Monday, 4 February 2008

Setting up a Multilingual MOSS 2007 Farm - English and Chinese (Simplified) Websites Running on the same farm

A lot of multi-national corporations require hosting multiple language websites for their respective national branches. With MOSS 2007 you can do this, you can host different language websites all on the single server farm.
I am working on a project to develop two websites for the same client, an English Language MOSS site and a Simplified Chinese MOSS site. The tough part is none of the developers on our team know Chinese, so this project will be an interesting one.

So you want to run different multilingual websites in the same Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm?
Below are the steps I took to get this working, I can now create English as well as Chinese (Simplified) Websites in my MOSS farm.

Step One : Install operating system language
For Simplified Chinese I had to install the East Asian Language Files on the web front end servers via Control Panel --> Regional and Language Options then click the Languages tab and in the Supplemental Language section tick the Install files for East Asian Lanuages checkbox.
You then get a messagebox that tells you installing these files will take 230mb, after which you need to specify the locations of your Windows Server 2003 disk that contains the East Asian Language Installation Files. Once this has finished installing, you can start the MOSS install.

Step Two : Install MOSS 2007
Install MOSS 2007 as you usually would, and run the configuration wizard.
Once the configuration wizard has completed, STOP don't configure anything in central administration yet, you will be running the configuration wizard again shortly, after installing your sharepoint language packs.

Step Three : Download Your Specific SharePoint Server 2007 Language Pack, and burn it to disk or extract the files out
Navigate to and select your language.

It's a little tricky, because the page language switches to Chinese when you want to download the Chinese Language Pack, so I needed to guess what I should click in order to start downloading it.
Click the change button and then click the download button to download your specific language pack.
This downloads as a file called ServerLanguagePack.img and in my case the Simplified Chinese Language Pack was 195mb in size.
It's annoying this is an .img !
I did not want to burn to disk so I looked for image mounting software online, I downloaded the free DAEMON Tools 4.09.
Step Four : Install the language pack.
Go ahead and run the Language Pack on every front end web server.
It will pop-up the following :
If you can't read the specific language you are viewing in sharepoint, a general rule of thumb is that links, checkboxes etc. and other UI controls are usually positioned in the same locations as the English MOSS, so I am able to navigate to Site Settings etc. on the Chinese site, even though I can't read a word of it, or instead remember the URLs to all admin pages and type the - '/_layouts/whatever.aspx' manually.

Step Five : Re-Run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard, Again
Now go back and run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard again,

Once this is complete it is a good idea to check the TEMPLATE folder in the server "12 Hive"
In my case I have a new folder below TEMPLATE called 2052, You should already have a 1033 folder for English.
If you try and open the files within folders of the 2052 directory they contain Chinese content.

So this process has created Chinese Site Definitions in your "12 Hive" in your web server's file system.

Step Six : Create New Websites and Site Collections
If everything is successful you should now have an extra option when creating a Top Level Site Collection.
You will notice something new, there is now a drop-down list box that lets you select the language for your new site !

If you select Chinese, then your new MOSS site will be fully chinese, all menus, site settings, InfoPath 2007 approval workflow forms everything.

1 comment:

Aamir Ansari said...


Firstly thanks for the post. Wanted to know how if locale switch will work for a localized Application Template. Say if I change locale from regional settings is the site going to translate accordingly...

I tried it with a Finnish installed BugDB template but it did not seem to change..