By Andrew Gibbons
To meet today’s multilingual content requirements, global organizations require “publish fast” language technology solutions. Translation Management Systems (TMS) like Welocalize’s open-source GlobalSight TMS automate the content collection and delivery process to increase the overall efficiency of the localization workflow. Welocalize works with clients to develop connectors to automatically match files for translation and integrate the TMS with client’s content management systems (CMS). This increases speed and agility and facilitates continuous translation. Andrew Gibbons, Senior Software Engineer on the Welocalize GlobalSight team, shares his insights on the various push and pull connectors that have been developed for Welocalize clients using GlobalSight.
In the world of localization and translation automation, interconnectivity is key. But how to make the interconnectivity theory turn into reality in the real commercial world of different approaches, processes, files types and systems can be a challenge.
While there are standards such as TMX 1.4b, TBX and XLIFF 1.2 and 2.0 for translators, there are no widely accepted industry interoperability standards between Content Management Systems (CMS) and Translation Management Systems (TMS). The way forward for increased connectivity is to develop bespoke connectors and application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable integration of the various processes and files within the TMS and CMS.
The Welocalize GlobalSight team continues to develop a number of connectors to fuel our vision of interconnectivity for clients. We have a number of approaches:
- Third party connects to GlobalSight (“push”)
- GlobalSight connects to a third party (“pull”)
- Watched folders (“push/pull”)
- COTI standard (not yet widely adopted)
- Third party connect to GlobalSight (“push”): So far, connectors that have been developed under the “push” approach, include Drupal, WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager and Clay Tablet. The work of connecting to GlobalSight is carried out using GlobalSight's public API's. You can access these APIs on the GlobalSight website here.
Some of this “push” connector work is not included in the GlobalSight open source code and therefore not yet publicly available. Anyone wishing to use certain third party connects is given access when partnering with Welocalize. Welocalize has contributed the code for WordPress and Drupal connectors, and we are undergoing a process to make them publicly available on the Drupal and WordPress websites.
- GlobalSight connects to a third party (“pull”): The connectors that have been developed under the “pull” approach, include Git, CVS, Eloqua Marketing Content and Blaise. For these connectors, GlobalSight has exercised the API's of each system, creating each connector. The connector is included in the core code and may be turned on by accessing permissions within GlobalSight.
- Watched folders (“push/pull”): A “halfway house” of a watched folders solution has been created for clients using a standalone application called “Smart Box.” Essentially, a zip file on an ftp or folder that is accessible by stakeholders. Once a format has been accepted, either a naming format or particular file or an element inside an xml file, Welocalize’s watched folder solution can pull in the file and make sense of it, exercising GlobalSight API's to create a job within GlobalSight. There is a similar path for exporting. Smart Box is not part of the open source GlobalSight code.
- Common Translation Interface, COTI. COTI is an initiative to try to standardize the connection between CMS and TMS but has not yet been widely adopted by the localization community. You can read more about this project on the Association of German Manufacturers of Authoring and Content Management Systems website. COTI comprises of three levels, one, two and three. Level one has the ability to import a basic COTI package. Level two is a watched folder scenario. Level three is exchange by API. A COTI package consists of source files, a manifest, and optional reference files. For a COTI package, the source and target is a one to one language mapping. There is no one to many languages COTI mapping as yet. GlobalSight implements Level one and can import a COTI package. We have some elements of Level two in place, and more elements of Level three in place. More information can be obtained by speaking directly with your Welocalize GlobalSight team.
One of the key challenges with bespoke connectors is the time and resource needed to produce them. To create a connector, you need the API documentation, a test system to work with and test files. Some users have chosen to connect to GlobalSight in a “push” configuration using GlobalSight API's to create their own bespoke solutions with their own in-house systems and resources.
Connectors are an integral part of our overall GlobalSight strategy, to continue to deliver interconnectivity and value-add within all Welocalize language technology and TMS solutions delivered to our clients. The Welocalize GlobalSight team continues to develop the latest innovative connector solutions to meet client’s evolving localization and translation needs.
GlobalSight release notes are available online at www.globalsight.com and the latest version of GlobalSight is available to download at SourceForge.net. If you have any queries or questions about GlobalSight and GlobalSight connectors, please contact me, Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
Based in Dublin, Andrew Gibbons is a Senior Software Engineer at Welocalize, specializing in GlobalSight.