Oct 27 2008

Designer XI 3 New Feature: Translation Manager

Categories: Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 11:28 am

Introducing the Translation Manager

Translation Manager is a new tool that allows you to extract information from your universe, provide translations, and then store that translated information back into your universe. Anything that the user can see can be translated, including class names, objects names, descriptions, and even prompt text. Things the user cannot see like table names and joins are not translated, which makes sense. The data itself is not translated by this tool. Once the universe is published, the user’s location can be used to deliver a language-customized version of the universe. In the United States I’m not sure how often this would be used. (”Texan” is not recognized as a language, y’all. :lol: ) But for international companies it certainly makes sense.

No Custom Languages

One thing that I have suggested to the Designer product team is the ability to set up custom languages. And no, I’m not doing this because I want to translate my universe into Texan. :-P

Imagine this scenario: You are a company with a product that requires reporting support. You have selected to bundle Business Objects along with your product. But each client that you sell to has the option to customize your application, including custom naming for various elements. You would like to be able to deliver that same custom name as a part of the universe.

Today you can do this with the @Select() function and by setting up a hidden class with source data, client-specific classes with their renamed objects, and security restrictions. But this is complicated. If you could create a custom language file and distribute it with your universe, wouldn’t that solve this problem in a very cool way?

This feature was one of several mentioned in my Designer Essentials presentation delivered at the 2008 GBN conference. This particular feature was on page 7.

8 Responses to “Designer XI 3 New Feature: Translation Manager”

  1. Comment by Charles

    This is going to be a valuable feature for us here in Europe. We’ll be able to deploy the same univer in English, french, Italian etc. We’ll also be able to create American versions :-)

  2. Comment by Alan

    Hey Dave, I’m curious about your last paragraph “Today you can do this with the @Select() function…”. Can you elaborate a little more on that? We’ve got a batch process running the Designer SDK to do a bunch of renames on the universe to handle these custom names. I’m looking for an easier way to accomplish that.

  3. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hi, Alan, I don’t know if this would be easier or not. What you would have to do is set up a custom class (or classes) that are unique to each client or location. Suppose that Client A wants to call something “Region” and Client B wants to call it “District” and the default object is called “Area” instead. Your universe would have a special class for Client A where they have an object called Region that is built as @Select(Class\Area). Client B would have a special class where their object District is also made with @Select(Class\Area). Then you would have to include security rules so that each client sees only their classes and no others.

    It’s messy. :) I don’t think I would really want to do it that way. Plus your reports would use the source object Area and not the custom renamed object, whereas with your SDK solution you are not breaking any reports.

    I’m holding out for custom languages. 8-)

  4. Comment by Alan

    Thanks Dave. I see what you are saying. Hopefully BO will agree that Custom Languages would be a great addition.

  5. Comment by Alex Gory

    Hi all,

    I’ve briefly tested the Translation Manager and I suspect 2 major drawbacks :
    1) Dave, as you say in your first paragraph : “The data itself is not translated by this tool”. There’s no help for the translation… when it would be VERY helpful. Even a simple “word for word” translation would be appreciated.
    2) The cost in translation then maintenance seems very heavy…

    Do you agree ? Is there anything I missed ?

  6. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hi, Alex, I personally have not tested the translation manager. In theory I get how it works and how it solves a need. But I have not had the opportunity to investigate what sort of overhead it brings. I’m not sure if that’s what you meant by “cost” or if you were literally talking about the cost of getting the names and other attributes translated…

  7. Comment by Alex Gory

    Hi Dave,

    By cost, I was talking about the time spent to perform the translation… You have to go through any single name, description,…
    I wonder if someone already did it…

  8. Comment by Yoav

    Does Translation manager allows you to configure the translation in a group level or you have yo customize the Webi preferences locale for it ?

    Thanks

    Yoav

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