Manually Editing Translations within Apex without Exporting and Importing XLIFF File

Everyone already knows that translating an application built with Apex involves the following steps:

  1. Map your primary language application to a translated application
  2. Seed and export the translation text of your application into an translation file (XLIFF file)
  3. Translate text identified in translation file
  4. Apply your translation file and publish

Joel Kallman referred to a less known feature in this context during his presentation last month – “Go Global with Oracle Application Express!”– at the ODTUG Conference in New Orleans. Since Apex version 2.2 it is possible to perform your translations even more rapidly, without the need to export and import the XLIFF file again.

Via Apex you can manually edit your translations within the repository. But, you still have to follow the same globalization process: mapping, seeding (without exporting the XLIFF file), translating and publishing (without applying the XLIFF file first).

So, to manually edit a translatable text, navigate to “Shared Components” > “Globalization” > “Translate Application” and follow these steps:

  1. Map your primary language application to a translated application.
    This 1st step is unchanged.
  2. Seed the translatable text (without exporting the XLIFF file).
    Click step 2. Choose your “Language Mapping” and press “Seed Translatable Text”. A message like “Translatable application 143 text seed complete for fr.” appears. Seeding is succeeded now. You may end this step because we don’t want to export an XLIFF file.
  3. Manually edit translation.
    From the “Translation Utilities” list (right on your page), choose “Manually Edit Translations”. The “Translatable Text” page appears. Within the search bar you can enter some search criteria.

    To edit translatable text, click the “Edit” icon; translate your text and press “Apply changes”.

  4. Publish the application (without applying the XLIFF file first).
    From the “Navigate” list (right on your page), choose “Publish Application”. Select the correct language mapping in “Create Application” and press “Publish Application”.


This is an alternative and quick manner to achieve translations after small application changes due to bug fixing or other small modifications.

Last remark : Suppose you do have an application to translate using the XLIFF file, then you can edit your XLIFF file either by using a simple text-editor, MS-Word or an XML Editor (XML Spy or JDeveloper)… To avoid the repetitive work with these editors you can always use our own free utility, the XLIFF Translator. Within this translator we provide a kind of a dictionary, so it will be possible to automate a part of the translation process for words/sentences that are repeatedly used. For more information read the blogs about the XLIFF Translator from January 2007 and February 2007.

XTra4o – Release 0.9.2 and Help

Last week we made our XLIFF-Translator for Oracle available to the public.

Based on the feedback we already received, we made some changes to the utility. See the About-tab in the application.

We also use this tool to try out some typical-issues-you-need in-every-application.

In XTra4o we implemented two different ways to provide Help to the user.

For every step we provide a visual-aid explaining where you are in the translation process.

For ‘experienced’ users it is possible to disable this help via the User Preferences.

A second way to provide Help is an on-demand approach with context-sensitive help. Clicking on the Help menu will open a dragable window, showing information of the current page.

This help text is fetched from a table which makes it possible to build a simple Apex screen on this table. Now a non-technical person can write the help text instead of a developer, which is always better …

Don’t hesitate to give it a try and provide us some feedback !

Apex: XTra4o

Yesterday we released our utility that helps in the translation process of an Apex Application. We gave it the name Xtra4o which stands for “XLIFF Translator for Oracle”.

XML Publisher (or BI Publisher) also uses XLIFF-files to translate their reports. One day, we hope to extend our tool so it will also be able to support the translations for XML Publisher Reports.

Within our company we already used this tool to translate different applications, but only for the languages English, Dutch and French. Therefore, we currently only provide a default dictionary for those languages.

If the tool will be used for other languages, we will be able, with your help, to extend our default dictionaries in the near future…