Deprecated Features/Values

Last comment 10/10/2017 09:01 by Marc
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Roberto Ortega 4 years ago created

I wanted to know more about deprecated features and values - from what I've read in the 2013 International Guidelines, they are features/values that have been substituted for other features/values. However, due to the fact that even though there is a new ETIM Release, a class version has stayed the same, we find that ETIM 7.0 has some "deprecated features/values", which are actually the "bad duplicates" of the new, correct features/values. Is this correct?

If I have to classify a product with ETIM, and I see that one of its features/values is deprecated, what should I do? In theory that class version still uses the deprecated feature/value, so I should continue using it right? The only moment to stop using that feature/value is when there is a new class version, which is the moment when the deprecated feature/value will really dissapear from that class, right?

Is there some kind of way to link the feature/value "ChangeCode" in the ETIM XML to the fact that a certain feature/value has been deprecated?

Finally, in the 2013 International Guidelines it sates that this method of having deprecated features/values "is the least disturbing for suppliers using the specific class". In what sense is it less disturbing? Because eventually at some point, when the class version changes and the deprecated feature/value is substituted for the new one, they will still have to change to the new feature, right?

Thanks very much,

Best answer — chosen by Roberto Ortega
Marc Habets 4 years ago created
Dear Roberto,

In IT, deprecation generally means that although something is available or allowed, it is not recommended. 

In ETIM the status deprecated for features and values is used for elements that will be deleted sometime in the future, but are still in use in existing classes. That can be published classes but also older versions of classes, in that case we also can't delete the deprecated elements in our database. Usually the reason to make an element deprecated is that we identified a double feature or value, which is not rare, since we manage 17 language versions at the moment. 

The most important thing about deprecated features and values in ETIM is that they can no longer be used for new classes or changes to existing classes. This way we assure that the problem 'does not get bigger'. If we make an element deprecated, the intention is a phase-out for the future, but we don't always do that right away. 

That is were you get to the point of 'disturbance'. Everything we change in ETIM has impact on data suppliers, they have to de a lot of work to adapt their product data to a changed ETIM classification. If the only change is that we replaced a feature by the same feature but with a different EF-code, you can imagine that as a data supplier I might not be so happy about that. So often we just wait with replacing a deprecated feature until there is a more substantial change to a class, so the manufacturers will have to look at it anyway, and then replacing the deprecated element has less impact. 

You will see that deprecated elements are marked light grey when looking at a class. This helps us to identify them easily if we are working on a class, so as not to forget to replace it as well. 

To conclude, a deprecated feature or value is not a 'bad' duplicate. If for example the value 'red' would exist 2 times, we would make the EV-code that is less used deprecated, so the clean-up will have the least impact. And possibly a deprecated element can still exist for a long time in multiple versions to come. That is also why an indication in the XML would not be wise, it is just an internal database matter and once published, the deprecated element has just the same status as any other published element.
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Topic started 09 October 2017 at 12:38
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