Automatic translation of SharePoint pages with Azure

Many companies have an Intranet and an Extranet in SharePoint Online, open to customers, suppliers and, of course, their own employees. Most of these companies sell in several countries, buy from a wide variety of suppliers and their employees are from different countries and nationalities.

What if we want to communicate with all of them in a clear and direct way? Better to do it in our own language, right?

This is where the buts come:

But:

  • Do I need to create content in all languages?
  • Will I need translators for all of them?
  • How can I ensure that the content is published in all languages ​​at the same time?

These are some of the questions asked by many companies that need to offer their content in multiple languages. Perhaps, a priori, the solution may seem trivial, and the answer is usually Solomonic: “We will communicate in Spanish (or in our language) and in English.”

What if there was an automated solution that would allow us to automatically translate all the content we want?

This is the solution that we have developed from Itequia: automatic translation of SharePoint Online content through the use of Azure functionalities. Azure and SharePoint Online automate multilingual translation, enhancing connections with stakeholders.

Automatic translation of Sharepoint with Azure

Microsoft SharePoint Online allows us to configure our site in different languages ​​without needing additional add-ons. This is what we call multi-language.

We just have to configure our site to indicate which languages ​​will be available and who will be the people in charge of the translation of that content that we are generating.

SharePoint Online enables easy creation of multilingual pages after the main language page. These new pages are copies of the original page, waiting for their translation by the people indicated in the multi-language configuration.

From Itequia we set out to go further, therefore, we decided to extend this functionality. Translators review auto-generated page translations, thanks to Azure microservice.

What resources do we need from Azure?

Broadly speaking, only 3 Azure resources are necessary to be able to quickly carry out automatic translation:

  1. Connection to the Microsoft Cognitive Services Translator service, a service included in our Azure subscription, which will allow us to translate:
    • To and from more than 100 languages
    • Customizable
    • Safe
  2. Application of functions that will contain the function in charge of receiving the content of the page, making the call to the Translator service and inserting the translation into the destination page, already translated.
  3. Logic application, through which the creation of a translated page is automatically detected in SharePoint Online and is responsible for calling the above function to translate it.

The process is as follows:

Once we have created this microservice, the creation and translation of the page will be practically simultaneous; pending, if we wish, the revision of the translation by the persons indicated in the multi-language configuration.

What is the result of the automatic translation?

Frequently asked questions | FAQ

Pricing

My company already uses various Azure services, what is the cost of using this configuration?

Pricing for Azure elements depends on our usage, unlikely to exceed our subscription’s maximum.

Source language

Am I limited to the source language of my content being unique or can I choose it freely?

Microsoft Translator detects source language, translates to target languages.

Format

Most companies tend to create content with a very specific format and style, based on their style guide. Will the translation keep the original format?

The answer is yes.

Microsoft Translator preserves the format of our text, whether it’s in plain or HTML format, in the translation results.

Programming language

Another important question is, in what language can I implement this new function?

The type of function used is the Azure HTTP trigger, this will allow us to implement the function in various languages, from PowerShell to C # through Javascript.

So far our solution developed for the automatic translation of SharePoint Online content through the use of Azure functionalities, an automated solution that with very little effort and minimal cost, will allow our company to automatically translate the content of our Intranet / Extranet, into as many languages ​​as we want, helping us to get closer to our customers, suppliers and employees.

Oriol Fernandez Moreno – Software Developer at Itequia