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XTM International Pushes the Promise of TMS in the Cloud
Posted by Benjamin B. Sargent on March 15, 2011  in the following blogs: Technology
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Last year we wrote about all the activity of vendors trying to bring TMS in the cloud to market, but progress has been slow. XTM International (previously XML-Intl) today announced general availability of its XTM Cloud platform based on the new release its translation management system (TMS), XTM version 5.5. The cloud-based system has been in “soft launch” since September 2010 and currently serves approximately 50 LSPs and enterprise clients, plus a similar number of freelance and small group accounts.

The SaaS offer can be a dedicated instance for very high volume customers but most will want to take advantage of the multitenant main cloud. In the multitenant version, all customers use the same application instance, but each gets unique databases for TM and terminology. The company’s main data center is located in Germany, but they now have a data center available in the U.S. and regional affiliates for U.S., China and Japan markets (AvantPage, Grand Strong Language, and InfoParse-ECMp respectively). The company will still offer on-premise installation on request; on-premise installs can run on Windows or Linux Servers and support Microsoft SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL and other databases.
  • High on standards. The company’s strong stance on standards means that any or all data can migrate to or from the system in TMX, TBX, SRX, XLIFF, GMVX, and so on. The system converts any and all submitted files to XML for processing, and then returns the work to the original file format in post-processing. PDFs can be scraped for text, which is then XMLified but returned as plain text. The filtering allows companies with heterogeneous demand (lots of file types) to process all work within the system. 
  • Custom integration to the cloud. Integration is available through documented APIs using SOAP-based web services, with access to all primary functions of XTM. Notably, the multitenant version also supports API connections for any customer. However, additional licensing and support is required. 
  • Retail translation sales. One attractive add-on for LSPs is the XTM Portal function, which embeds in the customer website allowing pay-by-the-drink translation sales – any visitor to the LSP’ website can submit translation requests and pay by credit card. 
  • Translator performance boost. XTM Cloud and 5.5 also close performance gaps identified in earlier versions. In particular, translators can now opt to load up to 500 segments per screen. AJAX shuttles completed and next segments back forth in real time, eliminating prolonged latency in collaborative translation scenarios. Further improvements in performance and usability are planned for 2011. 
In theory, one benefit of cloud-based TMS is a fast-start (measured in minutes or hours) for companies in a hurry, and easy escape (download data, say good-bye) later if conditions change. XTM Cloud lives up to most of this promise. The self-provisioning feature on the XTM International website provides immediate access to ad hoc users looking for an instant solution.


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Keywords: Multilingual content technologies, Terminology management, Translation management systems, Translation memory, Translation productivity, Translation technologies, Translation workflow

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