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Planning World-Ready Applications

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Developing world-ready applications requires focused attention to a variety of issues beginning in the application design phase. In addition, you need to determine the extent of world-readiness your application will support.

Your first step in the process of developing a world-ready application is globalization. A globalized application can correctly accept, process, and display a worldwide assortment of scripts, data formats, and languages. However, while your globalized application may possess such flexibility, the language of the user interface remains unchanged. That is, you have not localized the application for another culture/locale.

An intermediate step prior to localization is a process known as localizability. Localizability is about ensuring you have enabled a globalized application for localization by separating the resources requiring localization from the rest of the application. Proper localizability results in source code you will not have to modify during localization.

The final step, localization, is the process of customizing your application for a given culture/locale. Localization consists primarily of translating the user interface.

If you address globalization, localizability, and localization requirements during the design phase, you will maximize the quality of the localized applications and minimize the amount of required time and money. On the other hand, retrofitting existing applications for localization typically results in inferior localized versions, increased cost, and increased time to market.

In This Section

Overview of Globalization and Localization
Provides an overview of key concepts regarding globalization, localizability and localization.
Globalization and Localization Issues
Provides an exploration of the many issues that arise when globalizing and localizing applications, such as formatting and string-related issues.
Localization Planning
Provides links to topics with guidance on planning your application's localization.
Testing for Globalization and Localization
Describes the guidelines for testing applications for world-readiness.
Best Practices for Globalization and Localization
Describes the best practices that apply to the development of globalized and localized applications.

Related Sections

Globalizing and Localizing Applications
Explains how to build world-ready applications in Visual Basic and Visual C#.
International Programming
Describes globalization and localization of Visual C++ applications.
Developing World-Ready Applications
Describes globalization and localization of applications using the .NET Framework.
International Support in Microsoft Windows 2000
Learn about the features that make Windows 2000 a world-ready operating system.
Microsoft Global Software Development Site (
Provides extensive reference material and a number of articles dealing with developing world-ready software.
Visual Studio .NET Partner Resources Site (
Provides a link to Visual Studio .NET Localization Partners who can assist you with your application localization needs.