International Market Success Without Troubles – Step Forward In the Translation of Applications

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Many CEOs or Business Development Managers dream and start making first steps in the launch of their successful and popular application/product into international market. At this stage the company faces the first “veritas” – if localization was not planned at the initial stage of application development, the translation of mature and already popular product could become a complicated and expensive experience. Softengi, as a software developer, has already faced this inability to translate and localize enterprise application without wasting tens of years and millions of dollars. How one may localize millions of code lines without wasting millions of working-hours?

bad localization example

Why Localization is needed? Our story;

Localization is the process of adapting internationalized software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text. Back in 2010 the U.S. customer of Softengi, has initiated a project to localize its product to enter the markets of other countries. In a nutshell, the application was:

  • Application development since 2001
  • Around 2 mln of code lines
  • Around 800 screen forms

And the task of Softengi team was to localize this monster. Namely, the goal was to find all the code lines in all the application files and localize them. In 2010, Softengi’s localization team has started the work without giving it a second thought, simply using the standard localization process recognized in the whole world - dividing code between the developers and using manual take out of text in a separate file. So the work process was looking like this:

  1. Developer opens each application file
  2. Sees some text in quotation marks
  3. Considers if this text is displayed at user interface
  4. If yes, copies the code line
  5. Opens resource file and inserts code line

After working by the above mentioned process for 2 years, the customer simply did not dare to launch localized in this way application because, in spite of such investments, it was still not clear how much is left to do. Summarizing the use of manual approach the team has got such disappointing results:

  • Localization period – 2 years (with initially 1 year estimated)
  • Big testing volumes
  • Localized version launch postponed for undefined period of time
  • None of application modules was fully localized
translation fail

Development of Localization Studio

A year later, the customer again has made the request for localization, and the team has come to the conclusion that the localization process needs to be automated. After checking the market and not finding any suitable applications for this purpose, the localization team has developed own Localization Studio (LocStudio) application, which works as follows:

  1. All project files are loaded into LocStudio
  2. LocStudio analyzes all files and finds literals (literal is a line with text in quotation marks)
  3. With the help of pre-defined settings, LocStudio filters literals (for example, only names of columns, id of control buttons etc.)
  4. In the resulted file there are only those literals, which needed to be localized. In the end, the team knows the exact volume of localization work to be done.
  5. The work is distributed between junior-developers, who in one click take out all literals in resource file
  6. All values are exported in Excel, translated and loaded back to LocStudio as text in parallel columns

In the end the developer had a new resource file, for example, for German language, which could be loaded into the application and easily used. Through the use of Localization Studio application, which is an implementation of automated approach to localization, the team has managed to make a successful localization project for customer’s product. In total the localization time composed 6 months instead of 1 year estimated with standard approach, which not only facilitated the launch of product in the international market, but also three times decreased the overall expenses for the customer.

Written by Viktor Bezhenar, LocServ Project Manager


LocServ is a “startup", born in Softengi, providing a set of localization services, such as localization of software, testing, internationalization of software products as well as consulting services for localization. After facing a challenging localization of monster-applications, the team has developed and released a beta version of own Localization Studio 1.01 BETA, available for free download at 

About Softengi:

Softengi provides IT outsourcing services since 1995. Every day more than 150 IT professionals in the offices in Ukraine, the U.S. and Switzerland realize business expectations of the customers worldwide. The company is a member of the Intecracy Group international IT-consortium, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and The 2014 Global Outsourcing 100 ranked outsourcer (Rising Star #5) by IAOP. Softengi offers outsourcing software development services, development teams establishment, IT business processes outsourcing, IT consulting, development of business solutions (based on Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics). Among Softengi customers there are world-known companies such as Enviance Inc. (provides services for McDonalds, DuPont, Walmart, Chevron and FujiFilm), Ingersoll-Rand, Boeing, Peterbilt Inc., JSC Bank of Georgia, Mettler Toledo, IMPAQ, IKEA, UniCredit, Zeppelin and other customers in the U.S. , Western Europe and CIS.