GlobalSight was one of the first translation management systems (TMSes), debuting in 1998 (see "The Attack of the TMS Patents," Dec11). It was acquired by an Irish language service provider (LSP), Transware, in 2005, following a byzantine refinancing scheme by the two companies' backers. Shortly after Welocalize purchased Transware in 2008, GlobalSight was made open source. Fast-forward to May 2011, when GlobalSight.com had nearly 5,300 subscribers to the site and a total of 18,000 downloads.
That level of user interest putatively makes GlobalSight one of the most deployed TMSes in the market. However, from day one we've been watching for active participation in the open-source effort by developers other than Welocalize (number 18 on our list of top 50 global suppliers). Welocalize dedicated resources to renovating and updating GlobalSight, initially by replacing commercial components such as Oracle with open-source equivalents like MySQL (now owned by Oracle). Development on GlobalSight by other commercial entities and academics would prove that the open-source model was succeeding.
In September, GlobalSight 8.2 was announced with support for SDL Passolo, allowing users of that visual localization engineering tool to import language project (LPU) files into GlobalSight as source files. Previously, users localizing software such as dynamic link libraries (DLLs) had to work outside the mainstream of documentation and externalized code that could be processed through a TMS. With this integration, DLL content is presented in the same context as HTML and Word files, so localizers can get the benefit of shared translation memories and terminology databases as do translators. Welocalize's Derek Coffey told us that a future release, 8.4, in the second quarter of 2012 will be able to import DLLs directly into GlobalSight, further simplifying the process.
More immediately, the planned January release of version 8.3 will introduce the smart box, a client-side service that will allow for easier connection to remote software such as content management systems (CMS). For example, it will expedite file transfers between GlobalSight and the clients CMS and add single-screen project creation.
Support for Passolo will hopefully grease the skids for more such integrations by competitors and third-party providers, thus affirming GlobalSights open-source credentials. Elsewhere, Welocalize continues to invest in interoperability, segueing from its work with LISA on standards to GALA (see "Language Industry Standards as a Driver for Growth," Sep11). As our most recent report on the TMS universe shows, there is no single tool on the market that covers every single feature and function area (see "How to Select a Translation Management System," Nov11). However, with these updates, GlobalSight stands to boost its score in the area of interoperability. Will competing TMSes follow suit? We'll stand by to find out.