GS1 outlines many GDSN standards, including data movement between data pools and data structure, such as category-specific attributes. It doesn’t, however, require a specific format for data movement into and out of GDSN data pools.
Brands use a variety of programmatic mechanisms to move data into and out of GDSN data pools, including:
- Extensible Markup Language (XML) document standard
- Representational State Transfer (REST) interface
- GraphQL interface
Some data pools use the traditional XML document standard, while others like Attribytes, Alkemics, and Salsify use more modern software as a service (SaaS) interfaces, such as JSON over REST or GraphQL.
Many companies rely on web portals to do the majority of the work for GDSN-related content — regardless of programmatic mechanisms. These portals allow all content to be uploaded using comma-separated values (CSVs) or spreadsheets. Many 1WorldSync customers interface with its data pool using this method, uploading one product at a time versus multiple products in bulk.
The GDSN is an exchange mechanism. Therefore, the ease of working with a GDSN data pool depends upon multiple factors, including the method for exchanging data within a data pool or responding to GDSN events.
This desire for ease of use has resulted in an entire category of software providers that do little more than move data into and out of specific data pools. (Lansa, acquired by 1WorldSync-owned Battery Ventures, is one example.) This software category represents another unnecessary expense — and potential point of failure — adding more complexity for brands using the GDSN.