winged victory

Internet mobile venture - product i18n

Year: 2000
Type: mobile internet venture
Keywords: venture, Java, schemas, multibyte, Unicode, i18n, APIs, character sets

The Challenge

A silicon-valley internet venture business is in need of internationalization program management. Time is of the essence, and the goal is to have their core products (database, APIs, web applications for a preference engine) be able to function well when implemented by an Asian customer. Fortunately, the product was still in an early phase of development at the start of the engagement.

The Solution

Database back end (Oracle) needed some schema changes and character set configuration for Unicode. Web application settings needed modification to output the proper charset. APIs of the core product code base (in Java) needed a few additions to support user-level language preferences.

QA teams were given proper expectations for working with multibyte characters. Marketing and other stakeholders were given training on i18n issues, including the eye-opener that there are 2 written forms of Chinese (Simplified, Traditional). Requirements were distilled to make sense from an i18n perspective.

Schemas, diagrams, specifications, and tasks were vetted through 3 release cycles for international effectiveness.


With Unicode character sets properly configured and the core applications internationalized, setting up an installation for Hong Kong mobile carrier customer SmarTone became much simpler.


To help our customers succeed in international technology projects and decisions. We retain focus on the long-term view and believe that if you succeed, we succeed.