It’s hard to believe that in 2020 alone we saw over 110,000 apps downloaded from the SDL AppStore - that’s up a staggering 28% from the previous year! Every month, the SDL AppStore grows in size and in popularity as more and more customers come to understand the benefits of personalizing their translation technology to suit their unique requirements. After all, no two translation businesses are completely the same, so why should your software be?
For some of you, the SDL AppStore may be a new concept, so what exactly is it?
The SDL AppStore is our unique platform for showcasing and sharing applications which any SDL customer can then download and install, mostly for free. We’re very proud of this offering as we are the only technology provider that enables customers to tailor their translation technology in this way. With these apps, users can extend the functionality of their SDL software (such as SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, SDL Trados GroupShare and SDL Passolo) to improve their translation processes, or connect their existing systems with SDL software to help them operate more efficiently and effectively.
Discover apps that handle different file types, measure productivity, access and manage machine translation engines, connect to free translation memories and termbases and more.
Our most popular app on the SDL AppStore for example is ‘Glossary Converter’ by Gerhard Kordmann, which sits at the top of our downloads chart month after month. This app is perfect for those with existing terminology glossaries as it enables users to convert between MultiTerm termbases and other terminology formats by simple drag and drop, saving users time and effort.
We’ve also just released a new app called ‘studioViews’ by SDL Community Developers that is sure to be a hit. With this app, users can split and merge files quickly and easily before sending to others for translation; split files directly from the files view, export filtered selections in the Editor view, then re-import the translated file back into your project and your files will be updated accordingly.
And they’re just the tip of the iceberg! There are currently over 340 apps available on the SDL AppStore in total, of which over 80% are free; these have either been built by SDL’s very own Community Developers or by third party developers, all using SDL’s APIs (more on this topic to come later!). Plus, if you are a Studio 2021 user, thanks to our new AppStore integration, all compatible apps are now available for you to download from within the Studio interface at the click of a button - it’s never been easier to personalize your Studio environment!
Putting this into context for translation businesses, with all your systems connected you’ll see a massive increase in your overall business efficiency; tasks will become less manual, saving time for translators, project managers and reviewers alike. Localization costs will reduce, you’ll be able to improve your competitiveness in the market, help future-proof your business, plus improve job satisfaction for your employees by making tasks easier and quicker. On top of this, APIs can be used to customize software with additional features (similarly to the apps available on the SDL AppStore mentioned above, for example); with a personalized tool, catered to your unique requirements, you’ll be more productive than ever.
And just in case you’re still not sold on the idea, here are a couple of real-life examples of what customers have developed for SDL Trados Studio and SDL Trados GroupShare using SDL’s APIs:
Supertext Ltd, a copywriting and translation agency with over 2000 freelancers based in Zurich, Berlin and LA, have their own self-built TMS (Translation Management System). They also utilize SDL Trados GroupShare to enhance and automate the creation and distribution of SDL Trados Studio projects. Both Supertext’s TMS and GroupShare however require user credentials to be filled in to login, meaning users were required to remember two separate accounts and passwords. To make life easier for all users, Supertext developed their own custom authentication provider as a plugin for GroupShare. With this plug-in, every time someone logs into GroupShare, their credentials are checked against the Supertext system, streamlining their business systems.
dSPACE GmbH is the technology leader in simulation and validation, supporting customers worldwide. dSPACE found that creating translation projects was time consuming and frequently involved entering information manually. They also noticed that often their SDL Trados Studio projects were not named according to their conventions and that their subfolder structures were regularly inconsistent. To solve this issue, dSPACE developed a plugin called ProjectCreator which automatically creates a translation project directly from the information provided via a Language Services request form, so now translation project creation is faster, project folders are always named the same and they have the exact same structure.
You too can access SDL’s APIs for SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, SDL Trados GroupShare, SDL Passolo and SDL Language Cloud to develop your own plugins for your business. To do so, we recommend your developers follow the steps below:
1. Firstly, it’s worth noting that you don’t need to download anything in order to start developing, the APIs will already be available with your installation of SDL Trados Studio/ MultiTerm/ GroupShare/ Passolo. SDL Language Cloud is a cloud product so the APIs are always available to you online.
2. Get involved in the SDL Developer Community. This is a good place to start to gain inspiration, discuss your ideas with your peers and SDL employees, or request help.
3. Access sample code:
- Access some of our sample codes available on Github. These will give you an idea of what you are working with and can be used as reference material.
- You can also download SDL Trados Studio project templates for Microsoft Visual Studio should you wish, these are designed to jump-start the development of customization and plugins for Trados Studio.
- Or you can take an existing plugin developed by the SDL Community Developers available on the SDL AppStore and use this as the basis for your application. These can be downloaded here.
4. Head to the SDK page on the Developer Hub for more information on each of the APIs available and start developing! Each API has documentation explaining how to write the code needed to interact with them, as well as how to work with each one.
As you can see, having a developer at hand to work on solutions like these is so important, however for some businesses it’s a luxury they just can’t justify. If you fall into this category and there isn’t an existing app on the SDL AppStore that solves your problem, don’t despair! Our SDL developers are always looking for new ideas to work on, so post your requirements onto the SDL Ideas Community and if there is enough interest we may be able to help.