Personalize your translation software

Personalize your translation software, it’s easier than you think

Discover how you can customize your Trados technology to suit your business

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?

So what exactly is the SDL AppStore?

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! 

SDL Appstore integration

You can also create your own private AppStore

As there are so many apps to choose from, it is only natural that companies would like to have some control over which apps their employees download and use. We’re also aware that many companies have tight IT security measures that prevent users from downloading anything onto their computers at all, so using the public SDL AppStore in these cases isn’t even an option. 

To help these customers, we’ve now made it possible for businesses to create their own private AppStore in Studio 2021. This private AppStore can be hosted on your own server behind your firewalls and can be used to privately distribute apps amongst your employees. With the private AppStore completely in your control, you can decide who has access to it and approve all apps before they are added to the store for your team to use, meaning users should be able to download from your private AppStore without restriction. In addition, as this AppStore can only be seen and used by your team, you can use this platform to distribute any apps you have developed yourself, alongside any apps you have permitted for use from the public SDL AppStore.
SDL Private appstore
If you’re interested in setting up a private AppStore for your business, simply follow the steps below. It’s easier than it seems!

1. Download the PA Admin app from the SDL AppStore which will provide you with the files required to install, configure and deploy the AppStore Integration Service. Unzip the folder and save these files on the server that will host the AppStore service.

2. These files will need to be tweaked to reflect your environment and network paths - head to SDL’s private AppStore Github page to learn how to configure these. 

3. Run the AppStoreIntegrationService.exe file you downloaded and then your private AppStore is running and ready to go.

4. Now you just need to set up which apps you would like to feature in your Private AppStore. To do this, access the PA Admin tool in your browser by typing: "{url to your server}/configtool" and follow these instructions.

5. Once your private AppStore has been set up, the last thing you need to do is connect it to SDL Trados Studio 2021. Open up the AppStore in Studio, go to the settings and towards the bottom of the screen check the private AppStore box and enter your server URL.
SDL Appstore integration settings

Can’t find a solution to your problem?

With so many apps available on the SDL AppStore, you are more than likely to find what you are looking for. Occasionally though, our solutions may not go far enough to solve your problem - this is where SDL’s APIs come in.

What are APIs?

At their most basic, APIs act as a door or window into a software program, allowing other programs to interact with it in a simplified form without the need for a developer to share its entire code. 

Often businesses have many different systems employed to help improve business efficiency. Whilst these systems may work well on their own, they can often become ‘information islands’ as stand-alone systems cannot communicate and share data with each other. Through APIs, businesses can develop new tools, features or connectors that help them to seamlessly integrate their systems and streamline their processes, transforming the way the business operates.

The benefits of APIs for your translation business

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.

Are you feeling inspired?

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.

So what are you waiting for?

So now you know all about the SDL AppStore and how to set up your own private AppStore to distribute approved apps throughout your business. Plus, if you can’t find an app that solves your problem at hand, you can always look into developing your own using SDL’s APIs! 

If you would like some advice, inspiration, or if you have any more questions about the SDL AppStore and developing your own app, contact us or head over to our SDL Community and start a conversation…