With a little help from my friends…

01Updated to support Studio 2017, also it’s now an sdlplugin rather than a standalone tool, September 2016

… is a theme I’ve used before to describe how easy it is to share resources in the desktop version of Studio because of the open and friendly technology platform used.  It’s easy because Studio allows you to take good advantage of the sort of things (maybe even more than a 100 😉) you may already use on a daily basis, like dropbox, or google drive for example.  I was talking about what users could do before, so this time I’m really excited to see how we can perhaps extend this idea of sharing and pool the expertise that only a developer can bring to the table so that developers can gain from each others work, and users of the software see what this can achieve as well.  Romulus Crisan started this off when he began moving many of the OpenExchange applications he had developed, and some of the older ones as well, into Github as OpenSource projects.

This is a new concept for SDL Language Technologies that was started earlier this year, and whilst we have only seen a few contributions from developers adding their own improvements and paying them back for others to use, I do know that this idea of sharing examples of real applications is starting to pay off, and many developers have been able to progress their own ideas after getting a little inspiration from the work of others.

However, I think the potential of this is much more than we have seen so far, so after the release of Studio 2015 we decided to create a small utility to address some of the migration issues that came up in the community forums and see just how useful a tool it could become by sharing the ideas and development amongst an interested community.  The tool is on the OpenExchange so Studio users can take advantage of it, it’s called the “Studio Migration Utility” and I also mentioned it in an article I wrote a few days after the Studio 2015 launch (see below for installation and user guide).

The source code is on the SDL Community Github site where developers can fork the code for themselves and create pull requests to have their own improvements added into the main source code for others to use.  Whenever a new build is created from Github Romulus will update the OpenExchange application so anyone using a supported version of Studio can benefit from it too.

The features in this shared project so far are in the table below, so you can see the application has grown since publication of the original on the 2 July.  But there are lots of things that could be added to this tool to make it really comprehensive… so if you’re a developer and would like to use this source code yourself then perhaps you can add a bit and put your name in lights (well as far as the popularity of this blog will take you ;-)).  A few things I can think of that would be really useful would be these:

  1. Proper migration of project templates (create the settings but don’t replace new features with old ones from the old templates!!)
  2. Custom QA rules
  3. User lists in addition to the customer lists recently added
  4. Non-default filetype settings in the default template
  5. Custom xml filetypes in the default setttings
  6. Verification settings such as word lists, trademark entries, length checks etc.
  7. Custom dictionaries if you use Hunspell
  8. Custom keyboard shortcuts

What do you think?  I reckon all these things are probably not too difficult to achieve, although the first one may be a little tricky.  I’ll update the table below if anyone does take up the challenge and let’s see if we can create something really handy to help smooth out the migration process for upgraders, or even for just moving from one computer to another… I didn’t add that one to the list but it just came to me!!

Feature Version Developer/Date
  • Copy the list of projects in the Project View from one version of Studio to another
  • Optionally move the selected projects that are not in the default location (Studio folder) to the default location
  • Optionally populate the TM navigation pane with links to the Translation Memories listed in the version of Studio you are migrating from.  TMs are not moved.
  • Populate the TM navigation pane with links to the Language Resource Templates listed in the version of Studio you are migrating from.  Templates are not moved. Romulus Crisan
2 July 2015
  •  Add the customers that are associated with the projects being migrated to the version of Studio you are migrating to. Patrick Hartnett
5 July 2015
  •  Optionally migrate the full customer list stored in Studio whether they are associated with a migrated project or not Romulus Crisan
6 July 2015
  • Convert to an SDLPLUGIN installer (now version 1.0) for Studio 2015 upwards and add support for Studio 2017
  • Optionally migrate sdlplugin files from Studio 2015 to Studio 2017
  • Added option to select all projects/plugins with single click  Andrea-Melinda Ghisa
9 September 2016

On a final note, I left out OpenExchange applications because these are a little tricker at the moment.  Most come with a separate installer, and might even need to be rebuilt when migrating from one version to another.  So for now, unless someone has a brilliant idea in this regard, I’m thinking about migrating Studio itself… which gave me another idea… what about settings for MultiTerm?

Update September 2016

The application is now an sdlplugin installer.  This means you just have to download and doubleclick the sdlplugin and the tool will be installed into the Add-Ins views for Studio 2015 and 2017.  We don’t support earlier versions with this since it’s highly unlikely anyone upgrading Studio now is going to be upgrading to earlier versions, so the migration will be to the new tool where the sdlplugin is supported.  Once installed just start Studio 2015 and upwards… you’ll find it in here:


Video Installation & User Guide

11 thoughts on “With a little help from my friends…

    1. Exactly… it’s number 1. on my list for a reason. I think quite a few issues experienced by people are the result of importing old project templates instead of recreating them. The import function needs a bit more intelligence around this process.

  1. This looks like a great tool and I have downloaded and installed it to use in migrating from 2015 to 2017. However, when I run it, I see an error message saying that it cannot find ‘projects.xml’ for 2015. I have searched my hard disk in all the places that I think might be likely ‘hideouts’ C:UsersUSERNAMEAppData,Documents but no luck so far. When I open 2015, I can see the list of completed projects so I assume that the file is still there somewhere.

    Can you suggest where I might be able to find it?

      1. Thanks Paul, I found the folders you mentioned. Unfortunately the 2015 folder is empty … 🙁 So, I guess there’s nothing else to do but redo all the settings in 2017 (as far as I can recall them) …. sigh ….

    1. Hi Mats, this one has been discontinued. But I’d urge you to check https://appstore.rws.com/ and search for anything you think is missing. The changes in the last months have caused all the apps to have new URLs and we don’t have a mapping feature on them. So any links from this blog could well be incorrect… I correct them as I find them or get notified. I don’t really have the time to go through them all at the moment… but might do this soon to avoid confusion.
      The reason we discontinued this one was because I don’t believe it provides a really useful service. TMs, Termbases and ongoing projects are trivial to migrate by copying them… although if you’re sensible you’d keep TMs and Termbases somewhere else and always leave them in that location. The other things that the tool “should” migrate are actually more likely to lead to problems. At the time of this article I thought this would be a good idea, but now I don’t! The reason being is the number of breaking changes in Trados Studio since this release. You really have to use new versions to avoid problems so this plugin won’t really help anymore at all. I think a more sophisticated version of the plugin could help, but since we really had zero contribution from our “friends” I don’t see this happening.

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