Akeneo vs. Pimcore – Which PIM should you choose?

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Bartłomiej Czesak

Senior Business Analyst at Divante. Experience gained in analysis for B2C and B2B projects. He has participated in the implementation of projects for companies such as CDP.PL, Smyk, TIM, Distripark, and Medistore.

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Are you thinking of implementing a PIM or MDM class system? Are you curious about the differences between Pimcore and Akeneo? You’re in the right place. Both systems give you access to a similar range of features. The question then comes down to the individual requirements and framework conditions. Deciding which of the two platforms is the better choice depends heavily on your needs and future plans for the online store. In this short article, I would like to analyze the differences—as well as the pros and cons of both solutions— to help you decide which system is more suitable for you.

What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

Master Data Management is a concept that refers to all IT solutions, standards, and activities undertaken by enterprises to ensure the high quality, reliability, currentness, and availability of the most important data, the so-called “master data”. These are the different types of data used throughout the enterprise. Such data can be, for example, customer, product, employee or production files. Master data can be used in various business processes by different organizational units of the enterprise.

Therefore, PIM and MDM systems fulfill the need to maintain order in “master data”. The operation of these systems is focused on collecting and enriching data from various sources, and making it available to external parties (employees of the company, other internal systems).

Pimcore is MDM and Akeneo is PIM

The first and most important difference between those two systems is their type.

Pimcore is an MDM system that allows us to manage various types of data (clients, products, networks of distributors, price lists, etc.) while staying in full control of the technology. In principle, the type of data can only be limited by our imagination and need. Pimcore has a friendly class configurator that allows you to model various types of data. Thanks to this, we can use Pimcore in various projects, e.g. PIM, CMS, CRM, eCommerce.

Fig. 1: Sample IT architecture concerning MDM and Pimcore usage

Akeneo is a PIM system. This means that it is only used for products and their description. Precise use of the PIM system strengthens the usability and ergonomics of working with the system while handling the process of completing product data.

Fig. 2: Sample IT architecture concerning PIM and Akeneo usage

Let’s see a more detailed description of the PIM and MDM class systems features.

PIM (Product Information Management)

  • A class of systems specialized only in product description management (create a record, create a full description, publish a product)
  • Centralized product management means your product descriptions can be better quality, consistent in all channels, always up-to-date
  • Supports the work of people who prepare product descriptions; eliminates unnecessary work, increases productivity, and promotes more efficient and more pleasant work with the system

MDM (Master Data Management)

  • A class of systems for managing various types of data: customers, products, networks of distributors, suppliers, price lists, etc.
  • Centralized data management means different types of data can be easily linked together and the data itself is always consistent and up-to-date
  • Enables easy access to this data for anyone who needs it inside the organization
  • Data can be collected and then pre-processed and transferred to other systems: ERP, data warehouses, etc.

Akeneo vs. Pimcore – key features comparison

In Divante, we have made a fair and objective comparison of the features of both Pimcore and Akeneo, as well as looking at the PIM functionality of the Enterprise Edition. You can download this in-depth analysis report for free.

The key takeaways from the comparison:

  • Both systems have a similar set of standard PIM functionalities
  • Akeneo has an advantage over Pimcore features in the area of support for teamwork and collaboration, as it gives ready-to-use functions such as
    • teamwork assistant and creating projects
    • workflow for description
    • communication between users
  • Akeneo also has better features to improve the quality of descriptions:
    • measuring data completeness
    • data quality insights (enrichment and consistency axes)
    • rules engine that allows you to automate the filling of certain attributes
    • Franklin Insights and automatic update of product descriptions
    • connections monitoring (error logs, statistics)
  • Pimcore has some features which we consider are better than in Akeneo:
    • the option of creating a printable PDF product card
    • hosting a products e-catalog
    • built-in photo editor
    • publishing the product on a set date in the future

In summary, both systems received a similar rating in this use case as a PIM. Which is best for your business depends on your unique requirements that make Akeneo or Pimcore most suitable in your case. For the most part, both are quality software, which represents the only way to stay competitive in the coming years.

When to choose Akeneo and when Pimcore?

Technology moves quickly, so it’s worth getting a future-proof system which meets your needs, time, and budget for implementation.

Akeneo is an out-of-the-box PIM system. A great advantage of the platform is the marketplace with ready-to-install Akeneo extensions. These allow us to easily integrate Akeneo with other systems like eCommerce, Marketplace, Mobile, Print Catalogs, and POS. Relatively simple and quick configuration, combined with ready-made connectors, reduce implementation time. Akeneo users will undoubtedly appreciate the usability and convenience of the system.

Pimcore is more widely used than Akeneo because it is an MDM system. Pimcore is more of a “toolset” for building connected systems than a ready-to-use tool. PIM can be built on it, as well as CMS, CRM, eCommerce etc. Pimcore deployments usually take longer and require more development.

If you are looking for a PIM system and want to implement it quickly, Akeneo will be better.

If you need to build a dedicated project, or would like to undertake several combined projects at once, the Pimcore system might be better for you.

Agnostic requirements analysis

If you have an extensive product portfolio with specific attributes or functions, don’t waste your time updating them manually, causing many errors and mistakes. Take your product information to a new level. Send us your inquiry or question. We will analyze your requirements together and help you choose the right system. As an authorized partner of Pimcore and Akeneo, we have knowledge and experience in implementing both systems.

Source materials:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_data_management
  2. https://www.akeneo.com/blog/pim-vs-mdm/
  3. https://pimberly.com/pim-vs-mdm/ 

Published June 16, 2020