Terminological Information System: International Computers

The Secretariat General Consilium of Ministers (SGCM), a Secretariat of European parliament, functional in Europe is involved in various activities related to all the European Parliaments' proceedings. SGCM's operations involve a lot of correspondence and other transactions to be carried out in various European languages. This needs huge volumes of translation between various European languages. They had an existing proprietary mainframe system which used to manage this requirement for them.

Terminological Information System

However, with increasing globalisation, SGCM's transaction and correspondence grew rapidly. It was finding it extremely difficult to manage their activities. This was primarily due to various languages in use throughout Europe, making the task of information management awfully cumbersome. Besides, as global Europe started taking route, it became essential to have the system modified all the time with additional functionality which was not provided for in the basic architecture of the existing system. There was thus a need to address this problem immediately.

International software division of International Computers (India) Limited came forward in this scenario and offered to SGCM to resolve this need with their wide expertise in migrating systems across the platforms. 

It was no surprise that this task was awarded to International Computers (India) Limited for it has reputation of execution of large offshore projects successfully on time, at a very high quality standard and was appreciated by various customers in Europe. 

Technological Information system (TIS) was then developed by ICIL. The entire system has been redesigned based on the open systems client-server architecture under Unix / Windows. This software is designed for use by coordinators and terminologists in the European Commission (EC) for translation of official documents that are generated in one of the 13 languages of the EC.

This is used for translation of typical technical terms in various categories such as Agriculture, Economics etc, occurring in the faxes, memos or any such documentary information exchange. The technical translation needed a specialist translation support system.

Since the normal database will not be adequate for this application, Technical Retrieval Engines were used as foundation for this system, so that the system is insensitive to typographical errors and other rules like phonetics etc. The system supports GUI for local use at Brussels and character for remote location. 

TIS was developed by a team of 15 people (peak) based at ICIL, Pune. The development spanned 14 person years. Designing this system to its entirety involved, designing GUI interface and using the data sources and data manipulating system on the back-end using the ODBC interface, Fulcrum Search Server which is the customer specified Text Retrieval Engine. TIS allows users of the system to convert the documents in various European languages by referring to the terminologies database kept in the form of cards. 

It is mainly a learning system with facilities to incorporate database terms with all the variance in various languages of the EC. It also provides a facility to search for particular words with variable prefixes and postfixes. A search mechanism sensitive to composition of word strings was required, hence an intelligence string and phonetic search server by Fulcrum Technologies was used. 

TIS is used by all the EC offices in Brussels. It also supports remote locations in other EC countries making it more productive and widely available. The current "Live" database in Brussels supports 300,000 Term cards and 9,000 Abbreviation cards and the system has been found extremely user-friendly, reliable and efficient by the European Commission.


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