Variations in MOSS 2007

I have been involved in building Multilingual websites in MCMS since late 2002. This was achieved with considerable development effort and by using one of two design patterns in MCMS:

  • Single Channel hierarchy; where each posting contained every language to be displayed in multiple placeholders.
  • Multiple Channel hierarchies; where individual postings of matching content in the different languages where create.

To make life easier, MOSS 2007 has a feature called “Variations”. This feature allows you to create a page and set it as the source variation then automatically or manually make any changes flow to the target variations. The variation feature is integrated into the workflow mechanisms and also the content import/export which will enable hooking into third-party translation services. Angus and Arpan gave an excellent presentation on variations at this year’s Tech Ed.

Another example of why variations will be very useful is Mobile content delivery. This will allow you to create a source variation page then deploy a target variation for mobile phone delivery, hence target multiple audiences with one content authoring process.

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