Manual for Icecat URL: Links to Product Data-sheets and Images

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October 4, 2015
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Version: 1.20, October 4, 2016.

The purpose of this post is to explain the Icecat URL method to get product data-sheets. It’s the easiest way to integrate product data in your website. But, not the most sophisticated ones as URLs require frames or iframes. If you want to integrate product data without frames, conforming your CSS, then use Icecat Live. If you want to have full control over the data, then make use of the XML, JSON or CSV download methods.

Our Mission

It is our mission to provide channel partners and buyer orientation websites with high-quality product information that helps buyers decide.

Open Icecat or Full Icecat

This service works both for free Open Icecat, and paid Full Icecat subscriptions.

However attractive the free Open Icecat database is, the Full Icecat database still contains many, many more brands: 14,000+. If you are interested in subscribing to the Full Icecat database, please contact us via the website.

There are two methods of getting URL links. By creating direct links, or by downloading the pre-defined links from our server.

I. Getting a data-sheet through direct URL links

In response to client requests, and to make it more easy to integrate the URL versions of Open Icecat and Full Icecat, we allow since today also direct linking without Icecat ID. Of course, the old method is also still supported, which has the advantage that the webshop knows in advance for which products product data-sheets are available.

General format I:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?prod_id=brand_product_code&vendor=brand_name&shopname=your_Icecat_user_name&lang=language_code

Example Open Icecat user:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?prod_id=LX.TEQ06.029&vendor=acer&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=en 

General format II:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?shopname=your_Icecat_user_name&smi=product&ean_upc=GTIN_bar_code&lang=language_code

Example Open Icecat user:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?shopname=openICEcat-url&smi=product&ean_upc=0685417518784&lang=en

Please, note that the URL data-sheet is actually making use of Icecat Live, the JavaScript function, to fetch product data into the HTML page.

Attribute Explanation
brand_name The brand under which a product is known in the market
your_Icecat_user_name Your own Icecat user name. Register for free at Open Icecat to get one. If You have a free Open Icecat subscription, you can access the data-sheets of the sponsoring brands. If you have a paid Full Icecat subscription, you will be able to access all data-sheets using your own user name. As we also monitor the referrers, we are able to detect
and limit unauthorized 3rd party referrers.
brand_product_code Sometimes called the Manufacturer Part Number, is the product code under which a product is known in the market. In most cases a unique ID per brand. In some cases, this is the same as the GTIN bar code. All products in Icecat have a brand_part_code.
GTIN_bar_code The EAN, UPC or JAN bar code that can uniquely identify a product or product variant. Most products in Icecat have a GTIN code. EAN is the “European” variant and UPC the North-American.
language_code The language or locale code that requests the data-sheet in the right local variant. See here the complete table of language/locale codes supported by Icecat.

II. Downloading pre-defined URLs from Icecat

The disadvantage of direct URL links is that you don’t know in advance if Icecat has a data-sheet for the respective product or not. By downloading the full list of pre-defined URLs, before deciding to show these to the user, covers this issue. Another advantage is that a few extra attributes are already provided, like category and image links, that help to populate your system.

TIP: if you only need image links, the URL service is an efficient solution

The URL data are supplied in two formats: CSV and XML. The export file already contains all data, required to import URLs. It contains: the Icecat product id, the vendor product id and the vendor brand name, plus the URL to a rich content product page. The explanation of supplier codes can also be found in the same data export file in case of the XML format, and in a separate file in case of the CSV export.

Open Icecat users should make use of the following server folder:
http://data.icecat.biz/export/freeurls/
If you don’t have login credentials yet, please, register for free for Open Icecat.

If you have upgraded to a Full Icecat account, you can download XML data from the location below:
http://data.icecat.biz/export/export_urls.xml.gz

You can download CSV data from the locations below:
http://data.icecat.biz/export/export_urls.txt.gz
http://data.icecat.biz/export/export_suppliers.txt.gz

Information about the categories we use, can be found here:
http://data.icecat.biz/export/categories.xml.gz

TIP: use the gzipped files for more efficient data transfer

Mapped product codes to improve the match

Sometimes distributors give their own interpretation of brand product codes, instead of using the original ones. And thus, one product can be mentioned a few times, e.g., as Z891-091 and Z89/091.

If they refer to the same product Icecat will provide a product code mappings to avoid double products in your catalogue.

In the export_urls.xml (or .txt) file, you can find the attribute called m_prod_id. In this attribute Icecat stores the mapped product code, which (sometimes) differs from the one supplied in prod_id (conforming to distributor data).

You can use the following rule: when products have the same m_prod_id, they are treated as the same product in Icecat.

Using the m_prod_id attribute might help you to increase the match with Icecat product data-sheets.

GTIN: use UPC and EAN to improve the match

GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number) is the umbrella term for bar code standards that include UPC codes (GTIN-12) as they are used in North America, EAN (GTIN-8, GTIN-13 or GTIN-14) that are used in Europe, and JAN (Japan Article Number).

Especially in some industries like consumer electronics, solely UPC or EAN are used to identify a product. We have added a separate attribute to match on EAN or UPC.

Note: there can be multiple EAN / UPC codes per product, because per packaging variation a new code is published. Further, dependent on logistic processing and import/export sometimes different codes are given out per region.

Content quality level

The Icecat quality parameter stands for the amount and standardization level of data, included in a product data-sheet. Quality=SUPPLIER implies that we got product data from a manufacturer directly, but that data might not be standardized conforming the Icecat data model. Quality=ICECAT is the highest level of quality, implying that product data conforms to Icecat data model. Quality=NOEDITOR means that the respective product is not yet enriched, and only logistic data is imported from a distributor or retailer.

How do URLs work?

When a visitor will follow an Icecat link, our product viewer will perform an on-line request. Data will be supplied real-time by the Icecat server. Please, note that obtained URLs should be appended with the parameter shopname.

So, e.g. if your login is “axio” you should append “shopname=axio”, e.g.:

http://www.icecat.biz/prf/?product_id=65926&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=axio

or

http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=65926&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=axio

In case of Open Icecat, please register online via the website: choose “Login”, and then “Register as new user”. Your username / password combination will be provided immediately. Please, note that also unregistered usage with shopname=openICEcat-url is supported. However, this will provide less freedom to customize and optimize your templates.

In case of Open Icecat, it is important to include the language/locale identifier:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=439355&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=en

More Open Icecat examples:

http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=439355&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=nl

http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=439355&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=en
 
http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=439355&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=fr
 
http://prf.icecat.biz/?product_id=439355&mi=start&smi=product&shopname=openICEcat-url&lang=de

Category information can be obtained via
http://data.icecat.biz/export/freeurls/categories.xml.gz

Have more questions?

Please, contact us if you have any additional questions.

Featured image: wikipedia by Rock1997

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  • commented on October 4, 2016 by Alexander Chumakov

    Applied service change:
    1. Please add info about: this service can be used with Open Icecat URL or/and Full Icecat URL subscription.
    2. Links provided in examples are outdated: we have get rid of the "index.cgi" in links
    3. Please change ";" in provided links to "&" (without quotes)

    e.g.
    as is: http://prf.icecat.biz/index.cgi?prod_id=brand_product_code;vendor=brand_name;shopname=your_Icecat_user_name;lang=language_code
    to be: http://prf.icecat.biz/?prod_id=brand_product_code&vendor=brand_name&shopname=your_Icecat_user_name&lang=language_code

    Likethumbsup(3)Dislikesthumbsdown(0)

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