The UNSPSC is an open domain product and service categorization schema. It has been active since 1999. The code itself is the Property of The United Nations Development Programme and is managed by GS1-US.
The primary use of The UNSPSC is to support spend analytics. In this regard it is very widely adopted (there are in excess of 24,000 downloads of the code set per year. And most all of the major software packages have embedded The UNSPSC in a finance or procurement module.
As the UNSPSC approaches maintenance status (The major segments being propagated fully), The UNSPSC has embarked on a strategy of aligning and collaborating in several directions to solidify its place and create linkage to complimentary and supplementary standards.
This strategy currently has 4 collaboration points:
1) ebXML RegRep to provide an open, standards-based registry and repository function for managing and utilizing UNSPSC defined taxonomies 2) UDEF to create an indexing mechanism for categorization schemas 3) OAGIS To access transactional interchanges that contain product centric data that can feed spend analysis 4) OIDDI to align with industry vertical Data Dictionaries that provide Classification and characterization object for product classes (This completes the product centric information stack) These data dictionary classes and properties are used in engineering, cataloging and other applications whose transaction also ultimately feed spend analysis.
The collaboration between ebXML RegRep and the UNSPSC will provide a solution to those who wish to use UNSPSC taxonomies in conjunction with an open standard XML registry repository. Such a solution would allow artifacts within the registry repository to be categorized using UNSPSC and also allow access to UNSPSC taxonomies outside the registry repository. IT is quite possible that as THE UNSPSC aligns with UDEF and OIDDI,those others will come to use ebXML RegRep for deeper implementations (Including classification and characterization which would extend from mapping of the UNSPSC.
It appears the best route forward is to create some Java code to import a version of The UNSPSC into an ebXML RegRep instance. Once this bit of code is available it can be evangelized to the public on both the OASIS EBXML and The UNSPSC website. It seems that an ebXML profile would also be a logical next step. The availability of this integration opportunity can also be communicated to The UNSPSC through the UNSPSC newsletter
One of the considerations in building the bit of java code would be to make sure and capture the appropriate information to help users properly utilize the Registry instance.
The major objects of concern in using the UNSPSC are as follows
Labeling the code set as The UNSPSC TM Version Number Code (number) and Code Name
The UNSPSC has 4 levels in the hierarchy Segment, Family, Class and Commodity. The UNSPSC is unique in that the level of the hierarchy is capture in the code assigned. 6 trailing zeros in an 8 digit code indicated the code in question is at the segment level. 4 trailing zeros in an 8 digit code indicated the code in question is at the family level. 2 trailing zeros in an 8 digit code indicated the code in question is at the class level. A code with 1 or no trailing zeroes indicated a commodity (the lowest level of the hierarchy)
I believe that an earlier attempt at the java code bits already exists. It seems once we understand the process for going forward we can start.
The UNSPSC is also considering a Virtual global Users Convention early next year. A Place can be made for ebXML to highlight the interaction at this convention if it is deemed appropriate