Lyubomir Lyubenov

Resource editor – a custom tool to support our multilanguage applications

The problem

All the business applications we develop for our customers are multi-language or even if there is no specific request for this, we need to provide multi-language support as most of our customers are Dutch and we need the UI in English for development, testing and maintenance purposes. We use the standard resource files for .Net projects and up to now the practice was to copy the resources in Excel, send them to the client for translations, and then copy them back to the .resx files in the solution. The problem with this approach is that meanwhile we add new keys in the resource files, and when the client sends back the translation, one cannot simply copy the Excel content to the .resx file as it is already changed. So a lot of manual work and constant exchange of e-mails with updated files – all leading to a number of mistakes and unnecessary communication. And you can imagine how often the client will say – “Oh, this is not a very good translation, I have to make it better.” For big business applications the user interface language resources are something that can be constantly improved and changed and is never a one-time delivery of the proper texts so you need a better solution to facilitate and automate this process.

The solution

After the number of complaints of our project manager that she has to constantly send the resource files to the clients and then carefully merge them as meanwhile we are working on new functionality and adding new resource keys, we decided to provide a smarter solution – a web-based Resource Editor tool that can be used directly by the clients to translate and make whatever changes and improvements on the texts they want without exchanging files. The client now can see all the resources in the browser, check when there are new items added and edit the existing resources whenever he wants.

How it works?

In short – the Resource Editor is a tool which save all resource files for a specific project. The user can select the desired resource and then he has an option to choose the language. The first one is “Translate from”, the second one is “Translate to”.

The resource values are shown in the main grid depending on which resources are selected and can be edited.

The grid provides an Excel- like experience to the user – he can edit all the required items without clicking save each time but only when he is completely finished working on the file. All the edited items are marked for saving.

When the Save changes button is clicked, the tool creates a work item task in our Team Foundation Server assigned to the responsible developer.

He knows which resources and values were changed, updates them in the project and completes the task.

The Resource Tool can be used for ASP .Net projects and Silverlight projects. For the ASP project, the client will actually see the changes immediately as it is not necessary the resource files to go in the build which is the case with Silverlight.

Comments

  1. Matti

    I want to suggest another tool with multilingual support: https://poeditor.com/. You can translate strings in more than 200 languages and you can get translators to work collaboratively n your projects. It looks better than many tool I have tried until now.

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