Multilingual System Design: (1)Overview

A lot of multinational companies and organizations in general have audiences around the world with different languages and cultures. These organizations have an increasing need to develop their information systems targeting these audiences with their own languages. Not only the interface but also the content of the system must match the audience language.

In this series I am suggesting a design for a multilingual system. This system has a multilingual content viewed in multilingual user interface. I used this design in many systems and was very useful. Especially when in case of medium to large systems. The systems done with this design are used in RTL and LTR orientation. But this model is design for windows application. I think it needs many modifications to fit to web based applications.

This design is designed in comply with Microsoft technologies. I tried to make it generic but when it gets specific it will tends to be Microsoftian. Because I made this design to be implemented with MS SQL and .NET technologies.

Let us start with a general overview on the system. The system is consisting of four layers:

  • Database Layer.
  • Data Access Layer
  • Logic Layer.
  • User Interface Layer.

The database layer deals with the multilingual content. Not only data structures but also the basic logic that manipulating the data. Data access layer is the layer used to retrieve data from database. Logic layer is the least layer that multilingual design affects but we will see that there are some modifications need to be done in this layer to be complied with the multilingual functionality. Finally the user interface layer is used to display the multilingual content but in a multilingual interface so the forms, messages…etc that used to view and take commands from user is also multilingual.

In the next post I will start with Data Layer ISA…


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