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Developing software for global device markets

Developing software for global device marketsIn Europe, medical equipment manufacturers are now faced with the need to localize the software used to run and program their devices. For larger companies like Siemens Healthcare or Medtronic, the new requirements have not really changed anything -- these companies have already been localizing software (although maybe they supported fewer languages).

It is smaller device manufacturers who bear the brunt of the new EU requirements. In these companies, application development was rarely designed, built, and tested with wide-ranging locale requirements in mind. As a result, there is often an expensive surprise waiting when it comes time to translate or simply support user data like complex character sets, sorting, and variable formatting.

Cultural differences in expressing things like dates and times, numerical units, postal addresses, phone numbers, and currencies represent a whole new level of difficulty. However, as seasoned software localizers know, when internationalization is performed effectively, software can be quickly leveraged for any worldwide market opportunity.

Adam Asnes of software-internationalization house Lingoport recently led two audio conferences to help medical device and other manufacturers get started with software internationalization.

Developing software for global markets provides a good overview of software internationalization issues. Best Practices for Software Internationalization gets into more details and provides hands-on, actionable advice to engineering and localization managers.

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