Open Source PIM (Product Information Management) - A Brief
PIM (Product Information Management) system plays an important role in an organization. It helps companies to manage a large volume of complex product information without any mess. Most organization prefers Open source PIM to improve their operational efficiency.
Data management becomes one of the tedious tasks for modern-day smaller companies and also for enterprises. Choosing the right PIM solution will make things easier for managing and enriching product information.
When choosing an open-source PIM system, organizations find it easy to merge with their existing IT infrastructure. However, you should be very cautious about picking the right open-source product information management according to your business need will help to achieve more efficiency.
This article elaborates on the product information management (PIM) solution offered in an open source platform in detail.
What is an Open Source PIM (Product Information Management) Software?
A Product Information Management system designed for public access without any code restriction is called open source PIM. Users can easily make changes or alter the source code of the PIM system according to their needs in an open source product information management system. An Open source product information management system requires a specialist IT person to handle it more effectively and to manage large volumes of data.
Open-source PIM software gives you the freedom of modifying its source code according to your business needs. Open-source product information management solutions can be downloaded free of cost, allowing you to do all the basic data management activities and more.
Here are the lists of some key aspects you can do with the help of open source Product Information Management
- Maintaining data accuracy and consistency across all the existing channels
- Easy to improve the product data accuracy
- Supports Omnichannel experience for faster and easier marketing and sales operations
- Reduces product’s time-to-market
- Acts like a communication platform between manufacturers and suppliers
- Cost-effective product data management
Open Source PIM: Pros & Cons Explained in Detail!
Open source product information management system has both pros & cons. Enterprises that gain benefits through an open source product information management system will suffer a few disadvantages because of the same open source product information management software. Unlike proprietary product information management software, open source product information management software requires the presence of a developer or coder for implementing and managing it efficiently.
Well, it may sound good for many enterprises, however, for small companies or retailers, it may sound a tedious task. For companies involved in small business, the operation doesn’t have the appropriate infrastructure to provide such a large pool of resources for the development or implementation of the Open source product information management software.
Here are the lists of a few pros and cons enterprises can experience through open source product information management software.
Pros of Open Source PIM
Easy to Configure
Free open source product information management easily adapts to the existing IT infrastructure of an organization. This enables organizations to configure the best open source PIM easily and quickly.
Source Code Modification
PIM system open source allows you to edit the source code of the PIM according to your business need. So that it will be easy for you to build a product catalog easily and quickly.
Unlimited API Connectors
Best open source product information management software allows data managers or administrative people to connect multiple systems with your PIM system through unlimited API connectors.
With PIM open source software you are free to make any changes at any time. There will be no limitation for making changes to your product information management system.
Open source product information management solutions enable you to enjoy the power of the product information management system free of cost. This gives you more affordability in terms of budget and also ownership rights.
Cons of Open Source PIM
Require IT Experts
For configuring or modifying open-source product information management, you would need an IT expert. It won’t be easy to carry out the implementation and customization process through the DIY method.
Hard to Find Right Extensions & Connectors
With open source product information management systems, it is hard to find the appropriate extension and connectors in the market. You to need carefully check and try by yourself before employing them on your open source product information management system.
No Complementary Plugins
Open source product information management software won’t come with complementary plug-ins or functions just like paid version.
Need Professional Training
To leverage more from the open-source PIM solution, you would be in need to hire a professional for training.
No Customer Support
If you are new to the PIM solution, then it would be hard for you to utilize open source product information management systems. Because there won’t be any customer support services, you are on your own to find a solution for the problems you face with the open source product information management system.
Why do Enterprises Choose Open Source PIM Software?
In recent years, the implementation of the Open-source PIM system has dramatically increased. When it comes to handling mission-critical applications enterprises prefer Open-source PIM software rather than opting for closed source product information management software. According to the study reports, almost 90% of enterprises have open-source software for supporting their IT infrastructure.
Well, this section elaborates on why enterprises give importance to open-source PIM software for effective data management.
1. Flexibility & Adaptability
Unlike the commercial development of proprietary software, an open-source product information management system is highly flexible and fully accessible easily. Proprietary development of the PIM system allows only the vendors to access the source code of the software, however, the open-source model of PIM software comes with individual adaptations which allow consultant teams to access the source code at any time and do necessary changes for making needed integrations.
This highly flexible and easy-to-adapt nature of open-source PIM software allows an enterprise to take instant business decisions when it comes to integrations and extensions of existing applications.
2. Vendor Independence
Open-source PIM software is fully free from vendor dependence. Unlike the proprietary PIM software, enterprises using open-source PIM give full freedom from the software manufacturer. Software manufacturing vendors usually bind enterprises through their proprietary PIM software for a long time and make lock-in changes now and then.
This set of operations leads to high exchange costs or in-app purchase mode and drags enterprises back from adaptations, and integrations to carry out innovative developments. However, all these sets of hassles were eliminated with the usage of open-source PIM software.
3. High-Level Security & Software Quality
The open-source development of PIM software allows enterprises to enjoy a wide range of benefits which includes stable source code, high performance, and so. In addition, open source development allows the software to get the real advantage of getting assistance from global communities. Enterprises using open-source PIM software get assistance from the global communities which ensures standard development of PIM systems with a high level of innovation.
Also, the participation of the global community in PIM software development fills all those security gaps by identifying the loopholes through the scrutiny of many eyes.
4. Uniform Interactions
Stable source code used for the development of the open source PIM software gives uniform standards of interoperability for enterprises. This enables enterprises to avail high performance from their PIM system and also get a high level of compatibility with other systems.
The power of open-source coding gives a strong API feature to the open-source PIM software that enables the PIM system to integrate with any future system easily. In addition, whenever the global community releases new APIs, the open-source PIM system is updated quickly and connects & exchanges data with other systems seamlessly.
Unlike the typical commercial proprietary software, the open-source PIM system doesn’t license the fee for use. Because of that, enterprises save a huge sum of money in terms of the PIM system’s license fee. Also, enterprises can hire an IT service provider or by making use of their developers to modify the source code of open-source PIM software and enjoy ownership of their PIM system.
When compared with proprietary PIM software, the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the open-source PIM system comes much lower if you prefer to hire an IT service vendor to alter the source code; else it will be completely free of cost.
6. Lay Foundation For Innovation
The power of open-source technology allows the global community to interact and to improve the efficiency of the PIM system at any time. Moreover, enterprises can gain access to hundreds and thousands of open-source software products which do a vital role in an organization’s growth through the PIM system.
By integrating vital open-source software products with the PIM system allows an enterprise to resolve various critical business problems. Many enterprises using the open-source PIM system say 90% of their organization’s operational speed has improved through innovative handling of product information.
7. High Speed
Well, open source PIM product information management software doesn’t have any restrictions or limitations from the manufacturers. So, enterprises can utilize the PIM software at full to leverage more. An open source PIM system allows enterprises to seek help from the large community for solving their problem.
This enables enterprises to solve PIM-oriented problems quickly and easily. Implementing enterprise-grade open-source PIM solutions gives the needed flexibility, and agility along with the ability to mature to a large scale. This keeps the license PIM solution out of the equation.
8 Work With Talented Professionals
Having Open source PIM solutions gives the enterprise advantage of working with talented professionals. Open source PIM requires professional knowledge for better implementation and customization according to the requirements of your business. This allows enterprises to find a highly talented pool of experts to handle the open source PIM solutions.
Working with professional technologists gives a lot of advantages to enterprises in terms of getting ahead of the competitors in today’s competitive market. In addition, open source software solutions give real freedom and flexibility in their work.
9. Open Source Is The Future
Open source software is considered revolutionary and dominated in certain verticals in the past. Now things are getting changed, open source software solutions create a strong impact on the internet economy.
PIM solution is not an exception to it. Open source revolution hits product information management systems as well. The power of an open source system accelerates the business process and gives a competitive edge to companies or organizations to take over their competitors. With such network effects on connectors and developers, open source surely will be the future of the PIM system.
10. Better Data & Analytical Solutions
Open source has stepped into all the verticals of the Internet economy. Open source has become the future. Open source infrastructures have predominantly occupied almost all the verticals on the Internet such as web solutions, mobile solutions, and cloud solutions. As the advantages of open source technology empower companies and organizations to leverage more, the growth of open source continues to rise steeply.
Implementing open source PIM solutions for your organization will allow you to utilize more advanced tools and software that will drive towards achieving more efficiency. Also, data and analytic solutions are now available in open source.
6 Open Source PIM Software
You may find numerous commercial Product Information Management (PIM) software in today’s market. However, when it comes to an open-source solution there are only 3 PIM software solutions you can find.
This section will illustrate those 3 Open-source PIM solutions in brief along with a comparison.
PIMCore PIM solution comes with multiple capabilities like MDM and DAM. Enterprises or companies can position PIMCore PIM as a platform for conducting digital commerce business and also for maintaining customer data.
PIMCore PIM solution has two versions, commercial and free community versions. You can find the difference between those two versions here https://pimcore.com/en/platform/subscription.
Take a look over the PIMCore free community version in detail below
- Data Model: PIM Solution offered by PIMCore has all the necessary capabilities to manage the attributes which are attached to the products. PIMCore supports object classes for defining product attributes along with the user interface layout. Hierarchies: PIMCore PIM solution is more flexible than the Akeneo. The use of object classes for defining product attributes helps to build data hierarchies along with the data structures.
- Data Relations: Again usage of object classes not only helps product data to define attributes & build data hierarchies, but it also helps to build proper data structure and builds all the necessary logical connections of your data and with that relationship, you can link with other objects as well.
- Assets: Apart from just offering a PIM solution, PIMCore stands as a full-featured DAM (Digital Asset Management) solution.
- Data Export/Import: Just like Akeneo, PIMCore free community PIM software’s capabilities of data imports and exports are limited. However, the mapping features provided in PIMCore’s PIM on CSV or XSL column data make it far better than Akeneo’s PIM data export/import capabilities.
- Data Quality & Product Completeness: Though PIMCore’s PIM solution doesn’t have any built-in features for assisting product completeness still you can easily implement your calculation fields by using PHP codes. Also, the data quality feature of PIMCore’s PIM solution is good.
Akeneo is one of the popular PIM solutions in today’s market; it has both commercial and free community versions in it. You can find the difference between both versions on their official website https://www.akeneo.com/compare-editions.
Here we have briefed the free community version since our core topic is about free open-source PIM solutions.
- Data Model: Akeneo collects and stores product information as an ‘entity.’ In General, a PIM system should be designed to maintain a different set of attributes for a product based on the product types. Akeneo maintains the product attributes as families because each product refers to a set of specific families.
- Hierarchies: In Akeneo, products are categorized based on their hierarchy. In Akeneo, you can have as many hierarchies; however, when it comes to product categories Akeneo has it simple. The functions of Akeneo are implemented as a custom PHP development.
- Data Relations: Data relationships in PIM point out that data stored in the system has some dependencies. Akeneo supports enterprises or companies to link product data based on their simple ‘Association Type’.
- Assets: The free version of the Akeneo PIM solution allows you to have limited product assets. Product images, product catalogs, videos, and tutorials are often referred to as product assets and they are considered very important for marketing people.
- Data Export/Import: Akeneo PIM solution has a pre-defined configuration for data import and export. Users can export or import product data either in CSV, or XML file format in Akeneo. However, you need to provide the correct column names while uploading or downloading the data from Akeneo PIM software.
- Data Quality & Product Completeness: Akeneo open-source PIM system comes with good supporting features for indicating product completeness and product data quality. However, when compared to the commercial version of Akeneo PIM, rule engines are pretty low in the free community version.
Unlike the other two PIM solutions, OpenPIM is completely free and it doesn’t have any other paid version at all. However, the manufacturer is ready to offer commercial support to the needed enterprises for better management of their free PIM solution, for more details visit http://www.openpim.org.
Take a look over the PIM Solution offered by OpenPIM in detail.
- Data Model: The data model of OpenPIM is almost similar to PIMCore’s system and it offers pretty good support when it comes to defining products and their different types of attributes.
- Hierarchies: OpenPIM solution follows the same path as the PIMCore system where it requires defining data types and making use of those for building data hierarchies. However, the PIMCore system requires PHP coding for configuring data levels, but in the OpenPIM system, you can configure your data levels without using any programming languages.
- Data Relations: When it comes to data relations, OpenPIM uses product attributes to related data and other objects. This is far better than the other two types of Open-source PIM solutions.
- Assets: Unlike PIMCore’s solution where you can enjoy a full-featured data asset Management solution, the OpenPIM system provides standard and average DAM solutions.
- Data Export/Import: OpenPIM system uses the full-featured free ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tool ‘Talend’ because of that, data exporting and importing features are excellent and perfect.
- Data Quality & Product Completeness: Just like PIMCore’s solution, the OpenPIM system too doesn’t have any built-in features for assisting product completeness but it can be done through the easy implementation of third-party plug-ins. Also, features like including attribute types, and setting attribute action ensure the data quality capabilities of the OpenPIM system are good enough.
Syndigo PIM is a powerful product information management open-source system that stands out among its peers by supporting the complete GS1 product data model. Its simple user interface makes managing product data effortless while ensuring that the right data is available to the right person at the right time, resulting in better experiences.
Being multi-domain and cloud-native, Syndigo offers a fast return on investment and a smart long-term investment with product and customer experience management on an infinitely scalable MDM foundation.
Whether it’s enterprise-level builds or selected PIM capabilities for product management and syndication, Syndigo provides the most user-centric data, syndication, analytics, and product engagement platform for commerce.
Semarchy is a leading provider of master data management solutions and was recently recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant. Their Intelligent Data Hub™ empowers business users to take control of their data and become data champions.
Semarchy’s cloud-based xDM platform makes it easy for organizations of any size to improve their data management and quickly combine critical information scattered across applications into a single data hub.
With Semarchy, you can quickly achieve fast time-to-value and build trusted data applications. The xDM platform enables you to discover, master, govern, and centrally manage your data in a non-intrusive way.
Semarchy xDM, a reliable open-source PIM product information management, is available natively on popular cloud marketplaces, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, making it easy to manage your business data. Whether enhancing your master data management, product information management, data integration, or more, Semarchy has covered you.
Previously known as PIM, Product 360, or Heiler, Informatica’s MDM-Product 360 is a comprehensive product information management (PIM) system fueled by master data. It empowers business users to more effectively manage and collaborate on product content, ensuring that all sales channels are fueled with consistent, rich, and accurate product data for an informed and engaging customer experience.
By delivering clean, consistent, and trusted product data, Product 360 accelerates customer engagement and a company’s digital transformation by increasing speed, agility, and time to market.
There is no doubt; the PIM (Product Information Management) system drives more efficiency in business operations. Implementing open source PIM software will give additional benefits which include lowering the total ownership cost of the software.
The ability of an open-source data management system to safely leverage open-source technologies leads enterprises to be innovative and to implement innovative ideas through effective management of their product data/information.
Moreover, Open source PIM solution enables businesses to work with talented professional technologists who can be vital for your business growth.
As a result, enterprises around the world prefer open-source management systems for better management of their business operation and also to drive their business toward successful transformation to achieve goals.