Defining the “Perfect” Taxonomy (Catalog Structure)
A taxonomy is the “classification” of elements otherwise known as “catalogs” or “partitions”; and is an important component in your design process to help users find the ECAD data they are looking for. You can imagine that a confusing or complicated structure increases the overall design process and that the best developed classifications can translate into financial savings to your organization. Although these gains are difficult to measure, you can contrast this against the millions of dollars that a company like Amazon will invest within their own classification models to help you shop. Specifically within your design process you may have taxonomies for designs, library parts (symbols, cells, etc …), reuse blocks, and component/parts.
Within a taxonomy, you can define properties as “common/static” – characteristics against all objects or “dynamic“ – catalog specific. An example of a static property would be “Description”, and an example of a dynamic property would be “Resistance”. Data management products can help you manage these taxonomies and their characteristic definition, but many customers ask … “What is the Perfect Taxonomy?”
Since you don’t have millions to invest like Amazon, I’d like to share my findings with taxonomies. I’ve had the opportunity to view taxonomies from dozens of customers and many of the top ECAD data suppliers such as Digi-Key, Silicon Experts (now Arrow), and IHS. The only consistent thing about these component taxonomies is that … they are NOT consistent. I hate to burst your bubble but there is no “perfect” taxonomy. However, you can invest your time and effort in creating the “best” taxonomy for your organization. To accomplish this, you must first keep in mind how your taxonomy can:
- easily integrate into your business processes
- deliver information to your users without confusion and clutter
- simplify the search and selection of (preferred) parts
Of course to accomplish this, the devil is in the details. In my upcoming blog series, I will be specifying how these tasks can be accomplished using our xDM Library (DMS) line of products for Components, Libraries, and Reusable Blocks.