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eCl@ss is a product classification and description standard for information exchange between customers and their suppliers.

eCl@ss is a de facto standard within the German energy industry, but competes with UNSPSC in the United States. In 2006 eCl@ss joined forces with ETIM, which is an important standard in the wholesale electrical industry. Mid February 2011 release 7.0 of eCl@ss was published introducing substantial increase of content and being harmonized with the industry standards ETIM and Prolist (process control and chemical industry).[1]

eCl@ss is characterised by a 4-level hierarchical classification system. Each level adds a 2-token prefix to the eCl@ss-code, together forming an 8 character numeric code. In addition to the classification, eCl@ss provides for each class in the classification hierarchy a so-called application class, which is characterized by certain defined properties, which can be used to describe the classified item. The eCl@ss data model is based on ISO 13584-42.

eCl@ss content is aimed to be available in multiple languages, with English and German being the most complete versions:

Industrial products and services categorization standards[edit]


  • Hepp, Martin; Leukel, Joerg; Schmitz, Volker (2007), "A quantitative analysis of product categorization standards: content, coverage, and maintenance of eCl@ss, UNSPSC, eOTD, and the RosettaNet Technical Dictionary", Knowledge and Information Systems 13 (1): 77–114, doi:10.1007/s10115-006-0054-2, ISSN 0219-1377 

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