Products & variants
This article describes the basic concepts around products and variants and how they relate to each other
Product and variant models
In Struct PIM, product and variant entities are the central elements of the whole system. Every product and variant in the system uses a data model, which defines the data fields available on each of them. These data models are defined in what we call product structures (Read about product structures here).
Products are the basic entity in the system. In some cases, no variations of a product exist. In such cases, no variants will exist either.
In cases where a product can be bought in different variations, such as clothing, a variant of that product will exist for each color and size variations of the clothe. In such cases, the product will hold general information, that is common to all variations, such as Name, Description etc., whereas each variant will hold the data specific to each one, such as the SKU, color, size etc.
Note: Every variant is connected to a product entity. A variant cannot exist without a connection to a product. However, a product does not need to have any variants.
Products are classified in one or categories. These categories can span multiple catalogues. When a product is classified in one or more categories, a reference is made between them. Thus the product only exist once, but is placed within multiple categories. Updates to the product will thus be available in all catalogues and categories.
If a product is classified in a category within the master catalogue, it must have a primary category as well. If the product is only placed within one category, this will naturally be the primary category as well, but if it is placed in multiple, one must be marked as the primary.
The system supports setting up attributes on categories in the maste catalogue, which must be available to all products classified within that category. When a product is placed within multiple categories, the primary category defines the category attributes available to the product.
Variation definitions is a concept used for managing the multitude of different variations that might exist for different types of products.
Example: For clothing, variations exist per color and size, but for a piece of wood, variations might exist for different lengths.
A variation definition defines what the "defining attributes" are for a specific product. In the case of clothing, the defining attributes will be color and size, whereas on a piece of wood, it would be the length.
A variation definition is selected on a product, to tell the system what attibutes are specific to the variants of that product. This information is passed along with the products' data in the API, which enables generic variant selectors on E-commerce solutions etc.