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Last week I delivered the C/SIDE Development course for partner community in Zagreb. As always, questions abound afterwards. Today, I’ve got a question from an attendee: “What’s the best way to print a report in multiple languages?”.
Up front: this is NOT a technical post. It IS about technical solution, but it is primarily about design, usability, standards and best practices. I’ll plain ignore the fact that it does use a few C/SIDE or C/AL references, so please, do likewise
(I said this because I kind of swore not to C/AL around this blog anymore, but again – sometimes I just have to do it.)
The question went: For foreign customers I sometimes want to print an invoice in their language, but sometimes I want to print it in Croatian (it’s the language spoken in this tiny corner of the world). Should I add options Print in Croatian, Print in English, or do something else?
Of course, there is standard functionality on customer/vendor card: go to Foreign Trade tab, and notice the Language Code field. It is used to specify which language you use in printed documents for such customer/vendor. However, it automatically prints the document in that language, no questions asked. If a customer has DEU set as their language, the documents will drücken auf Deutsch, no matter what (of course, provided all your CaptionMLs sprechen Deutsch.)
So, obviously, we need something else. And we need something that would play along NAV standards.
The reason why you shouldn’t do options such as Print in Croatian, Print in German or Print in Klingon is that it is downright hardcoding, and we all learnt long ago that hardcoding is bad, really bad. (Hint: these two are links, you can try clicking on them.)
So, what else can you do? There are many design choices you can do, that are closer or farther away from NAV standards. Here are a few suggestions:
Whoa. #3 and #4 are monsters. #3 is totally non-standard, as well, and even though it does what it is supposed to do, it’s ugly and non standard. Um, now I’m repeating myself.
#4 is the cleanest of all, since it doesn’t violate any standards; on the contrary, it plays nicely along NAV standards, design principles and program logic, and it is scalable as it can satisfy any kind of language printing fetish. But honestly, who needs this? United Nations General Assembly doesn’t use NAV, and I don’t think this feature would sign them up anyway, so…
Go for #1, it’s the simplest of all, and will probably meet all your needs. If you need to print in two languages in parallel, plain go and print twice, exercise is healthy.
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