Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Shout-out for Oracle Cloud and Fusion Apps Multilingual Support: Pseudo-translation Explained

Ever heard the acronym "MLS" used in the context of Oracle E-Business Suite, Fusion or Cloud Service applications, and wondered what it meant? It stands for Multilingual Support. The Fusion Applications Developer Relations blog has the architecture details and is worth a read.

The business significance of MLS, along with the applications' translations known as National Language Support (or NLS) versions, and the localizations support required for doing business in different countries and regions, is that Oracle customers can run applications in different ways to suit their business requirements.

MLS architecture provides for such requirements common in the business world as when a multi-national customer needs the same application to support a wide variety of national languages, countries or regions globally, or where a customer needs an application user interface in one national language (the language of business, English for example) but to needs enter, store, view, and publish data in other national languages. The applications can be patched easily and safely (see how the tables separate logic from translatable strings) too. You can read more about the subject in my blog on the Oracle E-Business Suite features and capabilities for global user experience.

Those "Ω'+++ '+++ '+Ø" characters you can see in the table in the developer relations blog are, in fact, the ends of what we call pseudo-translated strings. This technique of automatically padding, or adding extra, or special characters to source strings ones is used in development environments to simulate what happens when an application is translated and deployed globally.

Pseudo-translated strings simulate text expansion (strings usually get longer than the source U.S. English ones by varying lengths) and that nothing gets truncated or misplaced in the UI, are a check for multi-byte (now Unicode) character set support, bi-directionality (or Bi-Di) enablement (for Arabic and Hebrew languages, for example), and are used to detect hard-coded source strings that cannot be accessed by the translation tool (in other words, will be left in English).

The pseudo-translated version of the application must be tested in a suitable environment with realistic data by development teams and tools. If something breaks in the environment during this functional testing then it can be fixed before translation, rather than finding out the hard way, after implementation. Oracle applications uses pseudo-translation simulations for Latin character-based languages, Asian-based characters, and for Bi-Di ones too.

You can find out the basics of making internationalized and easily translatable enterprise applications that meet the needs of local workers and global businesses, and about using best practices such as pseudo-translation and more, in my SlideShare presentation delivered at the Action Week for Global Information Sharing at the Localisation Research Centre in Ireland, a few years ago. 


Sunday Oct 13, 2013

Oracle Fusion Applications Simplified UI Translated (NLS) Versions Release 7

Oracle Fusion Applications 11G Release 7 has been released. The translated versions now available (with language and and region codes) are as follows:

1. Arabic (ar / AR) 

2. Chinese (Simplified) (zh_CN / ZHS) 

3. Chinese (Traditional) (zh_TW / ZHT) 

4. Czech (cs / CS) 

5. Danish (da / DK)

6. Dutch (nl / NL) 

7. Finnish (fi / SF) 

8. French (fr / F) 

9. French (Canadian) (fr_CA / FRC) 

10. German (de / D) 

11. Hebrew (iw / IW) 

12. Hungarian (hu / HU) 

13. Italian (it / I) 

14. Japanese (ja / JA) 

15. Korean (ko / KO) 

16. Norwegian (no / N) 

17. Polish (pl / PL) 

18. Portuguese (Brazilian) (pt_BR / PTB) 

19. Russian (ru / RU) 

20. Spanish (es / E) 

21. Swedish (sv / S) 

22. Turkish (tr / TR) 

For more information on the NLS versions, check out the Oracle Fusion Applications NLS Release Notes, 11g Release 7 (11.1.7) (Doc ID 1582373.1) on My Oracle Support.

Release 7 is the release that contains the Simplified UI and a lot more too

Wednesday Nov 07, 2012

Fujitsu Raku-Raku SmartPhone: Japanese Digital Seniors UX Insight from @debralilley

Super blog posting on the super-important subject of digital inclusion by Oracle partner Fujitsu appstech maven and Oracle Applications User Experience FXA-er and ACE Director Debra Lilley (@debralilley).

Debra tells us how Fujitsu is enabling digital inclusion for older mobile users in Japan with their  Raku-Raku (らくらくホン) smart phone: Fujitsu Raku-Raku - My UX Homework (Raku-Raku means easy or comfortable in Japanese). There are UX mobile, social media, and methodology takeaways for us in Debra's blog.

Fujitsu Raku-Raku Smartphone Demo 

I encourage you to read what Debra found out. She also makes reference to a tailored social media experience for those digital seniors (デジタルシニア) as they'd be called in Japan (UK and Ireland uses the term silver surfers). You can find that online community website here.

Raku-Raku community Japanese Raku-Raku community English
Online Community Site for Fujitsu Raku-Raku Smartphone Digital Seniors (English translation via Google Translate)

It's an important reminder that UX is global sure, but also that worldwide accessibility and digital inclusion are priority components for UX. It's vital that we understand  broad societal aspects of technology adoption and how the requirements of different categories of technology users can be met in the enterprise too.

Oracle is committed to providing the best possible user experience for enterprise users of all ages and abilities. That means talking with all sorts of users worldwide and understanding how and why they want to use our technology and what their context of use is. Such users are now heavily influenced by the ICT usability experience in their personal lives too. You can read more about Oracle's accessibility program on our corporate website.

Proud to say I prompted a few questions in Japan all the way from Ireland. So, UX is not only global but you can drive UX research globally too without ever leaving home!

Brilliant job, Debra. Here's to more such joint research creativity and UX collaboration worldwide between us. Wondering where we might go next? And what a fun way to do things too.

About

Oracle applications global user experience (UX): Culture, localization, internationalization, language, personalization, more. For globally-savvy UX people, so that it all fits together for Oracle's worldwide customers.

Audience: Enterprise applications translation and localization topics for the user experience professional (designers, engineers, developers, researchers)!
Profile

Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @localization

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