IBM Cloud Service Translates Apps Into 9 Languages

IBM announced the beta of its Globalization Pipeline, a new Bluemix service that translates apps into nine languages.

app translator

IBM this week announced a new cloud-based service that enables developers to automatically translate cloud and mobile apps into nine different languages.

The new service, IBM Globalization Pipeline, is now available in beta on IBM’s Bluemix Platform as a Service. Big Blue said the Globalization Pipeline will help to open up new global markets to companies without requiring them to rebuild or redeploy their applications.

The beta version will support English as the base language and nine additional languages including: French, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

IBM officials said consumers in today’s globalized, digital marketplace expect a user experience that can be easily tailored to their unique needs, including their preferred language. A 2014 survey by Common Sense Advisory of more than 3,000 consumers in 10 non-English speaking countries, spanning Europe, Asia, and South America, shows that 75 percent prefer to buy products in their native language. Sixty percent rarely or never buy from English-only Websites. For retailers and companies with consumer-facing apps, this service helps meet the criteria for expanding customer reach and loyalty in today's fastest growing markets—in which shoppers are increasingly turning to online and mobile experiences, IBM said.

"Globalization Pipeline accommodates both the enterprise application team that may already be translating but want to adapt their processes to their new cloud development environment, and app developers new to translation who want to get started without a large investment in understanding translation processes, securing vendors, or implementing new tools,” said Lisa McCabe, IBM's program director for Global Foundations Technology, in a blog post.

Key features of the new service include machine translation combined with human post-editing capabilities to ensure quality and consistency; support for a variety of app source file formats; and a set of open source SDKs to enable developers to update translations transparently without having to rebuild or deploy their apps.

The service also features plug-ins to IBM Delivery Pipeline and IBM UrbanCode Deploy to automate the push of new source content to the Globalization Pipeline service for translation.

By automating translation of all text seen by an app's user, Globalization Pipeline lets developer teams focus on core activities and avoid the time- and resource-intensive tasks traditionally associated with software translation, such as setting up translation processes, managing translation vendors, and rebuilding and redeploying apps whenever there is a translation update.

This is achieved by integrating quick and efficient app translation into continuous delivery DevOps processes. Continuous delivery is a collaborative, agile methodology that helps development teams to rapidly build and update applications.

In this video, IBM Chief Globalization Architect Dr. Steven Atkin demonstrates the use of the IBM Globalization Pipeline service.

Earlier this week, IBM released a new cloud tool that eliminates the need for users to share personal information with apps.

Big Blue's new Identity Mixer is a tool to protect a consumer's personally identifiable information. This technology also is accessible to developers on Bluemix.

IBM officials said Identity Mixer is based on years of cryptography research, and is key to helping to reduce identity theft happening as the result of sharing personal data on mobile and Web apps. Using algorithms, the tool enables developers to build apps that can authenticate users' identities without collecting personal data, otherwise known as a "zero-knowledge proof."

IBM Research scientists in the company’s Zurich lab developed the technology, which authenticates users by asking them to provide a public key. Each user has a single secret key, which corresponds with multiple public keys, or identities. Each transaction a user makes receives a different public key and leaves no privacy "breadcrumbs."