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    February 25, 2016
    4 minute read

    How to Prepare for GDSN Major Release 3

    by: John Apicella

    lavender_parfumerie.jpg

    Preparing for Major Release 3 can be overwhelming and intimidating. Luckily for you, we've put together some background and how-to tips to help you get started in preparing for the new release. 

    Let's start with the basics:

    What is MR3?

    The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is an internet-based network of data pools enabling trading partners to securely exchange and access product content.

    In May 2016, GDSN Major Release 3 (GDSN MR3 or sometimes written as 'MjR3') will be rolled out to help your brand share richer and more accurate product content with your trading partners. GDSN MR3 will increase the flexibility and efficiency with which your product information is synchronized and shared.

    MR3 introduces 300 new attributes, 600 new code-list values, and a bevy of refined validations to the GDSN to help trading partners exchange reliable commerce content.

    MR3 is non-backwards compatible, meaning that every brand absolutely needs to be ready for MR3. If you aren't ready after May 6, 2016, your brand will no longer be able to sync through the GDSN with retailers like Walmart, The Kroger Company, Lowes, Target, Safeway, Best Buy, and more. 

    When exactly is this MR3 happening?

    Major Release 3 will be rolled out on May 6, 2016. On this day, all GDSN syncing will come to a halt. The release is expected to take a week to implement, with a targeted go-live date of May 12, 2016.

    Why is this happening now?

    At the heart of MR3 changes is the support of the growing adoption of GDSN by various business sectors across the globe. MR3 is shrinking the amount of core attributes shared by all trade items, and modularizing sector specific attributes. This will provide your brand the ability to sync with your trading partners only the data essential to your needs.

    Should I panic?

    There is certainly no need to panic. However, there are steps that you and your team can take to get ready for the new release. Here they are:

    1. Compare the attributes that you publish to GDSN today with the list of MR3 attribute changes. 1WorldSync publishes information on the changed attributes in their Solution Center.
    2. For any content that you send today that is no longer supported, figure out if and how you can continue sending that information to your retail partners. There may be other GDSN attributes you can use, or your partners may have other (non-GDSN) ways for you to get that content to them.
    3. For any new MR3 requirements, identify how you can get that content to your retail partners. Is it in your ERP? Your product content management platform? Somewhere else? You’ll need to track down these gaps and be ready to provide these new requirements when MR3 goes live.
    4. Test your readiness for the MR3 switchover. However you publish GDSN content today, you should be able to begin testing your ability to publish MR3-compliant GDSN content. Don’t wait until the deadline is closer, start today!

    We realize all this sounds like a lot of work. At Salsify, we’ve already done much of the heavy lifting for our customers. With the help of our easy-to-use Readiness Reports we help our customers perform their analysis by helping them compare attribute changes, perform gap analysis, map new content, and test publish their content all in one place. Remember that, as of May 6, 2016, any and all data pools and solution providers will need to be MR3 compliant to send content via the GDSN.

    If you are current a Salsify customer, feel free to reach out to our customer success team to learn how they can help you prepare for MR3. If you aren't a customer but you need help, email us at info@salsify.com.

    Did you hear that Salsify was certified by 1WorldSync for Major Release 3? That means we can send content for GDSN's MR3. Read more about it here

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