BMEcat is the standard format established in Germany for the electronic transmission of product catalogues. Product data can be automatically integrated into various programs, such as all common PIM systems, so that an easy exchange of product information between business partners is guaranteed. The communication between supplier and ordering company, the equipping of online shop solutions and the sales support are considerably facilitated.
On the initiative of the Federal Association for Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics e.V. (BME) and leading German companies such as BMW, Siemens, SAP, Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom, the first version of the BMEcat format was developed in 1999 by the Fraunhofer Institute in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Today, version 1.2 from 2001 and version 2005 of the BMEcat standard are widely used. A PIM system should be able to import, process and export both versions of the standard in order to serve all current target systems.
A typical BMEcat file consists of defined categories that contain important product data. Since version 2005, logistical information has also been mapped in the standard. If required, prices can be automatically adjusted to individual customers by using PIM systems. Multimedia files such as PDF documents or images can be attached to BMEcat files in various sizes, so that the corresponding software from these sources can be used to populate online shops or a printed supplier catalog.
The pre-defined structure of BMEcat allows a unitary representation of every type of product. This standard construction kit can be extended without restriction in order to be able to display even exceptionally comprehensive article information. With the help of user-defined information fields, information is mapped that could possibly fall out of the standard grid.