All items that are created in the Item file, regardless of the functionality you use to create the item, must have an attached Item template. Before creating any item, you must select the applicable Item template to be used. The Item template functionality allows you to define the:
- panels that will be applicable for data loading; the Basic data panel is mandatory.
- sequence of the panels prompted for loading data.
- default values for all applicable fields in all applicable panels that will automatically be loaded for each item you create that uses the Item template.
When you use the Item classification functionality to generate your items you have the possibility to override/load specific fields on the Basic data panel that may or may not have already been defined with a default value in the attached Item template. These specific fields are preloaded and activated in the Work with item field override file in the event you want to take advantage of the Item field override functionality.
This item field override functionality can be interpreted as a fast template and is ideal for those fields where value (data) deviation is more common. Instead of defining several Item templates with different default values for those fields, or manually defining the value for the field once the item is created, the applicable Basic data field can be defined as a characteristic.
You connect the applicable "activated" Item field override field from the Work with item field override file when you define your characteristics (Header level). It will then be listed and a value (from the corresponding table for the Basic data field) can be entered when you are applying the item classification definition in the Item file to create the item. The entered value will override any value defined for the field in the Item template that you are using.
You may want to use the same Item template for all items that are to be grouped within item classification as only some of the item basic data fields (e.g. Shipment group or any of the available item related fields such as Item discount group, Item sector, etc) would need to vary depending on the item classification definition under which items are being grouped. If such is the case, you could connect a set of characteristics to the applicable item basic data fields via the Item field override field in the Work with characteristics file to make them available for your grouping structure as characteristics. At item creation time (when you apply the item classification definition) you can assign applicable values to those fields which will be loaded into the applicable item basic data field once the item has been created.
Define default values
You can even define default values for them per grouping structure so depending on the classification definition being used, the applicable item basic data fields would get different default values but you will still be using the same item template. As you can see this feature also gives you the possibility to extend your grouping structure (to a certain extent) by defining default values to other item-related fields than the ones defined at DIS control file level.
Note: Keep in mind, however, that utilizing this feature to extend your grouping structure is only a possibility and no integrity checks (as is done for the four item-related fields defining your grouping structure) will be applied. Thus, if you want to prohibit changes on the applicable field(s) once the item is created, you must protect them by using template security instead. Other constraints regarding the use of item field override are listed below.
Impact in system for Item field overrides
The following impact/restrictions apply for those characteristics set up with an Item field override:
- The characteristic and its value will not be saved with the item (i.e. it will not be available as a search criteria when looking up an item via Item classification search mode, nor will any values be saved at characteristic detail level). It will only be available during item creation and any maintenance of values in the Item file once the item has been created must be done directly in the applicable item basic data field(s). Also maintenance of values for the applicable field will only take place in the actual table for the Basic data field override, when accessing the applicable characteristic's details the system will always redirect you to the corresponding maintenance table.
- The system will not apply any integrity controls upon these fields, nor will it ensure that no other items make use of them or that used values are not deleted in the corresponding table for the field.
- As this type of characteristic is not attached to the item, it is not included when controls are performed to check the maximum number of characteristics that are allowed to be attached to a profile (as defined in the DIS control file).