Hi, I’m Anna Buchanan and I am currently one half of QA Consulting’s Pega Technical Leads team. My role surrounds the growing and supporting of their Pega offering, as well as supporting Pega consultants in the field. In addition to this, I am also based on site as a Certified Senior System Architect and I am currently studying for my Lead System Architect qualification.Over the course of the coming months I will be updating you on the latest in Pega technology. Today’s topic is localisation.
Imagine you are working on a banking application for a client with offices all over the world. You may be working on an English version of this application, but it could be easier than you think to introduce the software to other countries. In this blog I’ll be talking about Pega’s localisation and translation abilities, to better inform you, and hopefully give you a chance to use it.
What is meant by “Localisation” ?
Localisation, in the case of out of the box Pega capabilities, means a few things: translation of text, time zones and incorporating local conventions. The translation of text is the most obvious one; this is simply putting the application into a new language, and we will talk more about this later. Setting a new timezone means making sure the calendar and any other time specific processing, is up to date with the local time. Local conventions is a bit more nuanced, this includes considerations on how are things presented in a locale, how do we sort in a language that doesn’t use the Latin alphabet, etc.
The Nitty Gritty
So what are the basics of implementing this? For the full details you should see Pega’s LSA course but I will go over some of the high level details here. For deciding which locale you want to use, you can set Pega to look at the local machine settings, the browser setting or the application setting. Which you use will depend on your use case, and it is possible to switch between locales in one session if needed.
There is a localisation wizard that will help guide you through a lot of the process for creating a new translation. You can incorporate a Pega provided language pack or provide your own, and what is produced is a translation XML file that you can open in Excel and tweak as required. You re-import this into Pega, and that gives your application its translation capabilities.
Utilising Language Packs and Making Your Own
Pega offers language packs for many languages, and these will translate out of the box UI around the case manager and case worker portals. It is widely recommended to build your applications using out of the box rules as far as possible rather than making your own, as the more your application has followed this convention in regards to UI, the more you will get out of a Pega language pack. For all your personalised UI, you will need to create your own language pack, which the wizard can help you to do.
What about Architecture?
Finally, how does this fit into your wider organisation architecture? Largely it depends on the scope of your translations. Let’s say in our organisation’s architecture, only one application is expected to go multi-national. It would make sense to build all of the localisation on top of the English version, for which you would need a separate Application/Ruleset for each language. But If your company is likely to need multi-national support across the organisation is makes more sense to create translation rulesets at each level of the architecture – one for your Organisation ruleset, one for each division etc. You can then utilise these rulesets in all applications for that language.
In conclusion, there are a lot of capabilities in Pega to help you implement applications in multiple languages. The tool is meant to give you as much as possible out of the box, as that is where its real value is, and the same goes for translation. The more you can get out of the translation packages the better, as translating custom UI strings is largely manual. Apart from the translation aspect, timezone features are relatively hassle free to implement, and having local conventions catered for greatly reduces our workload. Using all of this, we can consider making our applications multi-national and therefore getting the most out of them. This is a great option to have as many Pega clients are global vendors.