In this article
- Using the UTF-8 character set
- Build localized experiences in your apps
- Additional resources
Using the UTF-8 character set
While Quickbase doesn’t currently offer full translation or localization, support for international languages is built into our platform. In 2022, we introduced the ability to read and write data using the UTF-8 character set. This allows you to enter data into Quickbase in any language because all international characters can be entered, stored, and retrieved. It’s important to note that functionality such as searching, sorting, and filtering non-English characters may be limited. Learn more about UTF-8 support in Quickbase.
Build localized experiences in your apps
Translate key features like forms, record pickers, and reports, convert currencies, or create formulas that simplify working across time zones to build localized experiences for your users. You can use a combination of these strategies to tailor the Quickbase platform to your exact needs.
Forms are a powerful tool for localization in Quickbase. They can be copied and translated into different languages to help app users enter data correctly. You can create copies of a form in as many languages as you like.
One of the advantages of translating forms is they can be shared directly with specific groups or users can self-select the form they’d like to use. For example, you can send a specific group a direct link to a form. You can also assign forms to roles. If you create roles that align with different languages, this can be a great way to customize the Quickbase platform for your users.
Another way to direct people to a specific, translated form is with formula-url/ rich text fields. Add _dfid_=YourFormID to the URL. This can help international users navigate through the platform and find the form they need.
If you have a targeted use case, you can create a more interactive experience with form rules. In the new, latest version of forms (available June 7, 2023), create form rules that translate each label based on the language a user selects from a drop-down list.
Display records in different languages
Record pickers can be customized to show records in different languages. You can either display all the available languages at once or display specific languages dynamically to different users.
To show records dynamically, create a Users table with user details and their corresponding language. Then, use lookup fields or formula queries to pull the language attribute from the Users table.
Embedded records can also be translated. Create a library, so to speak, of translations that map to records. So in a table you might have survey questions with a row for English and a row for Spanish. Once you have your library set up, tell Quickbase how to find the right one at the right time using formulas, lookup fields, or form rules.
Language-specific reports can further customize the Quickbase platform. Enter the translated or adjusted label as a Custom label.
Simplify working across time zones
Working across time zones comes with a unique set of challenges. With the time zone helper, convert dates and times with the click of a button, all without interrupting your workflow. The time zone helper is available with our new, enhanced forms.
When it comes to time zones, there are so many ways to get creative with formulas to solve for specific needs. For example, you can mark a task as late based on a deadline in a user’s time zone. To do this, set up a Users table with a field that stores the difference between time zones, or the offset. Then, use a formula query to find the offset for a specific user and convert the deadline.
Use formulas and Pipelines to convert currencies
If you’re dealing with currencies that need to be converted, there’s a straightforward way to do it with formulas and Pipelines. But currency conversion rates change constantly based on global markets. Deciding how accurate you need your conversions to be will determine which option is best for you. If you’re estimating conversion rates, then maybe they don’t need to be 100% accurate, just close enough. If you’re converting a dollar amount on an invoice, then that would require 100% accuracy.
To use Pipelines to convert currencies, you’ll need a table of currencies and their conversion rate and a pipeline that fetches and updates currency conversion rates from an external source of your choice. Then, based on how accurate your conversion rates need to be, you can determine how often the rates are updated by your pipeline. It could be daily, weekly, or monthly. Or you can set your pipelines to run at the exact time the invoice is procured. Because the data in your lookup fields is changing, you'll want to set up snapshots of your fields.
Translate the Quickbase platform with your browser
A quick and easy way for international users to navigate the Quickbase platform is to use the translation services that are built into the Chrome browser. While this is a third-party tool that we can't control, Google Translate’s accuracy has improved dramatically over time.
Chrome’s browser-level translation also allows you to decide how and when you need translation and to customize your own settings. For example, you can set your preferences to automatically translate the entire page. Or a specific string of text can be translated by right-clicking on the text and selecting the language you’d like to translate it into. Check out their help article for a detailed overview and data security considerations to decide if it’s right for you.
Use Pipelines to translate data
In some cases, browser translation may not be enough. If you want to translate specific data stored in Quickbase into different languages and store the translations in Quickbase, you can use Pipelines and an external translation service to do it.
Here’s how it works: A pipeline will send the data to a translation service, return it in another language and store the translation in your app. So, you could create a table called Tickets and a table called Ticket Translations. When a new ticket is added to the Tickets table, your pipeline is triggered, it sends the body of the ticket to a translation service and returns it in Spanish and French. Each version is saved as a record in the Ticket Translations table. Then, formulas and lookup fields can determine which version of the record to show to different users.
Support for right-to-left languages
Third-party browser extensions can enable right-to-left reading order for any visible text in the Quickbase platform. This may be enough to ensure right-to-left languages are displayed correctly.
In some cases, it might make sense to create a code page for a small section of the Quickbase platform. With a code page, you can write your own HTML/CSS and then pull in data through the Quickbase API. This allows you to control and customize the code to meet your exact needs.
Going this route is best when you have a targeted, specific use case. For example, if you want your app users to be able to translate support tickets into a language of their choice. In this example, you could create a button on a ticket form that opens a code page. The code page could have a language picker that allows someone to select a language from a drop-down list.
- If you have specific questions about building experiences for international Quickbase users, reach out to the Quickbase Technical Support team.
- For guidance and tips about building, contact your account team.
- To find inspiration or see solutions from other builders, check out the Community discussion board.