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Localization is the process of adapting an app for a specific region, called the locale, or for a specific language. AppStudio apps support localization for most languages, including East Asian languages such as Japanese and Chinese. Support includes data source plug-ins that read and write localized backend data, while application users can read and write localized data on supported device platforms.
This document contains the following sections:
The process of localizing an app can be broken into several parts, including the following:
- Supporting server-side data
- Formatting client-side data
- Translating app-specific strings
- Translating AppStudio built-in strings
Supporting server-side data
AppStudio mobility platform supports localized data being sent down from a back-end data source or being sent up from the client. A back-end data source can determine the locale of the client app, and send down data appropriate for that locale.
Formatting client-side data
Each locale can use a different representation for the same numeric data or for the same date and time value. On the client side, your app must be able to display numeric data and dates and time values in a format compatible with the language or locale of the app user. For example, in the United States, the date January 2, 2003 can be displayed as 1/02/2003. However, in Germany, that date should be displayed as 2.01.2003. The same is true for numeric data. Some locales use a comma as the thousands separator in a numeric value, while others use a period.
AppStudio contains a set of predefined data formats that you can use to control the display of data displayed by the Date Field and Text Box controls. For example, you can select the
Short Date(1/2/03) or the
Long Time(11:05:07 PM EST) formats. When the app displays the value in the control, the app automatically displays it in the format compatible with the app user's locale. For more information, see Predefined Numeric and Date Formats.
You can also define your own custom numeric and date formats. AppStudio supports the ASP .NET syntax for numeric and date formats. For more information, see Custom Numeric and Date Formatting.
Translating app-specific strings
When you build an app, you add labels to Button controls, titles to screens and views, text for menu items, and many other types of text strings specific to the app that are then displayed to the app user. App string translation is the process of translating these text strings into different languages.
For example, your app might support both French and English. For all text strings displayed to the user, you define them in both French and English. The app then automatically displays the appropriate text string based on the locale of the app user.
AppStudio lets you create text string translations for single-byte languages, such as French and German, but does not support translation for double-byte languages, such as Japanese and Chinese. For more information, see Locale Definitions.
Translating AppStudio built-in strings
The AppStudio platform contains many built-in strings, such as error and warning messages, that can appear to the app user. To fully localize your app, you want to use translated versions of these built-in strings. AppStudio supplies translations of built-in strings for the following languages:
- English US
- English UK
- Simplified Chinese
The translated built-in strings appear automatically in the app based on the locale of the client.
If you require translations of the built-in strings for any language other than those listed above, please contact AppStudio support by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified and supported languages
The AppStudio enterprise mobility platform lets you build apps for most of the languages, and regional variations of those languages, supported by ASP .NET.
AppStudio defines a language as either certified or supported. Certification means that AppStudio has completely tested the language as part of the release of the AppStudio enterprise mobility platform. AppStudio certifies the following languages and their regional variants:
- American English
- British English
- Simplified Chinese
A supported language is any other language supported by ASP .NET. Supported languages are not tested as thoroughly as a certified language.
Determining the locale of a device
At app startup, a device sends its locale information up to the AppServer. The AppServer then uses this information to control the data that it sends down to the app. If the device sends up a locale that is not supported by the AppStudio enterprise mobility platform, the app uses the locale of the AppServer.
In the app, use the
#CLIENTLOCALEID# macro to obtain the locale of the client. The app can then perform action based on the current locale. Or, the app can pass the locale up to a back-end data source to obtain information specific to the locale. For more information on the
#CLIENTLOCALEID# macro, see Macro Reference.
Configuration database requirements for localization support
To support localization across multiple locales, your Microsoft SQL Server installation (2005, 2008, and 2012) that hosts the configuration database must be binary collated, such as SQL_Latin1_General_CS_AS.
Binary collation means that text is case sensitive and allows an application to differentiate values such as the labels Zip code and Zip Code. Binary collation also makes AppStudio user names case sensitive.
For more information about installing the configuration database, see Installing the Configuration Database.