Smart Projects and the need for flexibility

francois.massion 3 years ago in Home Portal / Smart Projects updated by Sancho Leath 3 years ago 7

I would like to know the opinion of others re. a discussion we are having with the XTRF developpers. There is a great idea behind Smart projects: Standardization of processes, control of the production steps, automation, data and reports.

The price seems to be a loss of flexibility and no direct access to the files which is a major issue for our company, because we regularly encounter the following issues:

  • we just wand to look at the processed files 
  • we use the processed files for various operations on the content (e.g. analyses, extraction of terms, correcting minor errors)
  • people using the files (outside standard tasks such as translation or QA) can be internal, external, registered in XTRF or not. They can work in parallel processes (e.g. extracting information while the translator translates)
  • The tools used can be everything on the market + macros and scripts
  • The operations on the files can be standard or very individual (one-off issues).

For all these reasons we feel we would lose our flexibility if we are forced by Smart projects to upload and download everything and to squeeze all actions into a task or a procedure. We want to standardize what makes sense, but at the same time access the files on our file server and be able to do some action without up- and downloading the files every time or calling-up an XTRF script.

Are we the only ones with this requirement? Can the others process all their jobs via standard tasks? Our understanding is that sooner or later the Classic projects will be phased out and only the Smart projects will remain.

Hi, for us it is a logical file flow that is included in smart projects. For our use the heavy lifting is done by memoQ.

Your case it sounds like a complex requirement. Allowing access to files to users not known by Xtrf makes it quite difficult for Xtrf to know in what phase the file is in.

What exactly do you mean by: We just want to look at the processed files?

Look at the processed files: Potentially different types of people may want to look at what happened to the files after or during a specific productiion task: managers, project managers, sales people, IT people etc.. As an example, sometimes I look at files to see if the quality assurance was performed correctly or to extract specific content or patterns for a discussion with customers or translators. Others may want to test a macro or a script and are looking for good samples. Or someone wants to extract context sentences to add to a terminology database etc.. There are plenty of resons.

We have the same issues, we like to work with the files on our computer in a simple explorer, but we do also want to have the benefits of Smart Projects. 
We have created some custom automation where we create a folder on OneDrive when a quote is created. The files in the quote are downloaded instantly. After preprocessing the files we start a process step which downloads the preprocessed files from OneDrive and uploads them in XTRF. Same counts for when the files are translated by the translators for when post editing is needed.

Interesting solution. How does it work when (at a later point in time) you receive additional or revised files for your project after you have started the process step which uploads the files back to XTRF?

There are multiple workarounds for that, we haven't included it because it doesn't happen frequently. But in my opinion we would just restart such process step which let's it download/upload the files again.

As for Classic Project being phased out - I believe Lukasz recently said that there would be ongoing development on both Classic Projects & Smart Projects. That does make sense because I believe that while Smart Projects has potential, it is currently nowhere near offering the features that Classic Projects has, and that we, for instance, require (Memsource integration, to name just one).

I think Dennis' solution sounds very nice.

In our case, we are willing to pay the price (loss in flexibility) because standardizing work processes and file management is of greater importance to us, as it allows for easier substitution and straightforward task/project delegation within the team as well as growing the organization and teaching new employees standard procedures. Currently, Smart Projects still has quite a few major disadvantages compared with Classic, but the promise is that Smart Projects will catch up soon enough.