ChannelEngine: how are EANs/GTINs handled?
About this guide
This is a guide on how ChannelEngine handles EANs/GTINs, specifically when such numbers are imported with more or less than the standard 13 digits. You can read more about the different types of trade numbers required for products in the following article: How can I acquire a GTIN, EAN, UPC, or GLN?
How are EANs handled in ChannelEngine?
Product Feeds/Product Imports:
When products are imported via a Product Feed or via APIs, the EAN/GTIN number is validated upon import. This is to ensure that the EAN's ChannelEngine receives from the source are valid.
- If the validation fails, that product will not be imported, and you will see an error.
- If the validation passes, the original value is saved within ChannelEngine. This original value will also be seen on the Product page.
- The same validation is performed during the import as is done during the export. Please see the logic below.
Product Exports to Marketplaces:
Some marketplaces, such as bol.com, will only accept EANs that contain no more or less than 13 digits. To handle this, ChannelEngine has built-in functionality that automatically converts EANs into a recognizable format by adding or subtracting leading 0s.
This is necessary to prevent rejections from the marketplaces themselves. Due to marketplace integration methods, if an incorrect EAN/GTIN is sent, there is a risk that the entire batch fails and all of those products would not be online with the marketplace. It is important that we only send valid EANs/GTINs to prevent such failures.
The logic is as follows:
- Non-numeric characters are stripped from the provided EAN/GTIN.
- Channelengine checks for a length of 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits*.
- ChannelEngine then pads the EAN/GTIN with leading zeros until a length of 14 is met (only if the original number was less than 14 characters long).
- ChannelEngine calculates the check digit to verify the integrity of the EAN/GTIN and then compares it to the original value.
- The original value is saved to the ChannelEngine database, but if it does not check the validation methods above, the product is blocked and is not pushed to the channel.
*Note that the automated logic of converting and verifying EANs/GTINs does not apply to all character lengths, but only to the lengths listed here.
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