Product Variations and Product Variation Types

A product variation represents a product that is offered in multiple different variants. The offered variants share most of their attribute values, but are different at some of their attributes. For instance, a computer may vary on the attributes "Processor Speed" and "Hard Disk Size". Each product variant can have a specific product SKU, price or other attributes, such as images and specifications.

Product variations consist of

  • A variation master

  • Multiple variation products

Tip: Starting with Intershop Commerce Management 7.9 Product Master Pages, which previously only displayed a default product, may now work as a family page displaying the variation products as a filterable list. This feature also affects the representation of the master product in a product list / category list.

For basic information on how to achieve this, refer to Enabling or Disabling Product Master Detail Pages.

Variation master and variation products are standard products in the sense that each of them can have standard and custom attributes, prices, attachments, etc. Also note that the attribute values of the variation master and the attributes of the variation products are not related to each other.

Product variations are based on a variation model. The variation model defines:

  • The variation attribute

    This is the attribute which variation master and variation products have in common.

  • Possible attribute values

Product variations can be defined with reference to existing products in a repository by first defining the variation model on the product that acts as variation master, and then selecting the variation products from the repository. It is also possible to have the variation products created automatically, based on product variation types. A product variation type predefines a variation attribute and possible attribute values. When creating variation products based on a variation type, a new variation product is created for each resulting attribute-value pair in the variation type:

  • The attributes of the variation master

    These attributes are set to the same value as they have in the variation master. The SKU is set to an artificial SKU arbitrarily derived from the SKU of the variation master.

  • The variation attribute defined in the variation type

    For each possible attribute value, a different variation product is defined.

Example: When defining a variation type with an attribute "Processor Speed" that has two possible values (say, "3 GHz" and "3.4 GHz"), two variation products will be created.

It is also possible to automatically create variation products based on more than one variation type at the same time.

Example: When creating variation products based on variation_type_A (with attributes "Processor Speed" and "3 GHz" and "3.4 GHz" as possible values) and variation_type_B (with attribute "Hard Disk Size" and "120 GB" and "200 GB" as possible values), four variation products are created: two products with value "3 GHz" for "Processor Speed" and "120 GB" or "200 GB" as respective values for "Hard Disk Size", and two products with value "3.4 GHz" for "Processor Speed" and "120 GB" or "200 GB" as respective values for "Hard Disk Size".

For more detailed information on product variations, refer to Concept - Product Variations.

For more information on how to manage variation products, refer to Managing Variation Products.