What is the GDSN?

What is the GDSN?

GDSN stands for Global Data Synchronization Network.  It is a system of connected firms that share product information in a standardized format.  The GDSN enables manufacturers and sellers of goods to harmonize information about their products with their customers.  Retailers and other buyers of goods subscribe to vendor catalogues and receive updates on them.  These updates are triggered when new items are added, existing items change, or items are discontinued.  All kinds of data points can be synchronized, from identifiers such as UPC codes and vendor part numbers, to descriptions and dimensions, and images.   ‘Data Pools’ facilitate the sharing of data by ensuring that the product information is formatted correctly and managing the subscriptions and publication of data.

Manufacturers and sellers benefit by having only one catalogue to maintain and update.  Buyers benefit from having item information continuously updated to ensure it is correct and current. 

Unlike a closed data pool or product registry, the GDSN is a global network where buyers and sellers are free to choose any of the approximately 32 certified data pools as their provider, independent of who their trading partner has chosen.  And the standards are global, enabling the sharing of product data in multiple languages and across national boundaries.

Using Synchronized Data

Synchronized data is used anywhere product information is displayed or used.  This includes business systems such as ERP, accounting, and warehouse management applications.  GDSN data is also used on consumer facing websites.  Anywhere that product information needs to be reliable and current is a good target for synchronized product data.

Certified Data Pools

Organizations that want to provide GDSN services must be certified.  To be certified a GDSN data pool must prove they are able to connect with the other data pools and meet the global standards.  Buyers and sellers of goods around the world rely on the Certification to ensure the Network remains viable.

Global Standards

The use of global standards within the GDSN ensure that a manufacturer or seller of goods can easily populate their GDSN catalogue once and share that information with customers around the world.  This eliminates the need for ‘local’ attributes based on one country or region.  For buyers, the global standards mean that they will receive the same data points from suppliers anywhere in the world.  Committees from all industries and countries with representatives from both supplier and buyer organizations met to develop these standards.

Want more information?

 Read more or download Commport’s GDSN 101.




Author: Meagan Ralph

Meagan Ralph is a fervent believer in the ability of B2B ecommerce solutions to deliver value to companies of all sizes in all parts of the supply chain. She is a collaborative leader, highly focused on client experience and delivering value. Meagan spent summers through high school and university doing EDI data entry and customer support before starting her professional career at Commport in 2005. Meagan has an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Business Administration from York University.

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