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crossbase.pro: The heart of data management

crossbase.pro is the data management module at the heart of the crossbase system. Marketing experts, graphic designers, product managers, translators and editors can store all product information in a media-neutral format and manage it centrally for all markets.

crossbase.pro is used to perform administrative tasks and bulk data maintenance. The software module offers maximum functionality and efficiency in data maintenance.

First the data model and authorization concept must be created as the basis for data maintenance. This involves administrative tasks. These include creating features, defining text types, image categories, keywords and mandatory fields, and creating media file format templates, which convert image files into pre-defined media-friendly formats during import.

The information about the product is maintained on the basis of these presettings, including e.g. assigning features to items, importing and linking images and documents, entering texts, translating and defining product relationships. The inheritance concept greatly simplifies this work. The "quick click function" can be used to process data in the info area at a click of the mouse.

Key functions

Data maintenance and administration

Media elements, text elements and linked items from the selected folder in the marketing structure are displayed in the element area. All the information about the selected item is displayed in the info area and can be processed by simply clicking on it.

Maintenance screen in crossbase.pro: Media elements, text elements and products are listed in an adjustable element area similar to Excel and the information about the selected element is displayed.

Maintaining media files

Any number of media files, including product-independent files, can be managed with crossbase. Categorization, keywords, captions and other meta data are used for structuring. This is flexible and can be expanded and adapted at any time. As an option, an interface (may be two-way) can be configured to external systems, e.g. SAP or Celum, so that existing images and CAD drawings can be synchronized.

Similar media files are combined in a media- and language-neutral media elements which are identified for specific markets (countries, branches of industry, target groups). The media files within the media element have certain output formats, e.g. TIF or JPG, languages and versions. One version per language and type of output is marked with a Current flag.

Media element with combined media files, in various languages, versions and output formats.

Bulk data maintenance for product features

The item master data in the ERP system is generally insufficient for customer-oriented, market- and media-specific product communication. Additional maintenance work is required for this. Product features can be edited in bulk in tabular format with the help of specific feature lists with a comparison function. One click displays all the positions where the product is used, for instance as an accessory, spare part or product recommendation.

Bulk data maintenance for product features

Text maintenance

The texts within the text element have different languages and versions and include defined markups with XML, e.g. for headings, paragraphs and lists, to which media-specific DTP and CSS formats are assigned to control formatting in print and online. One text version per language is marked as "current".

The text element itself can be used in many ways, e.g. for a product, a publication or an HTML page. Should texts be changed or added to, these links are retained such that text changes impact on all uses. With one click, the places where the text element is used can be opened.

Text search in various text categories, such as full product names, suitability, SAP text and benefits.

Advanced functions

Preview module

To make product data immediately visible in the layout, a print preview can be produced of a product or page in the form of a PDF document produced by the Adobe InDesign server.

Using the preview module, with just a click the product manager or editor can generate the preview of a page in a selected language, for example, following changes to product information, even if crossbase.print and Adobe InDesign are not installed on the local computer. Production takes place on the print server. If the modified content does not fit on the page, the overflowing text is highlighted. Once the job is complete, the print server produces a PDF file.

The preview client on the local computer contains the settings, e.g. for language, and a list of PDF documents.

Document module / editorial structure

The reuse of text components for different products can be automatically controlled. When maintaining product data, the text modules can be selected by means of categorization or full-text search and assigned to a product, drawing or table in a particular order. These might be bullet points explaining the benefits and suitability of the particular product, for example.

Assignment of document modules. The document modules can be easily filtered and translated.

Integration of acrolinx

The standardized high-performance spelling and grammar checker from acrolinx is integrated in the crossbase text editor. acrolinx specializes in content optimization software. Using artificial intelligence and linguistic processing, acrolinx helps customers all over the world to standardize and optimize marketing content and technical texts. crossbase has been a certified acrolinx partner since May 2014. By integrating acrolinx in its own solution, crossbase offers a high-performance solution for all spelling and grammar checking requirements.

The checking of individual texts in the source language, e.g. English or German, can be started at the touch of a button. acrolinx displays problematic words in a separate dialog (see screenshot) and the user can work through them one at a time and replace with the suggested corrections. Following confirmation by the user, corrections are applied directly in the source text.

Check showing spelling error.

Check showing grammar error.

Media file conversion with Adobe Photoshop

As well as with the internal media file converter, media files can also be converted with Adobe Photoshop (version CS4 or higher). Using Photoshop has the following advantages:

  • Industry standards support the newest format versions
  • Reliable colour fidelity for conversion to various image formats and colour spaces
  • Complete support of colour profiles
  • Support of XMP metadata to enrich image information

Mapping classifications

Thanks to its flexibly configurable structure for classifications, crossbase works with a wide range of classifications:

  • eCl@ss (Version 4.0 and higher)
  • ETIM (Version 2.0 and higher)
  • UNSPSC (Version 7.0 and higher)
  • profiCl@ss (Version 2.0 and higher)

Using the classification mapping functionality allows the content of standard classifications to be "mapped" to the database's content:

  • For catalog groups: The items to be classified are selected and assigned to the catalog group in the classification structure.
  • For attributes: The attributes to be maintained are mapped to the classification attributes. Lists of values can also be mapped.

Flexible structures for XML formats and classifications.

Configurator

The configurator integrated in crossbase allows users to define product and application rules and to analyze them in the online or DVD catalog. This makes it easy to map complex relationships.

  • Product rules are used when product features vary. As in many cases not all variable features can be combined, acceptable combinations are defined using blacklist and/or whitelist rules. A blacklist rule prohibits a certain combination of product features. A whitelist rule, on the other hand, permits certain combinations of product features. Thus, using product rules allows product variants to be generated which are technically possible and saleable.
  • Application rules are used when the product interacts with its environment. Typical tasks are recorded and related to the corresponding products. By means of application rules, products can be filtered and narrowed down via their features. If the configured application consists of different component parts, and a component part in turn is a configurable product, all product features are harmonized in the context of the application by means of configurable rules.

Product configurator: Maintaining a product configuration. By narrowing down product features, the appropriate configurations can be determined from more than 20 million variants. Blacklist and whitelist rules run in the background.

Application configurator: Maintaining an application configuration. An application solves a specified task and consists of defined components which in turn contain a defined range of items. One example of a task might be fastening an eaves gutter weighing 40 kg to the masonry.

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Thomas Kern
Managing Partner, Project Manager
+49 (0)7031 / 714 – 720
t.kern@crossbase.de


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Herby Tessadri
Head of Sales, Authorized Signatory
+43 (0)5574 / 64880 – 39
h.tessadri@crossbase.at

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