BS SDL Language Cloud Connector

About SDL and the Language Cloud

SDL is one of the global leaders and innovators in language and content management solutions and services. Many translators in the market are using today the SDL Trados Studio as a local desktop environment. With the SDL Language Cloud, the long-awaited cloud-based management platform became available, which connects the translators on one side with the content producers on the other side.

Bringing together language services, translation management capabilities, neural machine translation, and SDL Trados Studio the SDL Language Cloud connects all parts of the translation process.

Actually one of the first Contentserv TMS connectors available on the market many years ago was the SDL Trados connector, which simply exported a Contentserv TMS job into a proprietary XML file. By down- and uploading such a file and exchanging it for example via E-Mail with a translator, a manual interface could be organized.

With the availability of the SDL Language Cloud now there is a better and fully automated way to close the loose process ends here.


XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format) is an XML-based format that was introduced to standardize the way localizable data are passed between tools during a localization process. All CAT (Computer Aided Translation) tools on the market at least know to import and export translation jobs in XLIFF files. For that reason, the Contentserv SDL Language Cloud connector also delivers an XLIFF writer and reader for Contentserv TMS jobs, to be able to communicate with any translator and translation tool without introducing further questions about the exchange format.

About the SDL Language Cloud Connector

The Contentserv TMS module allows collecting content for example from a PIM product into a translation job, from where TMS plugins can pick up the terms and exchange them with external translation management solutions.

Implemented as Business Solution Contentserv offers now a new integrated TMS connector plugin, that allows to

  • package the job terms into XLIFF files

  • send the files to the SDL Language Cloud REST API

  • create there an SDL translation project

  • bind the XLIFF files to this job

  • start the SDL translation process

  • pick up the translated XLIFF files

  • complete the SDL project

  • reimport the XLFF files back to the Contentserv job terms

  • reimport the job terms into the data source, e.g. the product

Installation and Setup

To use the SDL Language Cloud Connector first the license option has to be activated in the BS License settings:

Afterward, the REST API credentials can be provided in the BS SDL Language Cloud settings:

Once this is done the connector has to be added to the available connectors in the UI here:

Finally, the connector should show up in the Export Tab as an entry in the “Automatic Export” with any existing TMS job.

Integration in the Contentserv Translation Manager

As all the other Contentserv TMS connectors also the SDL Language Cloud connector hooks into the “Automatic Export” drop-down in the “Export” tab of TMS jobs:

The following options are available:





New state of the imported entries

Defines to which state the reimported terms should be set. This is the normal setting as with any other export plugin.

Project Option

The SDL Language Cloud allows defining multiple workflows. The “Project Option” drop-down lists these options and will be responsible for the procedure on the SDL side. This can be different for each customer. In our example we use the “Automated Workflow”, that automatically starts with the translation and uses the SDL Machine Translation for processing.


Allows communicating a job description to the translator.

Deadline Days

The number of days (excluding weekends) you will be ready to wait for the result.

These settings are sufficient to post the Contentserv TMS job into an SDL Language Cloud project.

Exporting Smart Documents as Context for Translators

For translators, it is always helpful to get any kind of contextual information about the content to be translated. Even a picture can be helpful to understand, what the content is about.

To create such contextual documents the Contentserv Smart Documents are the perfect fit. They can be generated automatically based on the metadata as PDF, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel Files.

Sending URLs to HTML documents is not recommended, as the URLs would require access to the Contentserv Web Server, which is often not possible for security and license reasons. The TMS connector packs such documents automatically as reference files and makes them available to the translators.

The following options allow to control the documents sent to the translator:





Attach Smart Documents

If and how to attach documents. Possible is to use a fixed Smart Preset or to read the Smart Preset out of an attribute of the product.

Smart Preset

If the option “With fixed Smart Preset” is selected, the preset can be selected here.

Smart Document Languages

For each selected language here a separate document is rendered.

Smart Document Class Filter

If any classes are selected here, then only products with such classes will be used to generate a Smart Document. For each product and language selected only one document will be rendered.

Using XLIFF as Translation Documents

All terms are packed into standardized XLIFF files and attached to the translation project as source files. For each target language one separate XLIFF file is created, to allow processing the translation tasks in parallel for different target languages.

The following file is a simple XLIFF file in version 1.2. Even though the file format could contain multiple file elements with different source-target language combinations, SDL recommends providing one physical XLIFF file for each target language.

The trans-unit elements keep the Contentserv term ID to be identified during the re-import.

Exporting the Contentserv Job to the SDL Language Cloud

As with most of the Contentserv TMS plugins, the export is actually executed when pressing the “Download” button in the toolbar. As this paradigm makes sense for a file-based connector, it is somewhat misleading in an API connected scenario. For that reason the button here got another icon, which corresponds more to “Upload to the Cloud”:

When clicking this button the job is packed into XLIFF files and a new SDL project is created:

This can take a while, as the following steps are executed:

  • Authentication to the REST API with OAUTH2.0

  • Creating the XLIFF documents

  • Creating the SDL Translation Project

  • Creating the Smart Documents requested

  • Uploading and attaching the documents to the translation project

  • Starting the workflow

So please be patient. Afterward, the TMS job is reloaded and looks like this:

Once the project is created the editor fields are write-protected. The following additional parameters are now visible and loaded each time the editor is loaded from the SDL Language Cloud, which also takes some time:





Project ID

The SDL Translation Project Identifier. Click on the blue text to see the project online.

Project State

The state of the project.

Source and Target Languages

Source and target languages of the project. Please note, that the “Project Option” limits the available language pairs.

Submitted Date

The timestamp of the submission

Due Date

The calculated date, when the project should be translated

Completed Date

Once the project is picked up this field will be set to the timestamp of retrieval.

Translation in the SDL Language Cloud UI

Once the SDL project is created it can be managed in the Web UI. The login would be

Here you can provide your login details or sign up for a new account:

Please connect with the SDL Language Cloud team to retrieve the API credentials. With our credentials there is a dashboard available, listing the projects to approve, in progress and for download:

When clicking on a project the source files can be downloaded by the translator:

Translators can also translate online in the Web UI:

Importing from the SDL Language Cloud back to the Contentserv Job

When the translator has finished the translation the project becomes available in the Contentserv Job Editor. This is indicated by the “Project State” as “For Download”:

Additionally, the toolbar now offers the “Cloud Download” icon:

Clicking on the button will now

  • download the translated project files

  • parse the XLIFF elements

  • write the trans-unit pairs back to the terms

  • and marks the project as “Completed”.

Importing from the SDL Language Cloud as a scheduled background job

To avoid users to wait for each and any TMS job and manually press the import button, the jobs can also be picked up as a background script. For this purpose the connector module also ships an Active Script Plugin called “BS SDL Language Cloud Import”:

Each time this Active Script runs, it will query all translation projects which are in the “For Download” state and picks them up automatically.

See the Video or download the PowerPoint

If you want to see and read more about the connector you could

In a nutshell

The following PDF gives a simple overview of the BS SDL Language Cloud Connector. This PDF can be used by Salespersons, Business Users, Marketing, etc.

Click here to