We have released the first preview to our vendor portal API. The vendor portal API automates the flow of content between enterprises and translation vendors.

You might ask, why would I need a vendor portal API (and what is it)? It’s a novel concept, though not completely dissimilar to the APIs that translation companies offer to their clients.

What does the vendor portal API do?

A vendor portal API lets enterprises and translation companies create translation jobs from a content source. The job is pushed into a business management system, which can be integrated with other translation environments. APIs or middleware allow monitoring changes in your content sources and pushing all of that for translation.

Just think about a simple workflow, like translating your company’s social media posts coming from a certain feed. You can write a simple service that sends these posts to the BeLazy API, or you can use a third-party service such as Integromat or Zapier. The integration will make the post appear in the company’s system, and based on some internal rules, it is forwarded to the right translator the first approved translator to be available picks it up and translates it. 

Currently, it’s the project manager’s task to upload the translations into the right feeds.

Where do we want to take the vendor portal API?

Many translation companies have developed their own APIs to facilitate sending jobs to them. However, we are not aware of any API that is open to other translation companies. Most of these APIs lock their customers instead of fostering freedom of choice and automation.

Translation management systems also come with APIs, but these are not standardized, and if you switch systems, you need to re-develop the integrations. Some systems play well with vendors through an open API policy, but they may not be the right fit for your projects. Others may be great for the company, but difficult for your vendors to use.

Right now, we are creating an easy-to-use continuous localization workflow for enterprises that allows the use of a single API and connects to as many vendors as possible. Our goal is to take off the burden of having to develop recurring topics such as a dispatcher service from companies. We want you to be able to categorize your contents and decide your own business rules: what content goes into what languages, define deadlines and service levels (e.g. machine translation post-editing, transcreation or traditional translation and review), assign different combinations to different vendors and track all your vendors, even if they use different technologies, in one single dashboard.

What are the concepts of the vendor portal API?

The vendor portal API operates with two basic concepts that you need to understand. 

The first one is called a workspace, which is a collector for content that needs to be translated. To put it simply, it is a unit of localization where the same rules apply. One content source is usually one workspace, but if you have for instance a marketing website and also service announcements, you may decide to organize these into two different workspaces. The first workspace will use human translation, with a deadline of two days for updates, while the second workspace will always be immediately dispatched, sent for machine translation, published, then sent into post-editing and finalized on the website. You can use the API to create a workspace and upload files into it. Every file can be tagged with metadata the same way as you tag a Twitter feed, with hashtags.

The second is the project, which is where the translation jobs are. Here you can:

  • select the files for translations
  • select the non-translated content of the workspace
  • filter content by tags
  • specify project languages, deadline, and service
  • choose your translation vendor

What does the preview release of the vendor portal API do, and what is it good for?

The ultimate vision of our vendor portal API is to work for multivendor setups, dispatching to rationalize the spending on minimum fees. Our current solution can only connect into one BeLazy account and the API of that account needs to be used to set up the workspace.

The implementation allows for a fully automated translation workflow of your content. The current use case covers sending content into the translation vendor’s business management system, which in turn creates a fully automated translation project.

The main use case is to monitor content sitting in other systems and creating translation projects from content that has been updated or changed. There are other middleware systems that do the tracking for you. For example, our Integromat integration will allow you to add more content from systems like Trello or JIRA. And we also have an agreement on integration with CMS middleware provider Xillio, which will deliver CMS content into Plunet, XTRF, and all the other BMSes we support (don’t forget, with the projects API, it is possible to integrate BeLazy with any proprietary business management system). 

So basically we help streamline multilingual content workflows: we make content picked up by tools or program code appear in business management systems dedicated to translation activities. For translation companies, we enable new innovative continuous workflows. For enterprises, we prevent their content integrations from losing value even if they start to work with other translation companies or other translation management systems.

How will we move on?

Good services rely on data and information about real-life use cases. If you are currently experiencing a content integration challenge and would like to discuss it, let’s have a chat. We will discuss and analyze your current situation before we determine how to proceed towards the right solution.

Note: The API will be only in “preview mode” until we have a reasonable number of users, and we reserve the right to update the current version of the API after notifying the users, instead of publishing a new API version.

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