Members of the Organization for the Advancement of Structural Information Standards (OASIS) standards consortium have formed a technical committee to develop standards to automate the translation and localization process as a Web service. The effort brings together DataPower, IBM, the Localisation Research Centre, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and others in a collaboration that will use Web services as the backbone to a workflow linking the tasks that comprise a complex software localization project.

"Any publisher of content requiring translation should be able to automatically connect to and use the services of any translation vendor over the Internet without previous direct communication," said Peter Reynolds of Bowne Global Solutions, chair of the OASIS Translation Web Services Technical Committee. "Web services hold enormous potential for improving the way localization business is conducted, but first the industry must come together to agree on standards. With the support of many of the largest software vendors and localization experts worldwide, we are confident that we can build the consensus that's needed at OASIS."

The new OASIS Technical Committee will concentrate first on defining service types that are relevant to the software/content localization and translation industry. Their specification will drive the development of Web Services Definition Language (WSDL) documents that will ultimately be published in a Universal Description and Discover Integration (UDDI) registry and potentially also in an ebXML registry.

"The core of a localization Web service is the ability for publishers to submit content that requires translation, request quotes or other services from vendors, and for each party to understand what the other needs. To accomplish this, metadata must be used that is standardized and publicly available," explained Reinhard Schaler, director of the Localisation Research Centre (LRC) at Ireland's University of Limerick. "A key objective of the OASIS Translation Web Services Technical Committee will be to build the intelligence into the infrastructure by establishing a set of business process terminology that the software/content localization and translation industries will find comprehensive and complete."

The OASIS Translation Web Services Technical Committee joins another localization effort at OASIS – one that works to develop an XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF). The two groups plan to coordinate their efforts.

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