memoQ content connector is an automation tool for translation companies as well as small and large enterprises. It works together with memoQ server – the translation management product from memoQ Ltd. –, and relieves project managers of most mechanical chores. In addition, the memoQ content connector reduces errors in running translation projects, and makes your organization much faster to respond to content changes.
Everything is automatic except for translation
The memoQ content connector is most useful when you have translation projects that contain a large number of documents, and the documents can frequently change while the project is running. Together with memoQ server, here is how the memoQ content connector processes a translation project:
- Your client – the end-user of the translation – loads the source documents in a file folder (using FTP or a file-sharing solution such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive)
- The memoQ content connector watches this file folder, and when the contents change - new documents are added, or existing ones are modified or removed –, it notifies memoQ server.
- memoQ server imports the new materials, pre-translates and analyzes them, then assigns them to translators, possibly also to reviewers – and ideally, this is completely automatic.
Use project templates: You can fully automate this process if you set up a project template to work with the Content connector.
- Translators and reviewers complete their tasks and deliver the documents that were assigned to them.
- memoQ server picks up the finished documents, and sends them to the memoQ content connector.
- The memoQ content connector places the finished documents in the appropriate file folder, so that the client – the end-user of the translation – can pick them up.
- In the graphic below, blue blocks indicate human steps; actions marked with green are done by the content connector; and the role of memoQ server is shown in orange.
If your organization is a translation company, you need to access a folder that your client sets up. There are two options to arrange this. You need to agree on the setup with your client before you configure the memoQ content connector and memoQ server:
- Your client places the contents in a shared folder – either they upload the documents by FTP, or they share the folder through a cloud storage system such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. In this case, there will be a copy of this folder on your system, too. Whatever your client copies in the folder, it will appear on your end – and whatever you place in that folder, it will be copied to the client. You can then set up the memoQ content connector on your own system to watch this folder – and then the file sharing system will take care of part of the automation. In fact, it's the memoQ content connector that will place items in the folder on your behalf. This is the more reliable solution because the memoQ content connector and memoQ server can run on the same computer.
- The folder is on a system that is run by your client. In this case, the content connector can also be set up on the client's system – because memoQ server can access the memoQ content connector over the Internet, too. However, this is the less preferred solution.
If your organization is an enterprise – for example, a software maker – that caters for its own translation needs, the setup will be easier. Both the translatable content and memoQ server will be on your end. There is no need to arrange the transfer of documents from one end to another. The memoQ content connector and memoQ server will definitely run on the same computer.
If your organization is a software maker (or has a similar activity), you can use the Git and Subversion connectors to get translatable content from your repositories. For other version control systems, there will be a different challenge: you need additional software to get the contents out of the system – in the form of files, and into a folder – and put the translated contents back into it. This can be either the automated file export/import feature of your content management system (if it has one), or a custom-developed module – also called a middleware module – that will get files out of the system to a folder, and will put them back.
Not file folder, Git, or Subversion? You may need to create a custom module to work with the API of memoQ server.
Do you rather need a direct connection with your client for individual projects? You may need to use the Customer Portal, not the Content connector.
The memoQ content connector synchronizes two places: the document source and one or more project(s) on a memoQ server.
The most important task of the memoQ content connector is to watch for changes in the document source, and let memoQ server know when there are any changes.
There are two methods to do that:
- Poll: A passive or poll connection means that the content connector does not reach out to memoQ server. Instead, memoQ server asks the content connector periodically (say, once every hour) if there are any changes, and if there are, it is memoQ server that downloads new and changed documents. By default, both the content connector and memoQ server work this way.
- Push: An active or push connection means that the content connector sends a message to memoQ server every time there is a change in the document source. When memoQ server receives this message, it will call back to the content connector, and – again – download new and changed documents.
- In a single content connector, you can set up several different connections to several different content sources. For every connection, you can choose to use poll or push.
There are limits: Some connection sources, such as Git or SubVersion, cannot use the Push method.
The memoQ content connector contains logic to communicate with specific content sources. memoQ server interacts with the memoQ content connector to retrieve source-language text. Through the content connector, memoQ server can also send back finished translations to the content source. memoQ server will always use the same logic to interact with the content connector, regardless of the nature of the actual content source. In other words, the memoQ content connector hides the technical specifics of the content source from memoQ.
In memoQ server, you set up content-connected projects to work with the content source. When you set up a content-connected project, you choose a specific content connection using a particular content source. The content source is essentially a folder (or another type of container) in the content provider, containing items of source-language text. When a content-connected project is created, memoQ automatically picks up new and updated items in the content source. If there are new items in the content source, they are automatically added to the content-connected memoQ project. If some items are changed, the updated items are re-imported in memoQ, and pre-translated with translation that might already be written for the previous version of the same document.
Always use templates in memoQ server: To fully automate the processing of source text, always create content-connected projects from project templates. In template-based projects, you can set up automated actions.
In the content connector, you specify content connections. A content connection more or less corresponds to a project, and specifies the following:
- Folder (or another type of container) where the source-language items are stored;
- Source language and target languages for the translation;
- Types of documents to import from the content source. The content connection can use memoQ import configurations;
- Path to the folder (or another type of container) where the finished translations are saved.
In memoQ, content connections correspond to a translation project. However, you can create several projects from one single connection
Template wins over content source: In a content source, you can set up document filter configurations for the various different documents in the source folders. However, if the template also contains filter configurations, memoQ will use the ones from the template, and not from the content connector.
Next step: Plan the Content connector installation