Servicexpert - Gesellschaft für Service-Informationssysteme mbH

Introduction of a modern translation tool for display texts

OEM + Lieferant 1/2019

26.03. 2019

Nowadays, premium domestic appliances offer end customers numerous functionalities, which of course also require a corresponding choice of language. For this reason, the world´s leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances, Miele & Cie. KG, has commissioned the engineering service provider ServiceXpert Gesellschaft für Service-Informationssysteme mbH to develop the necessary new translation tool.

The aim of the assignment was the conceptual design and implementation of an innovative management tool for the translation of display texts to replace the existing translation tool, which had been in use for more than 10 years. Due to the ever-shorter production cycles of new models, the quality and consistency of translations can only be achieved with the help of tools. Miele's devices support more than 35 languages, which presents special challenges for the tool, such as the bidirectional Arabic language. As a large translation project has up to 4,000 reference texts, the individual functions of the new Miele translation tool were coordinated in detail during the concept phase in close cooperation with Miele and the key translators. After an intensive development and test phase, the application was transferred to productive operation at Miele.

The translation tool runs as a web application on a central server and is called up via a browser. By using a web application, the installation of software on the user's PC can be dispensed with. The translations are stored centrally in a database and new translation projects are imported into this database via an import interface based on XML and Unicode formats. Existing projects can also be updated via additive import. During the import, projects are locked for editing. Translated texts can be exported in XML and Unicode format for further processing in the next step.

ServiceXpert engineers have developed additional components to track deadlines and translation costs. Translation management is based on a role concept with a total of nine roles provided. Project access, read or write access and the scope of functions can be controlled via different roles, thus enabling extremely flexible scheduling of translators in the various translation projects. The translation tool automatically generates billing data for the individual languages so that the translator can see a complete overview of his current projects on the homepage and his project-specific delivery deadlines are displayed with the respective translation status.

When translating display texts, it should be noted that only a limited number of pixels are available on the display. Here, every pixel counts, so that the complete text is shown on the display as desired. For this reason, automatic pixel length calculations and the visual display are important components of the translation process for the translator. But it is also important to change settings quickly and easily, such as adding new languages, activating alternative text markups, and changing permissions for specific projects.

To make it possible for several translators to simultaneously work on a translation project, ServiceXpert implemented a bidirectional communication channel. The server recognises changes made by one translator and distributes them to all other translators who are also working on the project. Manual reloading of a page by the translator is no longer necessary, as the changes made by other colleagues are automatically displayed to him. To simplify communication within a project team, the project administrator can send important information as a message to all translators assigned to the project.

For the translation of the display texts into Arabic, a bidirectional algorithm is used to put the characters in the correct sequence. Two views are displayed to the translators. On the one hand the translation view and on the other hand the display view.

The new development of the Miele translation tool by ServiceXpert engineers was carried out with a view to integrating it into Miele's existing IT infrastructure. In addition to redesigning and refactoring the functions of the existing translation tool, Miele wanted to develop new, more comprehensive functions, such as the presentation of the translation in a hierarchical tree structure, a cost accounting tool, etc.

The following service packages were processed in the course of the project:

·         Preparation of the technical concept for the development of the translation tool

·         The development of the translation tool as an online application system

·         The development of import and export interfaces

·         Integration of the translation tool into Miele's existing IT infrastructure

·         Support for the introduction of the translation tool in Miele's IT operation

The Miele translation tool has been developed on the basis of the Microsoft®.NET framework using C# on the server side and Angular on the client side.

By redesigning the tool, future-proof programming techniques, a corporate design of the application and increased user-friendliness were achieved.

ServiceXpert, an ESG-Group company, employs over 85 staff in Hamburg and Munich. ServiceXpert is a Europe-wide operating system and software house with a focused service portfolio for Lifecycle management of EE information for leading manufacturers of commercial vehicle and their supplier industry.

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