In a previous article, GDSN for Beginners, we introduced the basic terminology and concepts of the Global Data Synchronization Network.  Here, we’ll discuss the implementation of GDSN at a leading American supermarket chain, including the challenge, solution, implementation notes, and business results.


When you picture a grocery or supermarket, you see aisles of shelves of many items with different attributes, packaging, and dimensions. Each item needs a unique identifier for each quantity of packaging and references between them. Here’s an example of a candy brand with multiple packaging options:

In addition to the ID and packaging, the items have attributes that assist the customer in purchasing.  As food and beverages occupy the largest percentage of the grocery business, validation of item information against industry standards is required.  The supermarket desired more complete and consistent product information.


This supermarket previously managed product data in an Oracle ERP. The business requirements included:

  • Merging existing Oracle data with updated item data from their Suppliers.
  • Increasing automation to handle product data across hundreds of distributors and suppliers
  • Automating the internal and external item data merge using workflows with the customized survivorship and DQ rules.

The organization chose Informatica Product360 to solve these business requirements.  Product360 includes a GDSN accelerator based on 1WorldSync (1WS) as the syndication vendor.  With the integration of Product360 and 1WS, all the attributes of the items were populated, and they were able to get the unique GTIN for each of the packaging quantities and the relationships built between them using the critical components of Product360, like references, variants, kits, and components.


Our client subscribed to the 1WS data pool for the item data.  The XDW team configured Product360 as the data recipient using OpenAS2, a Java-based implementation of the AS2 communication protocol. Even starting with the Informatica GDSN Accelerator, XDW still needed to customize the solution specific to the client’s business requirements, including:

  • Import mappings customized to meet business requirements
  • Merge customization based on GTIN to merge the items from the GDSN catalogs already in the internal Oracle catalog. This included a Data Quality rule
  • Creating customer and supplier profiles
  • Hot folder configuration
  • Export format templates for downstream systems

With the XDW customization, the items flow from 1WS to:

  1. Their respective supplier catalogs in a staging area.
  2. Data enrichment and standardization occur. Examples include:
    1. Data Quality rules to maintain the survivorship between fields where data is coming from different suppliers
    2. Human Interaction tasks involving item details including
      1. Pricing
      2. eCommerce aspects
      3. Media information
      4. Procurement processes
  3. Finally, the enriched and standardized data merges into the master catalog.

GS1 also defines a standard product classification hierarchy called GPC (Global Product Classification). XDW extracted the Food and Beverage families from the GPC and imported that hierarchy into Product360 as a structured system to categorize items.

Business Result:

Integrating GDSN with PIM (Product Information Management) results in more consistent, accurate values populated in all the required attributes with the customizations in Product360 to meet the business requirements.