Enterprise Architect is used in almost every country in the world, and versions of the product are available in which the user interface and Help system are defined in one of several common natural languages. The model content is then written and read in the same natural language. However, now more than ever teams are engaged in distributed modeling, and collaborative development has become the norm in the business, technology, engineering and scientific communities. Much of this collaboration takes place across not only temporal and geographical boundaries, but also linguistic boundaries as the models are read, digested and augmented by groups of people who speak different natural languages.
Enterprise Architect (using a built-in Cloud integration service) provides a way for individual users to display a translation of the descriptions (notes) for various objects such as elements, operations and connectors. The mechanism uses a built-in and exemplar integration service layer to connect to remote translation services provided by Google and Microsoft. This means that a model developed in, say, Switzerland using German can be translated and viewed in Canada in English. A German modeler might define a Requirement element named 'Das System muss die ausgewählten Kanaleinstellungen anzeigen' and a Canadian modeler could translate and view that Requirement as 'The system must display the selected channel preferences'. Not only that, but either modeler is likely to have French-speaking colleagues who would prefer to translate the same Requirement into French as 'Le système doit afficher les préférences de canal sélectionnées'.
You can also record translations of element and operation names. Modeling can thus overcome not only temporal and geographic barriers, but linguistic barriers as well.
A Glossary facility also exists to override the translation of terms that are proprietary, such as product names, or in-house vernacular that should not be translated; this mechanism also provides specifically-defined translations of terms for which the translation services would not provide the best result. A user can also manually update translated notes, and when the original text is updated the edited translation will be flagged as potentially out-of-date.
Documentation can be generated to any selected language, providing a way of producing a software and portable model narrative accessible by almost anyone in the world - perfect for cross-linguistic teams that have contractual obligations to have formal documentation in a number of languages.
In brief, the facilities of the Enterprise Architect text translation feature include:
- An Integration plug-in that enables connections to internet translation facilities via Pro Cloud Server version 4.1 and above; available in the Corporate, Unified and Ultimate Editions of Enterprise Architect, for automatic translations
- A 'Translations' page of the 'Manage Model Options' dialog, through which you configure the mode of translation, the translator application, translation options and the languages from and to which to translate the text, for the model (if User Security is enabled, you require 'Manage Reference Data' permissions to do this)
- Separate tabs in the Notes window to enter and display the Notes text in the local (or primary) language and to enter or initiate translations of that text; the 'Translation' tab enables you to select from a range of languages and to force or automatically apply translation (if using an internet translator application)
- A manual translation facility that enables you to type, in the 'Translation' tab of the Notes window, translations of the Notes text displayed in the 'Local' tab; available in all editions of Enterprise Architect
- Notes text context menu options to flag specific instances of a term for customized translation or for protection from translation
- A tab of the Properties window for elements and operations to manually record the translated object name and alias in each of the selected languages
- Glossary model elements that you can use to either block translation of a term within a section of text, or ensure that it is translated to a specific text string
- An option in the 'Generate Document' dialog, 'Generate' tab to specify the language in which to generate the document
Configuring Automatic Translation
Automatic translation using an external translation service is configured as a Data Provider in the Integration Plug-ins facility of the Pro Cloud Server.
The procedures to configure Integration Plug-ins and to specify the Data Provider are fully documented in the Integration Plug-ins Install and Configure and Add/Edit Data Provider Help topics. However, this summary of steps puts the procedures in the context of the automatic translation service:
- Open the Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Config Client.
- Click on the 'Integration' tab.
- Click on the Add Data Provider window. to display the
- Tick the 'Enabled' checkbox.
- Give the service a name.
- Click on the drop-down arrow in the 'Provider' field and select 'Translator'.
- In the 'Custom Properties' panel, select a Translation Provider, such as Google or Microsoft.
You will then need to restart the Pro Cloud service. We suggest you reboot the machine. Then, when you open the selected repository, automatic translation should now be available.
Note that as this is using an external translation provider it might incur a cost on the data translated and might require setting up an account with the provider
The Properties Window Translation Tab
If you have enabled the Notes Translation facilities, and you are reviewing elements, connectors, attributes or operations, the Properties window has a 'Translation' tab containing two categories - 'Name' and 'Alias'. Each category has a field for each of the selected languages.
Simply click on each of these fields and type in the translation of the object's Name and/or Alias in the corresponding language. The languages are specified in the 'Manage Model Options' dialog for your model, by the model administrator.