Google Sheets as a localization tool for app development


As part of making our internal development more efficient, we've been thinking about how we can redesign some of the operations that developers have to do on an ongoing basis by automating them or redesigning them so that non-developers can do it themselves.
We came up with the idea of taking the texts used in our self-care application MyServices (customer portal), and moving them into a user-friendly tool that anyone can manage.

After some research on existing tools, we came across Lokalise - the multilingual and multi-platform product that reduces manual localization. Secondly, we encountered Poedit - a tool for translation of apps & sites with gettext and XLIFF. As none of the tools mentioned above didn't fully offer what we were looking for nor suited our dedicated budget, we agreed on an internal solution.

We concluded that we would use Google's App Script - a cloud-based JavaScript platform that lets you integrate with and automate tasks across Google products - and Google Sheets. Both of them are free for Google Workspace users. By entering variables into the application code, Google Sheet for the chosen languages assigns text and writes it into the code. Which allows us to rewrite the text in MyServices with a click of one button. Simple as that!

Now copywriting and proofreading can be taken care of by anyone. This brings a tremendous advantage to our Marketing team, allowing it to edit without going through a lengthy development process. A small change in our internal process speeded things up and saved hours. Returning the initial investment in saved time and money.

If you are interested in using Google's App Script for your automation, don't hesitate to get in touch.