancy Benefits
While launching a PIM, it’s always hard to balance between implementation speed, ease of use, and customization level. It’s almost impossible to launch a one-fits-all product information management solution. What is the answer to this challenge?
On the one hand, you could quickly get out-of-the-box software with zero customization level. On the other hand, you could build your own solution, tailored directly to your needs.
Where is Gepard product information management tool here? Directly in the middle. We have come out with a multi-tenant architecture as an approach for our flexible SaaS platform.
Multi-tenant architecture is where all clients use the core product information management system with their custom configurations. Here you are the person who chooses what to take as it is, and what to modify to fit your business requirements best.
Each client has their own tenant — an isolated separate PIM with custom configurations. And inside the product information management tools, there are multiple users of different access levels, defined by their role.
Think of multi-tenancy as an apartment building. Each tenant is like a family of one or more users that lives in their own flat. Each apartment has a unique layout and interior. At the same time, all apartments are in the same building with a single centralized administration, security system, as well as sources of electricity and water.
What could you get with multi-tenant PIM software?
- Platform upgrades for all clients are always up-to-date.
- Fast launch with basics and advanced configurations applied later.
- The cost of launch and connection of new sales partners is lower than average.
- Proven system modules provide security of investments and scalability.
- Flexible configuration to the existing client’s platforms allows satisfying up to 99% of needs.
Now, when the main idea is crystal clear, we can go on to the goal of particularly any PIM user. Everyone wants to put all the product information in order and overcome the data mess they could face.
How To Structure Your Product Data In Gepard Product Information Management Application
Everything begins with building your main data structure. It can be either imported as a file or created right inside the platform. Later I will cover how to match it with the hierarchies of the data sources and sales channels you work with.
Here are the main types of data used to build a hierarchy inside Gepard PIM:
- Feature groups
- Product Families
How To Match Product Information With Data Sources & Sales Channels
Now, when you’re done with creating your own data structure, another challenge arises, with a chill of copy-pasting fear. What if you need to collect data from a few data sources? And what if you need to distribute your product information to different marketplaces and other sales channels?
You can see the data structure of the sales channel right in a template the marketplace provides or using their dedicated portal. Usually, it’s not the same as the one you have.
No worries. You won’t need to spend hours copy-pasting product attributes from one Excel spreadsheet to another. All you need to do is once to map structures with each other, and let them run.
It could be done through specific rules — sets of conditions to match one data hierarchy with the other one. We have a huge set of predefined mapping rules to match data structures between each other. You can see a few examples of how the mapping rules look like on the screenshots below.
Here are the main parameters for setting up a rule:
- Data source
- Data destination point
- Entity type & name
Match type specifies the condition for mapping, specified in the rule line:
- “Include” for at least one of the added values
- “Include All” as a must for everything that was specified
- “Exclude All” for not containing the specified content
- “Exclude” the case product’s data does not contain at least one of the added values
What could be mapped inside Gepard?
- Category Feature
- Feature Value
Mappings are processed in the following high-level order: Brand Mapping → Category Mapping → Feature Mapping.
Creating Flexible Product Information Management Workflow
Along with managing multiple data structures, you need to define the workflows. In other words, the way the product data is collected and distributed across your channels.
Gepard pipeline-interface presents the logic of how the product data workflows are organized and executed inside your PIM. Every company has its own product content flows with specific configurations for importing, mapping, transforming, and delivering product data.
Here are a few example configurations which could be applied to your flexible workflows inside Gepard PIM pipeline:
- Source for products import: ERP system, a folder on FTP, etc.
- List of products to import from a source
- List of products to export
- Destination where the product feed should be submitted
- Format of the product feed you need to deliver: CSV, XML, JSON or XLS(X)
- Sales channel where the product feed must be delivered
- And more.
With the pipeline, you could configure and manage the complete flow of product data: from product import to product feed generation and syndication. All that through a user-friendly interface where the user can create, update, and delete configurations. Moreover, at the beginning of the project, our integration team provides a setup according to the particular client’s requirements and ensures further support.
How To Import Product Information To Gepard PIM
Gepard import engine handles data imports from different sources, enabling to import both data structure (product information management taxonomy) and product content with descriptions and visuals.
To configure which products should be imported and updated, we simply add a condition that specifies the selection of particular products in the assortment rules.
Products Feed Generation & Syndication
From the PIM storage, products are selected according to your assortment rules and submitted to feed generation, according to the template of the sales channel, and in the required format.
As a result, a client sends the export file automatically via API or downloads from a Gepard product information management platform. Then it’s delivered with a transport method, set in the pipeline module.
The data validation is on, so you don’t need to worry about the product information accuracy. According to our data governance policy, if the product data does not fulfill your rule conditions it’s not shared anywhere and you will see a specific notice inside the platform. Products with incorrect or missing data are filtered for future editing, so they are not included in the output file.
We could arrange exports to the following file formats:
Product content syndication process refers to data transfer across various sales channels. You could dive deeper into this Ecommerce data delivery process in our recent article on the topic. Gepard PIM syndication together with the intelligent mapping engine is a hidden super-power, that lives “under the hood” and arranges all the data delivery magic.
Integrations Gepard PIM offers
Currently, Gepard PIM is integrated with the following sales channels:
- El Courte Ingles
- Dixons Retail
- Office Depot
The data sources we are already integrated with:
It could be also used in combination with Gepard B2B Ecommerce Platform, and we offer custom-built integrations per client as well.
Gepard PIM is the right solution for enterprise and mid-sized businesses. If you’re in the process of selecting your Ecommerce product information management software, I recommend you to read our CEO’s article on how to implement product information management. You could also gain practical knowledge on PIM and data syndication solution launch from our case studies page, or fill the contact form to learn more about Gepard product information management capabilities.