Our BingTranslate extension for Magento has hit a new version: Version 0.2.1. And while the number has only a minor increase, there is actually a great feature many were waiting for: Automated translation for products - not in the GUI yet, but in a script that is easily modiifed.
The name BingTranslate is actually a bit deprecated: Microsoft currently calls its translation service Microsoft Translator, but we decided to stick with the old name with our extension. Just like GoogleTranslate, the Microsoft Translator service allows you to translate text from one language into another automatically. And just like GoogleTranslate, the Microsoft Translator also has an API to integrate that service into your application. Using our BingTranslate extension, you can integrate it within your own Magento Admin Panel.
Version 0.2.1 of our extension brings some fixes (SSL-related), a cookie that allows you to bypass the token-generation if you are translating a lot in a short period of time, and a Product API. Especially the last feature might be of interest. While we already offered a Translator API that allows you to quickly translate text without worrying about the actual Microsoft API, translating products was still a bit of a hassle:
Say you have a Magento shop with 100 products with 10 translatable product-attributes (title, description, short_description, etcetera) within 10 different Store Views (English, German, French, etcetera). That's 10.000 texts that need to be translated. But to use the Magento API properly to automate this tasks requires quite some knowledge of in-depth Magento programming.
To make this easier, BingTranslate 0.2.1 introduces a Product API-class that allows you to translate a product automatically by only specifying a list of attributes and a list of Store Views as arguments to the API-call. Using that same method, you can also loop through a list of products (by using the Magento API for product-collections) and automate the entire process.
The next step is ofcourse to integrate this into some nice GUI: Product-collections could be displayed in an admin-grid and once you hit the button Translate, the magic starts. But that magic involves an AJAX-progress-bar, exception-handling, error-control, logging of which products have been translated and which not. It's a hell of a lot of work, and we have decided to make sure the basic APIs are solid and working first: That phase has now been completed. We'll keep you updated on our future plans.