Lingotek - Inside Drupal 7 Module Case Study

Client Goals

Varian Medical Systems (Varian), a medical device company that makes products for treating cancer and other medical conditions, was establishing a new globalization infrastructure and was looking for ways to improve the speed and delivery of localized web content.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

The company’s website is built on the Drupal 7 platform, so Varian was looking for a Drupal module that was capable of quickly translating web content into multiple languages. Varian’s prior localization efforts required labor-intensive manual processes. In addition, their previous platform offered a poor user interface (UI). They were experiencing many code errors between the translation management system (TMS) and the website. After a year of struggling to integrate the vendor TMS with Drupal, Varian decided to find a vendor that offered better Drupal integration.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

Technical Requirements

The company also needed a TMS that could effectively manage translation memory (TM), integrate well with existing company systems, and that had a simple UI. Varian is using Acquia’s cloud platform for the company’s Drupal-based websites. Acquia is familiar with Lingotek’s translation technology and uses it to localize their digital experience platforms for global markets.

After considering multiple vendors, Varian chose Lingotek for its clean, easy-to-use TMS UI and the Lingotek - Inside Drupal 7 Module. The Lingotek Translation Network is able to give Varian a cloud-based solution that can store, track, and manage multilingual content, and that integrates with a TMS, without ever leaving the Drupal environment.

Lingotek - Inside Drupal Module

The Lingotek - Inside Drupal Module is a community-maintained module that is primarily sponsored by Lingotek and built on Drupal's standard multilingual modules (locale, content translation, entity translation, internationalization, etc). Lingotek offers modules for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. The modules help Drupal administrators, agencies, and web marketers build a consistent, up-to-date, multilingual website.

The Lingotek module is unique because it can translate every element on every page. This includes:

  • Entities - Nodes, comments, messages, fieldable panels panes, taxonomy terms with custom fields, and even field collections (including nested ones).
  • Taxonomy terms - Choice of an Entity Translation approach for terms with custom fields or the i18n string approach for translation of name and description fields only.
  • Configuration items - Field labels, blocks, taxonomy vocabularies and terms, menus, views, etc.
  • Properties - Titles, path aliases, and metatags.
  • Built-in interface strings.


Several different business units inside Varian--marketing, IT/web, sales, compliance, regulatory--are responsible for creating multilingual content, and as a result, many were handling localization separately, using several (4-6) different vendors. There were also different processes among the different business units for managing translation. Varian wanted a better user experience and to integrate these several disparate systems, so members of different departments could all work with the same localization platform.


Drupal 7 is a very stable and well-used platform and it supports a vast array of use cases, but it wasn’t built with multilingual in mind, so it can be complex for multilingual sites. You need other contributed modules like localization update (l10n_update), the internationalization suite (i18n), the variable module, or entity translation, to name a few.

Every Drupal developer who works with contributed or custom modules must be aware of the requirements for providing a solution that is multilingual ready. Drupal themers also need to be aware of what is needed for making their templates multilingual-ready.



Varian has released five translated websites and is currently in the process of translating the site into six additional languages. The company is on schedule to have its corporate website translated into eleven languages by the end of the year. Having a multilingual-capable module, theme, or distribution allows Varian to appeal to a much broader audience and continues to provide value to its global users.

Acquia + Lingotek + Drupal Module Results

  • 5+ translated websites
  • 11 languages
  • Built a site, end-to-end in 3 months
  • Seamless Drupal integration
  • Faster translation
  • User-friendly TMS interface
  • Easy on-boarding of LSP
  • Cloud-based TM management
  • Cost savings through TM leverage
  • Easy-to-use workflows
  • Eliminated manual processes
Organizations involved: 
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

Seamless Drupal Integration

“The integration with the Drupal connector has made translating and localizing our website into multiple languages a seamless process, and it’s saving us a lot of time,” said Scott McRay, Director of Global Web Strategy at Varian. With Lingotek’s cloud-based translation technology, the company has been able to build a site, from beginning to end, in about three months.

Easy Onboarding & Training

With Lingotek’s TMS, Varian no longer has to deal with labor-intensive manual processes or a poor user interface. The Translation Network was intuitive and easy to use, and as a result, it substantially reduced the amount of training time required for onboarding new users.




Centralized TM Management

Lingotek’s translation workbench gives Varian translation teams access to multiple TM vaults and glossaries, so they have all the resources they need at their fingertips. The company is now able to use its TM to leverage every word for faster, more cost-efficient translation. Having a cloud-based TMS ensures that Varian’s TM is centrally stored and managed, making it immediately accessible and always up to date for other projects and translators.

Automated Workflows

Using Lingotek’s customizable workflows, LSPs, and Varian project managers were able to automate the creation of new translation projects. The drag-and-drop selection process made it easy to build in internal and external review, so it would happen automatically. The company also appreciated the added visibility of cloud-based project management. “We know where we are in the process,” reported Scott McRay, “Lingotek has allowed us to streamline our process and eliminated the need for manually managing files,” said McRay.


Next Steps

Varian plans to add 6 additional languages by the end of next year, by releasing a translated version of the main company site every month. It also is looking to integrate more robust workflows to accommodate other departments’ needs. The company will also explore a possible integration using the Lingotek - Inside Connector for Salesforce. Finally, Varian will continue to work toward their goal of using a single source for translation management for the company and Lingotek’s combination of technology, connectors and language services will help them achieve it.

Community contributions: 

About Lingotek

Lingotek | The Translation Network is the only cloud-based solution to connect all of your global content in one place, giving you the power to manage your brand worldwide. Our industry-leading technology pairs expert language services with the best enterprise applications to continuously push dynamic multilingual content to all of your global markets. Find out more about Lingotek at