The SDL Tridion World Server connector bridges the world of Content Management and Translation Management. Providing an easy to use interface that allows the author to directly send items for translation and review the translation process brings a boost in productivity and efficiency to multi-lingual websites. In addition, it eliminates the overhead of creating and assigning tickets internally as the content items enter into workflow without any additional work. Recently I had the opportunity to implement the SDL World Server connector and was impressed with the tight integration between the two platforms. In this article I will discuss installing, configuring and using the World Server connector. I will not go into any advanced topics such as using the Event System with World Server.
Tridion’s strength is the management of content across languages and sites using the BluePrint technology built into the core of the product. SDL bought Tridion in 2007 and integrated Tridion into its’ suite of translation products, introducing a Tridion connector for both World Server and the Translation Management Server. These products were made for each other – and putting them together feels like it was always meant to be.
Using the Tridion WorldServer Connector
Starting the Translation is as simple as right-clicking the content item and selecting Translate. This creates a new Translation Job.
Creating a Translation Job
Adding another item to the translation job is easy
The translation job ends up in the ‘Translation Jobs’ section of the ‘Shortcuts’ menu.
We send the translation job out from the Translation Jobs menu.
Or the Ribbon
Once it has been accepted and started, we can track the progress from within the Tridion CMS. The listview has a % Complete column and opening a translation job shows which step of the workflow it is in. This is an amazing feature that allows our content managers can keep an overview of exactly where items are at in translation directly from Tridion – no need to go into SDL or other interfaces. Finally, when content is translated and received back a Publication-configured email address is mailed that the item is back from translation.
Installing the World Server Connector
Installing the World Server connector involves 3 steps. The CMS will store the translation jobs in a new database and use a Web Service to communicate with the World Server instance.
1. Create the Translation Manager Server Database using the Tridion Database Manager tool
2. Run the World Server Connector Install Wizard. Next, go to SDL Tridion World and download the World Server hotfix rollup. If you are using secure sessions in World Server you’ll need an additional hotfix from SDL to enable Tridion to talk to the secure connection on World Server.
3. Create a repository in World Server and configure World Server for Tridion.
There are special permissions that the World Server user is required to have and these are documented in the Tridion Live Documentation site. In addition to user permissions there are some specific settings the World Server Administrator must configure to have Tridion able to send translation jobs.
4. Validating configuration and testing – Open the Publication Langauge Parent and tell it to connect to World Server. This will use the settings in the configuration file and attempt to connect to World Server. It will take a few minutes – but if it does not connect the ‘loading’ message will stay on the screen. This likely means that the configuration is not valid. Best to look at the configuration file and remote into your CMS and confirm that you can access the World Server URL from the CMS. Also, you can run Fiddler on the CMS to see which ports the Tridion Web Service is using to talk with World Server. Once connected configure the Parent Publication to the World Server equivalent. Now, open a Child Publication and do the same, pointing to the World Server repository for the child language.
The World Server Connector is the ‘holy grail’ for large companies with multi-lingual websites. Being able to send content for translation directly from the GUI and then leverage your existing Translation Network and Workflow is extremely efficient and time-saving. The installation is fairly quick and with your local World Server administrator you should have it up and running without too much effort. The World Server configuration is very specific and needs to be carefully setup according to SDL’s requirements. I hope this article gives you an idea of how this works.