IBM WebSphere Product Center V5.0 delivers a single, reliable repository of product information

IBM United States Software Announcement 204-115
May 25, 2004

 ENUS204-115.PDF (43KB)

Table of contents   Document options  
At a glance Offering information
Overview Publications
Key prerequisites Technical information
Planned availability dates Ordering information
Description Terms and conditions
Statement of direction IBM Electronic Services
Reference information Prices
Education support  
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At a glance

WebSphere Product Center gives customers:

  • Flexible, scalable data model to manage and link wide range of product information
  • Sophisticated workflow that supports multi-department as well as multi-enterprise business processes
  • Intuitive user interface for modeling, managing, viewing, and navigating data models and business processes to match a customer's specific needs
  • Robust security that establishes user profiles both internal and external to the enterprise
  • Stable, secure open-standards based architecture, which allows integration into the client's existing IT environments
  • Built-in synchronization capabilities to integrate with internal legacy systems, enterprise applications, and repositories as well as to connect with external partners
  • Serves as foundational infrastructure for global data synchronization and RFID
  • Extendible solution design that integrates seamlessly with WebSphere Business Integration to greatly enhance the value of a customer's product information management solution
  • Easy integration with WebSphere Commerce Server to publish rich, consistent, connected, and up-to-date product information to Web store front

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Companies across a wide range of industries face challenges to comply with industry-specific mandates and regulations, to create new revenue streams, or to discover innovative ways to reduce costs. A fundamental prerequisite to effectively face these business needs is to establish a single, reliable, integrated source of product information that can be used both internally across the enterprise and externally by customers and trading partners.

WebSphere® Product Center, a product information management solution, helps companies assemble an accurate, consistent central repository for storing and managing information regarding products, locations, trading partners, organizations, and terms of trade. Powerful tools help users manage, assemble, link, and classify product information productively.

Retailers, consumer products manufacturers, and consumer electronics manufacturers are some of the leading industries that are broadly adopting product information management solutions. Companies in these industries depend on delivering accurate, timely, and comprehensive product information to their customers and trading partners to drive sales and reduce expenses.

These industries also have external mandates for initiatives like global data synchronization and radio frequency identification (RFID), as well as requirements for generating up-to-date product information for e-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) initiatives, and keeping product information consistent across all customer and trading partner touch points. WebSphere Product Center provides the single, reliable repository of product information that allows companies in these industries to effectively address each of these challenges.

Studies led by A.T. Kearney have quantified the benefits of global data synchronization, which is just one of the solutions enabled by WebSphere Product Center. Through global data synchronization, retailers and manufacturers are expected to save roughly $1 million for every $1 billion of revenue. According to A.T. Kearney, these savings are realized in many ways, such as a 3 to 5% reduction in shelf out-of-stocks and a two-week reduction in speed to market for new items.

WebSphere Product Center will benefit customers by helping them establish a single, integrated, consistent view linking information regarding products, locations, trading partners, organizations, and terms of trade to meet their industry-specific and general business needs.

For more information about WebSphere Product Center and other related offerings and services, visit

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Key prerequisites

WebSphere Product Center V5.0 is supported on the AIX® V5.2 platform. For details, refer to the Hardware requirements and Software requirements sections.
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Planned availability dates
  • May 31, 2004, Electronic software delivery
  • June 21, 2004, Media and documentation

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Features of WebSphere Product Center

WebSphere Product Center provides extensive function for managing all aspects of product information, including and linking information regarding products, locations, trading partners, organizations, and terms of trade. Key features of WebSphere Product Center include the following:

  • Rich data model for all aspects of product information

    Companies can manage various dimensions of product information including item, location, organization, and trading partner data and all the linkages among those including prices and trade terms. With WebSphere Product Center, you can manage item, location, and trading partner information with numerous classification, merchandising, geographic, and operational hierarchies.

    WebSphere Product Center's rich data model supports the following functions:

    • Manage items and various relationships among items (packaging, substitution, cross-sell, up-sell, bundles or prepacks)
    • Manage locations, location hierarchies, and various attributes related to locations
    • Deliver best-in-class category hierarchy support
    • Support specific attributes and attribute values
      • Category
      • Location
      • Trading partner
      • Relationship

  • Organizational modeling with role and attribute level security administration

    Product information is often owned and modified by users from multiple departments within a company. With WebSphere Product Center, companies can segment various attributes of product data as per business responsibility (such as logistics, finance, pricing, marketing, and supplier) and control user actions (view-only, edit, approve) based on their roles. Pricing analysts can enter and update pricing, while marketing users can work on product description, features, and benefits. Each user sees the relevant product information based on their role for the most secure and productive user interface. Organization modeling and security for WebSphere Product Center includes the following function:

    • Segment data as per business responsibility through access control groups and selections
    • Provide granular security for permitted user actions by user role
    • Group attributes (attribute collections) by functional areas
    • Specify user access to attribute groups based on functional ownership
    • Provide attribute views and tabs for most intuitive and productive user interface by role

  • Extensive business process support

    WebSphere Product Center is designed for supporting and enhancing business processes for product information management in an enterprise. Product information such as effective pricing dates can be entered at one or more higher levels in the hierarchy such as at corporate, region, country, or market level and inherited at lower levels with an option to override if needed. Companies can manage product information in multiple languages, with robust support for managing translation process with third-party translation agencies. WebSphere Product Center powers business processes for an enterprise with following functions:

    • Reduces redundant data entry through inheritance
    • Manages data in multiple languages with localized attribute names and values
    • Delivers best-in-class attribute level workflow
    • Enables collaboration area for internal and external collaboration

  • High performance, scalability, and reliability

    WebSphere Product Center is built for managing millions of products with translated and localized product data for several geographies. Companies can deploy WebSphere Product Center with hundreds of users managing product data for thousands of stores. It is deployed to process numerous data synchronization messages and product information queries per day. Key features that power the high performance, scalability, and reliability of the WebSphere Product Center include:

    • Combination of J2EE architecture advantages with best design practices
    • Support for application server clustering
    • High user concurrency
    • Large data and batch processing capacity
    • GUI optimized for power user

  • Open and interoperable

    WebSphere Product Center operates in heterogeneous IT environments. It integrates with industry-leading message bus tools such as WebSphere MQ and supports multiple protocols such as HTTP, FTP, and Web services for ease of integration. WebSphere Product Center provides certified connectivity with leading industry data pools such as UCCnet and Transora. WebSphere Product Center provides:

    • Support for various data formats and communication protocols
    • Data mapping console for mapping from and to any external data model
    • Easy integration with leading enterprise application integration tools, including WebSphere Business Integration, through messaging infrastructure
    • Certified connectivity for industry-leading data pools such as UCCnet and Transora

  • Flexible deployment and manageability

    WebSphere Product Center provides various tools for fast deployment and ease of management for system administrators. WebSphere Product Center comes with:

    • Web-based user interface
    • Scheduler for time-based or event-driven scheduling
    • System administration tools for database administration and application server performance tuning
    • Complete audit trail

Benefits of WebSphere Product Center

Its features translate into valuable benefits for clients. Clients can address industry mandates and regulations, as well as create opportunities for increased revenues and reduced costs. Early adopter industries, which include retailers, consumer products manufacturers, and consumer electronics manufacturers, have recognized a number of benefits from implementing WebSphere Product Center. These benefits can extend to customers in a wide range of industries to meet their product information management needs. Customers using WebSphere Product Center can:

  • Synchronize product data between suppliers and retailers to leverage efficiencies and savings with global data synchronization
  • Publish new and updated product data to multiple internal systems including enterprise resource planning (ERP), procurement, order management, merchandising, transportation, warehouse, store operations, and point-of-sale in a timely manner
  • Publish product information to a variety of different customer and trading partner touchpoints, including Web sites, e-commerce sites, portals, kiosks, paper catalog publishing systems, and other internal and external systems
  • Feed rich product, location, trading partner, organization, and terms of trade information to RFID systems
  • Increase revenue from accelerated time-to-market for new products
  • Increase customer satisfaction and order size resulting from consistent customer experience across multiple sales channels (Web, mail catalogue, in-store kiosk, or point-of-sale)
  • Improve accuracy in ordering, shipment handling, and invoicing resulting in lower cost of doing business for retailer and their suppliers
  • Reduce costs resulting from reduction in product information errors, automated workflow, and contextual information sharing
  • Fuel e-commerce initiatives with rich and inter-linked product information containing event-specific marketing messages, cross-sell, up-sell and bundle or outfit relationships
  • Provide enhanced and consistent product information across all internal and external constituents, creating a true multi-enterprise environment
  • Manage trade conditions including base cost and promotional information at the corporate, market, and store levels, as needed

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Statement of direction

IBM plans to provide support for BEA WebLogic Server in WebSphere Product Center during the fourth quarter of 2004.

All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.
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Reference information
  • Software Announcement 202-315 , dated November 19, 2002.
  • Software Announcement 203-041 , dated February 11, 2003.
  • Software Announcement 203-134 , dated May 20, 2003.
  • Software Announcement 203-333 , dated December 9, 2003.


WebSphere and AIX are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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Education support

The following educational offerings are available as listed below:

IBM Global Services, IT Education Services, provides education to support many IBM offerings. Descriptions of courses for IT professionals and managers are on the IBM IT Education Services Web site

Refer to the IBM IT Education Services Web site for information on course locations and availability dates.

Call IBM IT Education Services at 800-IBM-TEACH (426-8322) for catalogs, schedules, and enrollments.
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Offering information

Product information is available via the Offering Information Web site

Also, visit the Passport Advantage® Web site

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No printed publications are shipped with this product.

The following publications are provided on the product media in .pdf format.

  • WebSphere® Product Center: User Guide
  • WebSphere Product Center: Overview
  • WebSphere Product Center: Installation Guide
  • WebSphere Product Center: Application Support Guide
  • WebSphere Product Center: Scripting Reference Guide
  • WebSphere Product Center: Release Notes for V5.0

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Technical information

Specified operating environment

Hardware requirements

Recommendations for hardware requirements are supplied for guidance only. This section lists the minimum hardware requirements for WebSphere Product Center. However, the actual requirements for your system may be greater, depending on the complexity of your specific WebSphere Product Center environment, throughput, and data object size. The following information is for the WebSphere Product Center system only. If you run other applications on the same system, make appropriate adjustments.

The following are the minimum system requirements recommended for server components:

For server requirements

  • Processor: 2 CPU configuration on IBM eServer pSeries® 630 Model 6C4 with minimum processor speed of 1.0 GHz
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Disk space: 20 GB (dedicated for application server), 4 GB (temporary partition)

Additional server requirements:

  • Additional CPUs may be required based on capacity requirements
  • Additional memory may be required based on capacity requirements
  • Additional servers for added capacity and/or redundancy
  • Multi-server installations require network-attached shared storage

The following are the minimum system requirements recommended for client access to WebSphere Product Center:

For client access to WebSphere Product Center

  • Processor: Intel™-based system with a Pentium™ III with minimum processor speed of 750 MHz
  • Memory: 256 MB

Software requirements

The software requirements for WebSphere Product Center depend on which of the elements of the product components are being used and whether they are used singularly or in combination on a particular server. Dedicated servers are recommended for the database.

Operating system: AIX® V5.2

Web server: WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V5.0.21

Database: DB2 Universal Database® Information Integrator V8.1 Advanced Edition1

Other required software (based on needed function)

  • Java™ Development Kit V1.3.1 (Available as part of WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V5.0.2)
  • WebSphere MQ Series V5.31
  • WebSphere Business Integration Adapter for WebSphere MQ V2.5.01,2
  • WebSphere Business Integration Adapter Framework V2.4.01,2
A limited use license is included with WebSphere Product Center.
Required when integrating with a process hub.

Software requirements for client access to WebSphere Product Center:

Operating system (one of the following)

  • Microsoft™ Windows™ 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 Service Pack 1

Limitations: WebSphere Product Center V5.0 operating environment

For the best performance, run WebSphere Product Center on a dedicated system. The system should have restricted access to maintain security.

Planning information

Direct customer support: Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support, is included in the Passport Advantage Agreement. Installation and technical support is provided by the Software Maintenance offering of the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. This fee service enhances customer productivity, with voice and electronic access into IBM support organizations.

Packaging: WebSphere Product Center offering consists of the following components:

  • WebSphere Product Center V5.0
  • WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment V5.0
  • DB2® Information Integrator Advanced Edition V8.1
  • WebSphere MQ V5.3
  • WebSphere Business Integration Adapter for WebSphere MQ V2.5.0
  • WebSphere Business Integration Adapter Framework V2.4.0

This is a Passport Advantage Offering only, which is distributed via electronic media and physical media packs. This program, when downloaded from an IBM Web site, contains the applicable IBM license agreement and License Information (LI) if appropriate, and will be presented for acceptance at the time of installation of the program. The license and LI will be installed in a directory such as LICENSE.TXT for future reference.

Security, auditability, and control

WebSphere Product Center uses the security and auditability features of the host hardware or software.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
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Ordering information

Product information

The charge units for WebSphere Product Center are:

  • Per Processor
  • Per Authorized User

The initial order of WebSphere Product Center must include licenses for each processor on the servers on which the software is installed Per Processor as well as Per Authorized User licenses for the number of authorized users. Subsequently, additional processor licenses and authorized user licenses may be purchased separately, depending on the customers' needs.

An Authorized User license must be obtained for each individual user accessing the program in any manner. Each Authorized User license is attributable to one and only one individual user. An Authorized User license may only be reassigned for the long-term replacement of personnel. The program may be installed and used on a server, provided that a separate Authorized User license is obtained for each individual user accessing the program.

Passport Advantage program licenses

WebSphere Product Center

Part description                             number
WebSphere Product Center                     D53TLLL
 Processor License & SW
 Maintenance 12 Months
WebSphere Product Center                     E01AILL
 Processor SW Maintenance Annual
WebSphere Product Center                     D53TMLL
 Processor SW Maintenance
 Reinstatement 12 Months
WebSphere Product Center                     D53TJLL
 Authorized User License & SW
 Maintenance 12 Months
WebSphere Product Center                     E01AHLL
 Authorized User SW Maintenance
 Annual Renewal
WebSphere Product Center                     D53TKLL
 Authorized User SW Maintenance
 Reinstatement 12 Months
Passport Advantage supply
Media Pack English US AIX V5.x               AF079NA
 CD-ROM Digital Disk -- ISO 9660
 Standard V5.0.0

Passport Advantage customer: Media pack entitlement details

Customers with active maintenance or subscription for the products listed are entitled to receive the corresponding media pack.

Entitled maintenance        Media packs                Part
offerings description       description                number
WebSphere Product           WebSphere Product          AF079NA
 Center Processor            Center English
                             U.S. AIX
                             V5.x CD-ROM Digital
                             Disk -- ISO 9660
WebSphere Product           WebSphere Product          AF079NA
 Center User                 Center English
                             U.S. AIX
                             V5.x CD-ROM Digital
                             Disk -- ISO 9660

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Terms and conditions

This product is only available via Passport Advantage. It is not available as shrinkwrap.

Agreement: IBM International Program License Agreement. Proofs of Entitlement (PoE) are required for all authorized use.

Part number products only, offered outside of Passport Advantage, where applicable, are license only and do not include Software Maintenance.

License information form numbers

  • Program name: WebSphere Product Center
  • Program number: 5724-I68
  • Form number: L-DTIS-5XTLYG

Limited warranty applies: Yes

Warranty: This program has warranty for a minimum of one year from acquisition from IBM or authorized IBM Business Partner. The warranty provided to the customer, for at least one year from acquisition, is access to databases (read Web sites) for program information and FAQs, including any known fixes to defects, which the customer can download or obtain otherwise and install at leisure.

Program technical support: Technical support of a program product will be available for a minimum of three years from the general availability date, as long as your Software Maintenance is in effect. This technical support allows you to obtain assistance (via telephone or electronic means) from IBM for product-specific, task-oriented questions regarding the installation and operation of the program product. Software Maintenance also provides you with access to updates, releases, and versions of the program. Customers will be notified, via announcement letter, of discontinuance of support with 12 months' notice. If you require additional technical support from IBM, including an extension of support beyond the discontinuance date, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. This extension may be available for a fee.

Money-back guarantee: If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program, return it within 30 days from the invoice date, to the party (either IBM or its reseller) from whom you acquired it, for a refund. This applies only to your first acquisition of the program.

Copy and use on home/portable computer: No

Volume orders (IVO): No

Passport Advantage applies: Yes, and through the Passport Advantage Web site

Software maintenance applies: Yes

Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Subscription and Technical Support, is now included in the Passport Advantage Agreement. Installation and technical support for the products announced in this letter is provided by the Software Maintenance offering of the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. This fee service enhances customer productivity by providing voice and/or electronic access into the IBM support organizations.

IBM includes one year of Software Maintenance with the initial license acquisition of each program acquired. The initial period of Software Maintenance can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option that is available.

While your Software Maintenance is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your

  • Routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions, unclear or not explained in the documentation
  • Code-related questions

IBM provides assistance via telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your end users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For additional details, consult your IBM Software Support Guide at

Software Maintenance does not include assistance for

  • The design and development of applications
  • Your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment
  • Failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under this agreement

For more information about the Passport Advantage Agreement, refer to the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement Software Announcement 201-202 , dated July 10, 2001, or visit the Passport Advantage Web site

Support for existing Trigo Technologies, Inc. customers

For support, new WebSphere Product Center customers with Passport Advantage contracts should refer to the IBM Passport Advantage Customer Support welcome letter.

Existing Trigo customers should continue to use established Trigo channels for support until their contracts are migrated to IBM Passport Advantage.

IBM operational support services — support line: No

iSeries™ software subscription applies: No
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IBM Electronic Services

IBM Global Services has transformed its delivery of hardware and software support services to put you on the road to higher systems availability. IBM Electronic Services is a Web-enabled solution that provides you with an exclusive, no-additional-charge enhancement to the service and support on the IBM eServer®. You should benefit from greater system availability due to faster problem resolution and preemptive monitoring. IBM Electronic Services is comprised of two separate but complementary elements: IBM Electronic Services news page and IBM Electronic Service Agent™.

IBM Electronic Services news page provides you with a single Internet entry point that replaces the multiple entry points traditionally used by customers to access IBM Internet services and support. By using the news page, it enables you to gain easier access to IBM resources for assistance in resolving technical problems.

The IBM Electronic Service Agent is no-additional charge software that resides on your IBM eServer system. It is designed to proactively monitor events and transmit system inventory information to IBM on a periodic customer-defined timetable. The IBM Electronic Service Agent tracks system inventory, hardware error logs, and performance information. If the server is under a current IBM maintenance service agreement or within the IBM warranty period, the Service Agent automatically reports hardware problems to IBM. Early knowledge about potential problems enables IBM to provide proactive service that maintains higher system availability and performance. In addition, information collected through the Service Agent will be made available to IBM service support representatives when they are helping answer your questions or diagnosing problems.

To learn how IBM Electronic Services can work for you, visit

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The prices provided in this announcement are suggested retail prices for the U.S. only and are provided for your information only. Dealer prices may vary, and prices may also vary by country. Prices are subject to change without notice. For additional information and current prices, contact your local IBM representative.

Passport Advantage

For Passport Advantage information and charges, contact your IBM representative or authorized IBM Business Partner. Additional information is also available at

To order, contact the Americas Call Centers or your local IBM representative.

To identify your local IBM representative, call 1 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968).

IBM Global Financing: IBM Global Financing offers competitive financing to credit-qualified customers to assist them in acquiring IT solutions. Offerings include financing for IT acquisition, including hardware, software, and services, both from IBM and other manufacturers or vendors. Offerings (for all customer segments: small, medium, and large enterprise), rates, terms, and availability can vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization or visit

IBM Global Financing offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC in the United States and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide to qualified commercial and government customers. Rates are based on a customer's credit rating, financing terms, offering type, equipment type, and options, and may vary by country. Other restrictions may apply. Rates and offerings are subject to change, extension, or withdrawal without notice.


iSeries and Electronic Service Agent are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Passport Advantage, WebSphere, the e-business logo, pSeries, AIX, DB2 Universal Database, DB2, and eServer are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Intel and Pentium are trademarks of Intel Corporation.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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