Master data

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Jul 17, 2015, 10:25:12 AM7/17/15
I'm trying to get my head round Master Data, and would like some idea of where to begin.

GS1 has an xsd file here: but it's rather too extensive to be of use as a starting point.

In the EPCIS standard itself there is an example, which includes attributes ids of:

I've also found the following location, which gives some URIs for some attributes, specifically:

(for Business Location and Read Point Attributes)

(for Business Step, Business Transaction, Business Transaction Type, Disposition, and EPC Class Attributes)

So - can I really use any attribute id I like? is there a commonly accepted set that it's sensible to use? is there any guidance around this? also, why do some ids contain "epcis", some "cbv", some "fmcg", and some are actually http:// URIs?

Sorry if these are silly questions!


Jul 17, 2015, 10:31:54 AM7/17/15
Oh, and the fosstrak documentation at suggests the following:

Jul 17, 2015, 10:42:16 AM7/17/15

Hi Dave,


The EPCIS Master Data is organized into a list of entry types –e.g. EPC Classes, Business Locations, Read Points, Business Steps and so on- but has been defined from the start as a “anything” repository. All entries are organized into an id, then an unlimited list of attributes (name-value pair), and according to the standard, extension points in addition.

In Fosstrak implementation, only simple attributes are supported for values (string, integer, etc –not XML or JSON for instance). There is no support for complex extensions yet.


So, to answer your questions:

-       can I really use any attribute id I like?
--> yes, any attribute name can be injected

-       is there a commonly accepted set that it's sensible to use?
--> yes, the latest Core Business Vocabulary standard at provides a list of sensible attribute names to use

-       is there any guidance around this?
--> GS1 has prepared a generic guideline which should be published soon (they are in the final review phase).
You may also find some vertical-specific guidelines at

-       also, why do some ids contain "epcis", some "cbv", some "fmcg", and some are actually http:// URIs?
--> well, this is history. Initially, the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (fmcg) workgroup at GS1 proposed a common vocabulary for the first pilots and implementations. Then the EPCIS standard was released, shortly followed by the Core Business Vocabulary (cbv) standard, which also proposed alternates URIs such as http://.
I would add that you can also find entries from national implementations (US FDA, Brazil national rules for medicines tracking), plus vocabularies coming from EDI and B2B standards such as ISO’s, OASIS UBL, and so on.


The typical first step when you want to use an EPCIS is to describe your business processes and vocabulary.

Check if any vocabulary (and associated XML dialects) are already used in the organization where you plan to implement an EPCIS, and re-use them whenever you can. This will ease integration with existing systems.

Otherwise I suggest you use Core Business Vocabulary as a common base (FMCG is outdated).


Best regards,




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Objet : [fosstrak] Master data

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