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You can, if you wish, transmit additional information about your parts for the people who view your catalog.

The information you can transmit concerns the characteristics or “attributes” of your parts.
An attribute is defined for a part family. The values assigned to the attribute will be linked to your part number.

 

Templates are customized in two steps.

  • The first step is to declare an attribute by supplying a definition in the “Attributes_Behaviour” tab so that the programs that will be processing the file recognize the element and know what to do with it;
  • The second step is to declare the attribute in the “Parts_Numbers” tab so that its values can be assigned.

You need to distinguish between two types of attribute:

  • Attributes whose values do not depend on the language used (language-independent), and which therefore do not need to be translated;
  • Attributes whose values depend on the language used (language-dependent).

Before going any further, make sure you have fully understood the constraints on attribute names.

Let’s start with the first type of attribute.

 

  • + -

    Adding an attribute with language-independent values

    Attributes with language-independent values are typically dimensional attributes, which usually (but not always) have numerical values. Take a screw, for example. Screws are characterized by two main dimensional attributes: diameter and length. We want to add this information for each reference to our screw in the “Parts_Numbers” tab.
    The “diameter” attribute of the screw is named “D”; the “length” attribute is named “Lg”.

     

    The first step of the process is to declare these two attributes in the “Attributes_Behaviour” tab.

    • Scroll down the table to the first unused row.
      By default, if you have not yet added an attribute, the first empty row is row “4”.
    • In the first column, “Attribute_Name”, enter the name of the “diameter” attribute, namely: “D”.
    • The following columns, which start with “Attribute_Label”, can be used to assign a label to the attribute.
      For example, suppose that with the wizard, you selected English and French; you therefore have 2 columns: “Attribute_Label_EN” and “Attribute_Label_FR”.
      In the column “Attribute_Label_EN” you can specify the English label for the attribute, for example “Diameter D (mm)” (or just “D” if you prefer).
      In the column “Attribute_Label_FR”, do likewise, but in French: “Diamètre D (mm)” (or just “D” if you prefer. Even if you already entered that for the English label, you have to enter it again for the French label).
      Remember that it is always advisable to include, in the attribute label, the symbol for the units in which the attribute’s values are expressed.
    • In the next column, “Language_Dependent_Attribute_Values”, enter the value “0” for the case in hand.
    • In the next column, Display, enter the value “1” or “0” depending on whether or not you want the attribute to be displayed when your catalog is browsed on the site.
    • In the final column, Add_As_BOM_Field, enter the value “1” or “0” depending on whether or not you want the attribute to be included in the bill of materials.
    • Repeat the procedure on the next row with the “length” attribute named “Lg”
    • Important: Do not leave any blank rows in the table between attribute declarations.
    • Example

     

     

    For the second step of the process, we move on to the “Parts_Numbers” tab.

    • Find the first unused column (where the first row of the column is empty).
    • In the first row of this column, enter “D” – the name of the “diameter” attribute.
    • Go to the next unused column.
    • In the first row of this column, enter the name of the second attribute, “Lg”.
    • These two new columns will be used to hold the values for the “diameter” attribute and the “length” attribute respectively.
    • It only remains for you to complete the table by entering the diameter and the length of your screws against each individual reference.
    • Example


     

    Now let’s take a look at the second type of attribute.

 

  • + -

    Adding an attribute with language-dependent values

    Attributes with language-dependent values are “text” attributes, e.g. colors or materials. Take the example of a material attribute for our screw. We are going to add the material information on our screw using an attribute called “MAT”.

     

    Start with the first step: declaring the attribute in the “Attributes_Behaviour” tab.

    The procedure is identical to the one for language-independent attributes, except for the value entered in the “Language_Dependent_Attribute_Values” column.

    • Scroll down the table to the first unused row.
      By default, if you have not yet added an attribute, the first empty row is row “4”.
    • In the first column, “Attribute_Name”, enter the name of the “material” attribute, namely: “MAT”.
    • The following columns, which start with “Attribute_Label”, can be used to assign a label to the attribute.
      For example, suppose that with the wizard, you selected English and French; you therefore have 2 columns: “Attribute_Label_EN” and “Attribute_Label_FR”.
      In the column “Attribute_Label_EN” you can specify the English label for the attribute, for example “Screw material”
      In the column “Attribute_Label_FR”, the same thing, but in French: “Matière vis”.
    • In the next column, “Language_Dependent_Attribute_Values”, enter the value “1” for the case in hand.
    • In the next column, Display, enter the value “1” or “0” depending on whether or not you want the attribute to be displayed when your catalog is browsed on the site.
    • In the final column, Add_As_BOM_Field, enter the value “1” or “0” depending on whether or not you want the attribute to be included in the bill of materials.
    • Important: Do not leave any blank rows in the table between attribute declarations.
    • Example

     

    For the second step of the process, we move on to the “Parts_Numbers” tab.

    In the case of attributes with language-dependent values, you may need to create several columns for a single attribute. The number of columns to be created depends on the number of languages selected in the wizard. In our example, there is more than one column, because we are assuming English and French were both selected.

    • Find the first unused column (where the first row of the column is empty).
    • In the first row of this column, enter “MAT” – the name of the attribute – followed by the suffix “_EN”, the language code for English. This gives us the name: “MAT_EN”.
    • Go to the next unused column.
    • In the first row, repeat the operation for French. This gives you a column named “MAT_FR”.
    • You can now complete the table by entering the English material values in the column “MAT_EN” and in French material values in the column “MAT_FR”.
    • Important: You must create all of the necessary columns for the languages you selected, even if you don’t have the translations for the values of your attributes in one or more languages.
      Even if you have no values, the programs that process your file will check for these columns.
      If you haven’t created them, the programs will consider your file to be erroneous and it won’t be processed.
    • Example


     

    For a clearer understanding of the difference between language-dependent attributes and language-independent attributes, and the corresponding structures, you might look at the elements obtained in the “Parts_Numbers” and “Attributes_Behaviour” tabs after you have used the wizard.

     

      You’ll find that the wizard has declared 2 attributes by default:

    • The first, the attribute “Part_Number”, is language-independent;
    • The second, the attribute “Part_Number_Description”, is language-dependent.

    As you progressively customize the file and add more attributes, some of the attributes will not be meaningful for certain part families.
    In this case, in the “Parts_Numbers” tab, leave the cells of these attributes empty against the references for which they are meaningless.
    These attributes will be ignored in the families that do not use them.

     

    Conversely, some attributes may be found in several part families of completely different types (the attribute “color”, for example).
    In this case, no need to create a separate attribute for each family: you can use a single unique attribute (called, for example, “COLOR”) for all of the families.
    Finally, bear in mind that attribute names are used as identifiers and you cannot have 2 identical identifiers in the same file.

     

    So if, for the previous example, we had used a bearing rather than a screw, we might have declared 2 diameter attributes, one for the internal diameter, and one for the external diameter.
    If we had done so, we couldn’t have called them “D” and “d”. The programs would assume they were dealing with the same identifier, as they don’t distinguish between upper and lower case.
    The two attribute names (identifiers) must therefore be distinct. For example, you might use “DIA_EXT” and “DIA_INT”.
    There is no such problem when it comes to the attribute labels: they can take the values “D” and “d”.