Many questions about eCl@ss have been asked before. We place great value on formulating clear and comprehensible answers.

What is eCl@ss / Why do I need eCl@ss?

eCl@ss is a cross-industry product-data standard for the classification and unique description of products and services. eCl@ss has established itself nationally and internationally as the only ISO- and IEC-compliant industry standard.

Introduction to the eCl@ss Standard

How do I get eCl@ss?

eCl@ss releases and language versions can be easily obtained through the download portal. On the download portal, you’ll also find a price list and information on eCl@ss terms and conditions.

When is a company required to have an eCl@ss license? / How much does eCl@ss cost?

Not every company that wants to use the eCl@ss Standard needs to purchase a license.
Find out more in the eCl@ss Terms of Use.

Here you can find an overview of prices for eCl@ss licenses, as well as for membership in the eCl@ss organization.
The price categories are based on company size, depending on the number of employees.

How is the concordance license different from the single license?

A single license includes license rights for a single eCl@ss release in all available languages and all release formats. This type of license makes sense if you only need a single eCl@ss release.

A concordance license includes all previously published releases as well as all releases published during the concordance term, all available languages, as well as all available update files. This type of license makes sense if you need more than one eCl@ss release.

Further information about the different license types

What are the advantages of a membership?

In addition to the major “hard” benefits a membership gives you, the primary advantages include above all the direct exchange with other members, the access to information in advance of market rivals, and the opportunity to influence the future direction of the eCl@ss association and the eCl@ss standard.

The “hard” benefits are in essence the free downloads of the eCl@ss standard, including update files showing correspondences between the various versions.

Details on eCl@ss membership and its benefits

How soon can eCl@ss be used?

We make your eCl@ss download available as soon as you’ve purchased a license through the eCl@ss-DownloadPortal and the invoice has been paid.

You can begin implementation immediately after the download, or contract out for the process using an IT service provider from our network.

How do I use eCl@ss? / How can I integrate eCl@ss into my system?

For implementation of eCl@ss, we recommend one of our authorized eCl@ss service providers.

The degree of complexity associated with eCl@ss implementation depends on numerous factors that can vary strongly from user to user. For example, these include the quality of the existing master data, the number of products (for catalogs, procurement or sales), product complexity, the number of language versions needed, and so on. In addition, the opportunities offered by ERP systems play a role here, as does the fundamental question of what is intended to be accomplished with eCl@ss, and what approach will be taken as a result. The deeper eCl@ss is to be integrated in internal or cross-company processes, the greater will be the complexity, but the greater too will be the expected return on investment.

What languages is eCl@ss available in?

You can find an overview of all available language versions here. If you don’t find a particular language version for an already-purchased release please contact us. We can generate the language version for you.

Is there a mapping table available for translating between eCl@ss and the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC)?

Thanks to a previous EU project in which the eCl@ss team took part, there is a mapping mechanism available that includes eCl@ss version 6.0.1, UNSPSC 11, GPC 30062008 and CPV 2008. This mapping table can be downloaded here.

Who can I contact if there are problems?

You can contact us at any time.
We’d be happy to answer your questions by phone or by mail.
You can always find someone to talk to in our head office in Cologne:

eCl@ss head office
Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln Consult GmbH
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21
D - 50668 Cologne
Phone: +49 (0)221 4 98 18 11



Find more questions and answers in the eCl@ss wiki.


Feel free to contact us at any time. We’ll gladly answer your questions by phone or email. 

In our head office in Cologne will always be someone available to you.

eCl@ss Head Office /
Cologne Institute for Economic Research
(P.O. Box) Postfach 10 19 42 / 50459 Cologne
(Street Address) Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21 / 50668 Cologne
Phone: +49 221 4981-811
info( at )

eCl@ss also maintains offices in the United States, China, France, Austria, Portugal, Spain, South Korea and Switzerland. These may be of value to you if you’re interested in speaking with representatives who are active abroad.

eCl@ss offices worldwide

  • Michael Ziesemer

    President, German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI)
    COO / Deputy Chair, Endress+Hauser Management, Reinach / Switzerland

    "The importance of eCl@ss is growing enormously due to the digitization of business. The open architectures of Industry 4.0 need a semantic structure. eCl@ss has provided this for engineering processes since version 9.0."

  • Dr.-Ing. Gunther Kegel

    Chairman of the Executive Board / CEO, Pepperl+Fuchs SE, Mannheim / Germany

    "With eCl@ss, especially through the integration of the PROLIST data model, there is now a property structure that already features broad-ranging syntactic and semantic elements. It would be downright irresponsible not to use this already-available technology within the formal representation of Industry 4.0 communication."

  • Dr. Matthias Fankhänel

    Senior Vice President GFU Technical Expertise, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen / Germany

    "The digitization of industrial production processes can have the greatest impact when standardized product and production data lead to cross-producer and cross-industry information networking. We see eCl@ss as a key tool for delivering the semantically unique properties for this purpose."

  • Dr.-Ing. Christian Mosch

    Industry 4.0 Forum, Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), Frankfurt am Main / Germany

    "The standardized semantics, and thus the uniform meaning of the data, is essential for the success of Industry 4.0. Only in this way can product and production information from companies, inventory facilities and processes be understood worldwide."

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Fay

    Director, Institute for Automation Technology, Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg / Germany

    "Industry 4.0 value-creation processes need unambiguous, machine-interpretable specifications for the properties of products and resources. eCl@ss provides these on a large scale, and thus gives meaning to Industry 4.0."

  • Gerald Lobermeier

    Head of Strategic Digital Product Management Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG

    “We use eCl@ss in order to be able to deliver standardized information to customers, and to enable us to manage this complexity internally,” says Gerald Lobermeier, who oversees product information and process management for his company. “Just as English is the language of business, eCl@ss is the language of engineering – from our perspective, the most comprehensive and useful standard worldwide.”

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