Monthly Archives: August 2015

Adaptability

We have made great progress on our adapter for Memsource. Kudos to Memsource for providing a free and readily available Developer Edition sandbox against which we could develop.

Once this development is complete we will be in a position to create and initiate projects and upload/download assets to/from WorldServer, XTM and Memsource via automation that communicates with our enterprise service bus.

Many people, including my own management colleagues, have questioned the need for connecting to so many translation management systems. So here’s my reasoning:

  1. You need options: to minimise risks, have fallback, prevent lock-in and maximise bang-for-buck
  2. Subscription based services allow you, to a degree, to turn them on and off
  3. Whilst most translation management systems have 80% common features, the 20% that is different can be significant if they necessitate having to do manual tasks to work around missing facilities and/or have to process large volumes
  4. You want to be able to use the best tool for the job at hand.

With XLIFF 1.2 and 2.0 we have also been able to take content from one of these systems to another and back again.

This provides us with a matrix of production options.

Prove It!

I gave two important demonstrations this week to senior management:

  1. Phase one of our distributed production platform which uses many enterprise integration architecture patterns
  2. Using the semantic enrichment facilities of the FREME e-services from a proprietary plug-in to Ocelot that we built using its plug-in API.

The distributed platform demonstration went well and showed the potential of the architecture:

  1. Configurable routes from one micro-service to another
  2. Scalability
  3. Fault tolerance
  4. Composability and reuse.

What I particularly like about this architecture is that we can incorporate discrete processes with blocks of translation management system workflow. For example, we can transform assets from one format to another, carry out validation, pre-edit, post-edit, inject, and generally modify and optimise every aspect of the production process.

The Ocelot presentation went better than I even anticipated in that it captured the imagination of two of the attending senior managers: our Vice President of Global Sales commenting that he thought it would open up opportunities to speak to new departments and roles and within organisations who in turn could influence localization stakeholders and buyers.

I’ll be giving both presentations again next week to a customer and the collaborators and Project Officer of the FREME consortium.

Rapid Process Change

In January we commenced an enterprise subscription with translation management technology provider, XTM. It is well known that since 2008 our primary workflow backbone has been powered by WorldServer. So what was our motivation to try XTM?

The primary drivers for investing time and effort in XTM are:

  • Out-of-the-box connectivity to any other instance of XTM;
  • A larger choice of connectivity to machine translation systems out-of-the-box;
  • A desire to work with a cloud hosted platform (for several reasons);
  • Unlimited integration opportunities.

Having carried out a superficial evaluation we felt we had some candidate customers and projects for which we could do some comprehensive pilots. However, in this business plans always change and our first project turned out to be very large: circa 30 million words across 16 languages with a TM/MT+PE workflow.

This project also has some other interesting characteristics:

  • Projects come to us from WorldServer as XLIFF into new components of our distributed workflow platform (currently this step is manual but planned to be automated);
  • By the end of October we plan that all aspects of the workflow, other than some human post-editing, will be completely automated (I say some human post-editing because automatic post-editing will also play a part);
  • It features challenging turnaround times which despite unforeseen issues, we’ve been able to meet.

Projects this large with a fast ramp-up time will soon identify process and technology weaknesses. XTM support have worked diligently with us to provide new and enhanced facilities and bug fixes to keep everything on track.

By the end of September I hope that we will have completed a second significant customer integration which uses some of this same infrastructure.