Open Icecat is an Open Content project under the Open Content License in which a worldwide open catalogue is created for product information. Editors are participating manufacturers. The users of the product content are distributors, resellers, retailers, comparison websites or online shopping directories, enterprise resource planning systems or the manufacturers themselves.
Open Icecat is as an open catalog, not to be confused with commercial catalogs like offered by Icecat Inc (Full Icecat), Gfk/Etilize and Cnet.
Open Icecat is interesting because it demonstrates that the Open Content concept is not only relevant for non-commercial projects like Wikipedia, but also for commerce-related projects. This is analogous to the move of open source applications like Apache, Linux and MySQL into the world of commerce, which marked an increased professional acceptance level.
Open Icecat began formally in December 2005 with 20 participating IT manufacturers. Among the earliest contributors are Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, IBM and Lenovo. As of March 2007, this number has grown to more than 90 manufacturers, including participants from consumer electronics like Sony, Philips and Kodak, and the telecom industry. On the user side, similar growth has been seen.
In January 2011 Open Icecat has grown to some 250 manufacturers and supports 33 languages. Including English (UK & US), Russian, Spanish, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Romanian, French, Dutch and many others. The Open Catalogue is used by over 11.800 e-business partners. Catalogues cover IT, CE, Telecom and Office. This fast growth and worldwide coverage makes Open Icecat by far the most successful Open Catalog.
The most downloaded open source webshop - PHP & MySQL based osCommerce - provides an Icecat contribution. Also with regard to other open source webshops, like Batavi, PrestaShop, Zen Cart and Magento, integration efforts are noted. Further, a number of integrations are made by proprietary ASP solution providers like Stock in the channel, Emini, Web2Biz, MyCOP/adfontes, QuoteWerks, bInTime, RightClick, Wicecat, xtCommerce and Roy Duineveld.
IceCART is a freeware plugin to connect Zencart to Icecat. With this tool you can easily associate the Icecat description to your Zencart products in the shop.
Wicecat is a plugging that connects Prestashop with Icecat, it can be adapted to any shopping cart to update the technical information directly from Icecat.
- GTIN, including former European Article Number and Universal Product Code
- HTML for the ASP/URL variant of the catalogue
- ISO 639-1 language codes
- ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes
- UNSPSC for categorization
- XML, including an open catalogue DTD and XSD
- Atom (standard)