In our last couple of articles, we understood all Pricing Basics and related them with real-world use cases. In this article, we will understand Attributes in more detail and how they can be used in complex products and pricing setup.

Attributes

Attributes are properties of products which are used to configure line items on Quote. They can be color, size, speed, validity, data plans etc. Attributes are used either for display purposes on Quote Document or to drive pricing. They can also be used in Constraint Rules and Approvals. They can also be used to integrate with Order, Billing or Invoice systems.

Attribute Groups

 Attribute groups are logical grouping of Attributes, which can be re-used. Attribute groups are associated with products to make Attributes available for selection to Sales Users.

Attributes vs. Options

            Sometimes we can’t really differentiate between Attributes and Options. Please find below some of the differences.

  • Attributes are represented by Product Attribute Value object’s fields while Options are represented by Product record.
  • Attribute Groups are created to associate Attributes with Product record while Option Groups are created to associate Options with Bundle record.
  • Attributes are normally displayed on Product Attribute Page while Options are normally displayed on Product Cart Page. But in many cases, vice-versa is also true.
  • Selection of Attributes doesn’t create Line Items while Options create Line Items on Product Configuration object.
  • Attributes may or may not impact product pricing while Options impact product pricing.
  • Attributes don’t exist without existence of its associated product record while Options can be used as independent products and do exist without associated bundle record.

Use cases of Attributes

Attributes can affect pricing in a variety of ways like

  • Calculate or Adjust Price of a product
    • Use Case: The best example is Internet Data Services, which is available with different speeds (1 Mbps, 10 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 40 Mbps), different validity (30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days) and different data plans (20 GB, 40 GB, 80 GB). We can keep List Price as $0 and configure all these 3 properties as 3 different Attributes for Internet Data Services product. Then based on combination of Attribute selection, pricing of Internet Data Services can be calculated. Another example is Smartphones which are available in different colors (Black, Silver, Red). We can create color Attribute for Smartphones product and based upon Attribute selection, it’s price can be adjusted.
  • Calculate Price of a product from 3rd party applications
    • Use Case: The best example is 3rd party configurators for Manufacturing Industry for which we can send selected attributes to them and they can provide derived price in response.
  • Conditionally add charge types of a product
    • Use Case: We have already gone through the example of a product which has Services and Training values in its Attribute. Based on this Attribute selection, Charge types of Services Fee and/ or Training Fee are added into product.

This way Attributes can be used to setup and configure complex Products and Pricing Structure in Apttus.