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  • Von: DOAG Online
  • 07/18/2018

How does the Localization of Business Applications work?

Software localization is much more than simply translating the application's user interface. The actual work already starts much sooner during the coding process. Which difficulties may occur, and what are the requirements for developers? ORAWORLD provides you with some insights into how Oracle prepares their software for usage all over the world.

This article first appeared in the bimonthly ORAWORLD e-magazine, an EOUC publication with exciting stories from the Oracle world, technological background articles and insights into other user groups worldwide.

 

The localization work even starts at code level to remove obstacles for international usage. From scratch, the code is designed to support various languages. This is also the case, for example, for Oracle Database 12c. During the coding process, in the locations in which text will be output, variables are used instead of character strings. By doing this, the code is already prepared for a clearly arranged localization.

The ISO standard Unicode is also used frequently. Unicode allows displaying all languages of the world in a single character set. This makes it much easier to use linguistically different characters in the same document, for example Chinese, Arabic, and English. Further adjustments to local regions affect date, time, and measuring units, that vary from country to country. The application's user interface must also be flexible: English texts are often shorter than German texts, and in some languages, the writing direction is from right to left.

Special Requirements in the Financial Sector and for Authorities

Currencies and regulations of finance and tax authorities play an important role when it comes to business software. Software for financial management or authorities must therefore be customized very precisely to local laws and tax regulations. A software vendor cannot allow any conversion errors of currencies. The finance software JD Edwards, for example, is offered by Oracle in more than 30 countries and over 20 languages, including Arabic and Chinese.

However, users cannot always be satisfied. That is because perfectly customizing business apps for all countries with all their peculiarities is an incredibly complex process. This also means that a customer frequently requires additional software. What is common in the countries, is additionally offered as best practice solution or consulting solution. This is not an easy task for software manufacturers and not always an ideal situation for local communities. However, internationalization is preferably already a fundamental step in the design process of a program.