Tag Archives: SDL appstore

Studio 2019 has arrived and it brings with it some nice features on the surface, and some important improvements under the hood… but it also brings with it a lot more upgrades than just Studio, and I don’t just mean MultiTerm!  The SDL AppStore is one of the unique benefits you get when you work on the SDL technology stack and there are hundreds of apps available that can provide additional resources, custom filetypes, file converters, productivity enhancements, manuals, etc.  When you upgrade your version of Studio you are also going to have to upgrade your apps.  Many of the apps are maintained by the SDL Community team and these have all been upgraded ready for use in Studio 2019, but the majority have been created and maintained by others.  I’ve written this article to explain what you need to look out for as a user of SDL Trados Studio or MultiTerm, and also as a reference guide for the developers who might have missed the important information that was sent out to help them with the process.

You can’t install an older app into Studio 2019

First of all, if you’ve got your sdlplugin files all stored somewhere safe for Studio 2017 or earlier you need to know that you can’t use these in Studio 2019.  Now, if you try to install these old ones you squirrelled away you’ll probably see something like this which makes you think it should as Studio 2019 is not greyed out:

The reason for this is that the sdlplugin itself contains a manifest file that sets the minimum version to be used and the maximum version to be used.  The maximum version was broken and nobody noticed until now!  Those of you who subscribe to the RSS feed and get notified of updates probably noticed that all the SDL Community apps for 2017 were updated a little while ago so that they cannot be installed in 2019.  If you try the latest 2017 versions you’ll see that “SDL Studio 2019” is greyed out so you can’t even try.  The technical reason for them not working in 2019 is explained below in the developer section if you’re interested… but I just wanted to say that this wasn’t done to deliberately make life harder or to force upgrades!  Unfortunately if you didn’t see the updated plugins you might experience the problem of being allowed to install an older 2017 app into 2019 and then it will only cause an error when Studio starts.  So if you have Studio 2019 make sure that you check in the appstore that there is a version of your favourite apps and only use that.

Developers who have upgraded their apps will have a note at the top in the app overview when they post the upgrade and you’ll be able to see the supported products listed on the right.  You do have to have a valid Studio licence in your account for the appropriate version to be able to download them but as long as you have this you should be good to go!  If your favourite app hasn’t been upgraded yet then scroll down a little in the app record in the appstore and you’ll find the developer contact information there.  In this case you’re referred to the appstore forums in the SDL Community because this is the contact details for the SDL Community team.  But most other developers provide their contact email, sometimes even a telephone mumber, so you can get in touch and ask whether they will be updating their apps or not:

How to update the apps… for developers!

Existing Studio 2017 or 2015 plugins

If you have created plugins for these versions of Studio we are recommending that you update them to ensure they include a maxversion attribute in the plugin manifest.  If you don’t do this then any user who installs Studio 2019 will be incorrectly offerred the opportunity to install your current plugins as shown in the image on the left below and described above:

Adding this attribute will ensure that Studio 2019 is greyed out as shown above on the right.  There are a few steps required to achieve this as we have updated the Sdl.Core.PluginFramework.Build to use this attribute correctly.  You can find detailed instructions in a wiki article in the Language Developers wiki in the SDL Community.

Upgrading your plugins to Studio 2019

First of all you will need a copy of SDL Trados Studio 2019 and SDL can help with a development version if you need it.  Just ask in the developer forums if you don’t know how to get this.  Once you’re ready the process is straightforward and you can upgrade your plugins to support Studio 2019 using an extension available for Microsoft Visual Studio 2017.  This is available through the Visual Studio extensions menu or by downloading from the Microsoft Marketplace:

The SDL Community team have also created a set of instructions, and a video, available in a wiki article in the Language Developers wiki in the SDL Community.

Why is all of this necessary?

The Studio APIs are versioned based on the changes we’ve introduced.  Some of the APIs have changes in Studio 2019 and some don’t but all of them, except FileTypeSupport, were updated to .Net 4.7.1.  This introduces a breaking change and any developer who tries to compile a .Net 4.5.2 plugin will receive an error.  This is because the .Net framework is backward compatible but not forward compatible.

Having at least one breaking change in the APIs meant we had to highlight this with a version change, hence the Studio API assembly version was changed.  This in turn means rebuilding and publishing a new plugin so we built a Visual Studio extension that automatically upgrades a Studio 2017 plugin codebase to a Studio 2019 plugin codebase as explained above.

I hope this is clear, and helpful, but if you have any questions on this please post your questions in the Language Developers forum in the SDL Community where we’ll be happy to help.

It could be said that translators come into the industry for the love of language, and the creative nature of the work, writing beautiful translations that at least do justice to the original texts.  It might even be true for many… but let’s face it, very few people can afford to do this for a full career without thinking about the money!  So it’s all the more surprising to me that translation vendors don’t provide a mechanism for dealing with the money in their toolsets.  Sure, you can have an analysis that can be used as the basis of a quote or an invoice, but you don’t see anywhere that deals with the money!  The larger Translation Management Systems have features for doing this, or they integrate with larger Enterprise systems for accounting and project management, but what about the translators?  How do they manage their business?

Well… there are applications on the SDL AppStore that can help with this in some ways.  For example:

  • SDL InQuote – an interesting, sometimes problematic application, that can allow you to create quotes and invoices based on the analysis files in your Studio projects
  • Post-Edit Compare – a wonderful application that in addition to carrying out a post-edit analysis of the work you are doing can put a value to it based on your rates.  But it doesn’t create quotes or invoices.
  • Qualitivity – another wonderful application that in addition to tracking just about everything you do in Studio can put a value to it based on the post-edit analysis or on a time basis.  But it doesn’t create quotes or invoices either.

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There’s always been the occasional question appearing on the forums about data protection, particularly in relation to the use of machine translation, but as of the 25th May 2018 this topic has a more serious implication for anyone dealing with data in Europe.  I’ve no intention of making this post about the GDPR regulations which come into force in May 2016 and now apply, you’ll have plenty of informed resources for this and probably plenty of opinion in less informed places too, but just in case you don’t know where to find reliable information on this here’s a few places to get you started:

With the exception of working under specific requirements from your client, Europe has (as far as I’m aware) set out the only legal requirements for dealing with personal data.  They are comprehensive however and deciphering what this means for you as a translator, project manager or client in the translation supply chain is going to lead to many discussions around what you do, and don’t have to do, in order to ensure compliance.  I do have faith in an excellent publication from SDL on this subject since I’m aware of the work that gone into it, so you can do worse than to look at this for a good understanding of what the new regulations mean for you.

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I’m pretty sure that when we started to build the new Customer Experience Team in Cluj last year that there was nothing in the job description about being competitive… but wow, they are!!!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t competitive, because I know I am, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had these kinds of feelings that keep me up at night.

To some extent I think the training requirements at SDL are the perfect fuel for this type of environment and I haven’t made up my mind yet whether it’s healthy or not.  But in their roles the team speak with customers through the online chat, in the community, via email… basically anywhere anyone comes in with a question because they don’t have a support contract or an account manager to ask and they didn’t know about the SDL Community which is of course the best place to go for help.  To be able to answer the variety of technical questions we see, all the team have either completed or are working through the various SDL Certifications available at a rate of knots and are learning more about the sort of problems faced by translators and project managers just by having to help people every day.  They are doing a fantastic job!

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In the years that the SDL AppStore has been around I get asked one question on a fairly regular basis… “How can I find out about new apps or updates to existing apps?”.  A very reasonable question of course and one that has not been addressed particularly well, albeit there have been ways to keep yourself informed.  The ultimate solution we all want to see is the AppStore embedded into SDL Trados Studio, but as that isn’t going to happen for a while here’s a couple of ways you can still keep yourself aware of the updates.  The first is via twitter and this has been around for a while; the second is using an RSS feed which is brand new as of today!

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Using stylesheets to enhance the translators experience when working with XML files can be very helpful and sometimes essential.  It allows you to pull details from the XML and display them in a preview pane so that the translator has more context around the translatable text.  It can also provide a mechanism for displaying text that you don’t want extracted from the XML for translation at all.  This is nothing new of course and localisation engineers and experienced translators have been doing this for years.  In fact I’ve even written about this in the past providing a simple example of how it’s done and some reading resources for anyone who would like to learn how.  So why am I bringing this up again?

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AdaptiveMT was released with Studio 2017 introducing the ability for users to adapt the SDL Language Cloud machine translation with their own preferred style on the fly.  Potentially this is a really powerful feature since it means that over time you should be able to improve the results you see from your SDL Language Cloud machine translation and reduce the amount of post editing you have to do.  But in order to be able to release this potential you need to know a few things about getting started.  Once you get started you may also wonder what the analysis results are referring to when you see values appearing against the AdaptiveMT rows in your Studio analysis report.  So in this article I want to try and walk through the things you need to know from start to finish… quite a long article but I tried to cover the things I see people asking about so I hope it’s useful.

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