Web app copy and translations - Making life easy for our customers

The challenge

One of the more tedious tasks during a project for both the client and the developer is adding and maintaining copy for the application. Some of the typical challenges are:

  • What structure should the translations/copy be in? (Word, Excel, JSON, CSV,…)
  • How can this structure be mapped back into the application?
  • Automating the process of importing the copy into the application

A typical developer would prefer if the customer delivers the copy in a technical format like JSON. But technical formats like this are hard to work with for translators and often results in confusion and mistakes.

Easy copy management in Confluence

The solution

At AppFoundry we always try to make the best possible experience for both our client and the development team. That’s why we think of unique solutions for problems like these; and make a tedious task like copy more enjoyable for everyone.

We use the collaboration tool Confluence by Atlasssian to allow the customer to fill in their copy in a nice re-usable template. Confluence has a familiar user experience to Microsoft Word, which makes it easy to use for most people. Writing the copy in Confluence also comes with all the other benefits of Confluence:

  • Fine-grained access control
  • Re-usable template structures
  • Version control

The version control allows us to easily rollback to a previous version or track down when a certain issue was introduced.

Now this is all easy and fun for the customer and translators, but how do the developers get the translations from Confluence into the application? Sure not by hand. We use an in-house developed tool to get the page data through the Confluence API and import this into the application. This means almost no work for the developer!

AppFoundry loves open source, and that’s why we also made this tool (and it’s source code) publicly available. The tool is available on NPM and the source code on GitHub.

How do I use this solution?

The tool can be installed through NPM with the command $ npm i -g confluence-i18n-importer.

Documentation how to use the tool can be found on the NPM page. Having a tool like this opens up a lot of possibilities, you could automate the process even further on a CI/CD pipeline.

I hope this quick blog article inspires someone to improve the experience for their customers like we do at AppFoundry!