Today’s business world is changing faster than expected. There is an increasing demand for business to reach out to wider audience and geography to stay competitive. One of the primary requirement for any business application today is to be globalized. We need to understand what it means to be globalized for an application. Do we say it is globalized if we translate the messages in different languages? No, it has something more to it. A globalized software should not only have its messages translated in different languages, it should support multiple cultures and also have a user interface that is appropriate to that region.
When I say multicultural support an application should be able to process data appropriate to the geography. Different geographies use different time format, different currency format and even number format. One should also use the graphics on the user interface appropriate to the local culture.
WebSphere eXtended Transaction Runtime (WXTR) is a new addition to the IBM's portfolio of online transaction processing capabilities. It provides you a platform to write scalable and reliable business applications using composite languages. The most recent version of WXTR v2.1 which was announced June 2012 has support for C and COBOL languages along with Java.
To write a globalized application on WXTR, it is obvious that you have to translate your application messages and documentation but, how do you do multicultural support? There are some libraries available which are specifically meant for this. I have used the ICU (International Components for Unicode ) libraries for my multicultural requirements.
ICU is a mature, widely used set of C/C++ and Java libraries providing Unicode and Globalization support for software applications. ICU is widely portable and gives applications the same results on all platforms and between C/C++ and Java software. These libraries provide a comprehensive set of APIs for all your multicultural support requirements. Here is a link to ICU home page:
I'll provide more information about some of these APIs with examples in my next blog. Stay tuned.