Updated July 2016
Some time in early 2011 I wrote a blog article called “Where can I find support for SDL products?” and then I wrote this one to refresh it and add more information. Things keep getting better, SDL released Studio 2015 and now the new SDL Gateway, so it’s probably a good time for another refresh. I decided to write the refreshes here because I also have lots of useful resources in the sidebars to this blog that make this a sort of one stop shop and because I can do this as a separate page that’s always easy to find.
Getting Technical Support
First off, all the information you need to know about how to get support is contained here – SDL Support. Bookmark this page for reference. The basic idea is that if you have a support contract with SDL then you have full access to all of the support resources through the support portal. A telephone hotline is also available if you need to escalate a case that is not being resolved quickly enough.
If you don’t have a support contract then you can access the SDL support resources for Licensing or Installation issues to make sure you are always able to get up and running. If you have other problems once you start to use the software then your options are these.
- Use the SDL Knowledgebase (KB) where we regularly add new articles every week. At the moment SDL is transitioning to the new Gateway so you have two KB’s to look at. It’s important to note however that the old KB is not updated anymore. This is where you find them:
- You can’t subscribe to articles in the new Knowledgebase to be kept up to date, but this is coming soon! But what you can do is subscribe to the SDL Community articles which are updated whenever we have a product update and these are most likely the most important to be aware of:
- Subscribing to these SDL Communities to get the updates is very simple if the community owner added this little widget to their group. You’ll find this one at the homepage of the Translation Productivity Community here, http://xl8.one, just scroll down a little to see it. All you have to do is click on the “No” for any of the forums you wish to subscribe to so that the “No” becomes a “Yes”. Then you’ll receive a notification via email every time there is a post into that forum. To turn them off change it back to “No”. The Product Updates forum won’t spam you!! Some of the others can be a little busy but if you like this stuff, and I do as I learn a lot more about the products just from reading posts than I do otherwise, then subscribe to them all:
If the community owner has not used this convenient widget then you can use the instructions in this eight minute video found in the community.
- The old Solution Finder we all knew and loved has gone! It’s been replaced with something similar but easier as part of the new SDL Gateway, in fact it’s more like the old RightNow solution for SDLX users we had back in 2006…ish for those of you who remember it. The idea is you go to the new KB and search for your problem… let’s say it’s the infamous “general massive catastrophic system failure” error message that definitely qualifies for assistance under the “Licensing & Installation assistance for all” rules. You find the article and discover that it didn’t help, or you just don’t understand how to implement the fix. Scroll down a little and you’ll find something like this at the end:
If you don’t have a support contract then keep in mind you are only entitled to use these next steps for Licensing or Installation issues. For anything else you should use the Communities. In our example of a catastrophic error this qualifies so just ignore the use of acronyms that nobody but SDL understands (TP = Translation Productivity = people using Studio, MultiTerm, Passolo or GroupShare) and click on the link at the end. You’ll be presented with a very simple form to fill in, make sure you spell your email address correctly, and an engineer will be in touch.
If you have a support contract and the article didn’t help then login if you are not already and use the big blue button that looks like this… easy peasy!
Sometimes the answers in the articles might resolve your problems and you should try them, sometimes they won’t… but if you have an unsuccessful search then you should be able to get the help appropriate to your problem by logging the case, submitting your details and a support case will be sent to SDL. The response time varies based on your contract, but if you are using the free licensing or installation solution then no guarantees as this is for users without a support contract… but the teams are usually very fast!
- Another way to get support is to use one of many forums where you will find experienced users willing to help, some of which we monitor and participate on a regular basis
If you wish to purchase support you can log into your “SDL My Account” and under “Support & Education -> Support” you will be able to request a quote based on the products you own and purchase a PSMA (Premium Support & Maintenance Agreement).
You should also pay a visit to the Community pages created for the new SDL gateway as you can find many resources in there to help you understand how to use the Gateway and the communities in general: SDL Customer Gateway
Getting Non Technical Support
I’m referring to questions like “How much would an upgrade cost?”, “What product do I need to work with SDL WorldServer?”, “Where can I purchase a Support Contract?”, “Do you offer any training programmes?”, or even “How can find out where to get Support?” etc. For these types of questions, if you are an Enterprise Customer then your Account Manager is the place to go. But if not then the place to go is here – Contact SDL. This link takes you to a page where you can start a Live Chat session, or you can fill out an enquiry form to be contacted when you have more time. The Live Chat sections in the Shop area, Shopping Basket, SDL Trados Studio and Training & Certification web pages are designed to help you with product/service and purchasing decisions and not technical support.
There are also links on this page directing you to where to find information about Training and Certification. Here you can find out about attending training and also find links to a host of other resources for self training and getting help.
Finding answers on how to use the Products
This is possibly the most comprehensive array of resources I have ever seen provided free of charge on how to use CAT tools. The first place is to look in the products. If you have upgraded to Studio 2015 this has never been easier because we have various locations you can find help. First of all in the Help ribbon that is accessible from every view.
In here you have links directly to the online help, to a free Community where you can ask any question and engage with SDL employees as well as your peers, video tutorials on youtube, the Knowledgebase, free events that are usually online webinars introducing you to different features or products and even a link to a Studio Blog.
But wait… there’s even more… in the Welcome View in Studio 2015 there are several tabbed pages and this one below holds links to videos helping you to get started with Studio and Multiterm, they show you what’s new in Studio 2015 if you were a Studio 2011/2014 user and there are some links directly to the Quick Start Guides that are installed with all versions of Studio.
There’s also a More Resources tab and this is useful for a number of reasons… but you can read more about this one here : Pimp my Studio 2014…
If you’re still using Studio 2011 or even Studio 2009 then you can still find many of these resources, but not all, using the information below.
The Start menu in windows under SDL->SDL Trados Studio 2011->Documentation for example contains pdf documents on the following:
- SDL Trados Studio 2011 Migration Guide
- Release Notes
- Three “Quick Start Guides” for Translating and Reviewing, Translation Memory Management and Project Management
Pressing F1 on any window in SDL Trados Studio 2011 takes you to an online help (if you are connected to the internet) relevant to the window you have open. This help is regularly being updated and contains more types of media for helping users than ever before. The menu on the left also contains links to Video tutorials and getting started tutorials (screenshot is from Studio 2015):
You can also access the online help any time from a browser
If you can’t find what you are looking for in here then are more online resources to use too;
- SDL Video Tutorials
- YouTube Videos created by the SDL Language Technologies team
- Licensing and activation videos created by the licensing team
- Tips and Tricks pages
This article would not be complete without mentioning a fantastic manual written by Mats Linder called The Studio Manual… Mats is a working Translator and his insights from the perspective of a Translator make this a resource well worth having. He even maintains a website with a blog and other resources specifically for this called SDL Trados Studio: The Manual
It’s also worth checking the SDL App Store website as often as you can. This site contains tools that you can download to use with your SDL products and that enhance the value of your investment. These tools are not always supported, but details of how to get support for each one can be found on the Support Tab of each application – see the MyMemory app for example. In fact you’ll find two support links… 1. is a generic support community hosted by SDL where you can ask about any app whether it’s supported or not, and 2. are details (if provided) of a support contact directly to the developer:
The old Knowledgebase also has a category in the left hand menu for the OpenExchange applications.
If you dabble in developing applications yourself you can also sign up and become part of the developer community, it’s free. There is also a related blog here that may help to put into context the idea behind the OpenExchange.
Finally, if you have ideas on how we can improve the products, and would like to add your vote to the ideas that other users have already raised, or you have a good idea for a new application on the OpenExchange, then we offer the Ideas Site, ideas.sdl.com. You can log into here using the same details as you do for the Customer Centre where you download and license your products.
I think this is quite a comprehensive set of information that we provide on where to find information, and of course we also have the SDL Blogs. “Data Overload”? I don’t really think you can have too much information, you just need to be able to find your way through it easily and effectively and this is what SDL is continually working to improve. If you know any more sources of information on our products then post a comment and let me know… always good to expand and share the knowledge.
The SDL Community
The links to specific communities in here might change from time to time, so here’s the best way to access this very cool facility provided by SDL. First of all always start with this url: http://community.sdl.com This way you’ll never wind up in the wrong place. Once there manually navigate. The communities are grouped like this:
If you hover over the different titles you’ll see what’s available to you… this might look a little different depending on how many groups you already belong to and what your membership status is, but to begin with it’s probably like this. So for example the “Developer Center” provides groups for people working with the SDK and APIs, “Products & Solutions” provides for various SDL products or access to groups by solutions. If you hover over this one you’ll see this:
The “Translation Productivity” group is the one for you. If you click on here you will be asked to sign in using your “SDL ID”. This is the new name SDL is using for your “My Account”, “MySDL” or for those familiar with the term the “OOS Account”. So if you have got a license for Studio you will already have this account and you can just sign in to be given access automatically. If you get taken back to the home menu of the community then on worries… you know how to navigate there now!
This community has forums for different “Translation Productivity” products, and you can ask about them all, as well as having a couple of special interest forums for things like Regular Expressions (Regex), XPath and OpenExchange applications. So I’d recommend you make this a place to visit if you have any questions. It’s free for anyone, and even if you don’t have a license for the products and just want to ask a question you can sign up for an SDL ID and use it too.
If you need any help in knowing how to use the community to post images and videos for example then you’ll find an article here that might be helpful.
…. and on twitter
These days many people use social media, often for fun as well as work. Some however would not touch it with a barge pole and I often meet Translators who indeed fall into the latter category. So, I wanted to add this last section to this post to try and explain how you can make use of twitter without getting embroiled in the things you think you don’t like about it. Actually… I fall into this category believe or not, so I’ll tell you what I do and hope you find it useful.
First I set up a twitter account, @paulfilkin, next I took a look around people I knew to see what they were tweeting about and followed a few. After doing this for a while I realised that I was getting far more information than I wanted, but I also realised I could still see relevant tweets from them by using a search. This way I didn’t get everything they wanted to share with the twitterverse… only those tweets that contained something I wanted to seach for.
So I removed many of the people I followed, keeping only the ones that seemed to use twitter for work (may be boring I know), and then set up search patterns to find tweets that were likely to contain information I was interested in. To make this easier to see I started to use a plugin that brought the tweets into outlook, but this seemed to have the effect of stalling outlook after a while so I removed it… but it was really good for months before I removed it. I then started Tweetdeck, and this was excellent. I also looked at a few others but I liked this the best.
Even better, Twitter bought the product and improved it further so I dropped the desktop client and now only use the web based version. All I do is have a column of tweets that contain only the things I want to see and every now and then I scan through them in a browser… takes me a few minutes each time… and it seems to be pretty effective for me.
So for example I can search for things like:
Every time SDL create a new KB article Judith sends out a tweet with the #sdlkb hasttag at the end
SDL use this hashtag to provide a way for users to find the informative tweets sent for all SDL products
(SDL AND Studio) OR (Trados -kicks)
You can create strings of boolean logic to narrow down the results, and keep refining it until you get only the things that are of interest. Here I added -kicks because I was getting too many tweets about things I really didn’t want to see… adding -kicks removed them as this was text that was part of every tweet
I can get tweets from someone I don’t want to follow but am interested in some of the things he says… in this case I do actually follow Daniel of course 😉
Perhaps this last section may seem irrelevant when you are interested in how to find information about the SDL products… but I have shown how I use twitter to many users who would never do this and I believe it opened a door to information they had previously closed… so I hope it does the same for you too.