SharePoint Online Variations - alternative?


On June 28th, a plan for change (MC143381) was announced through the message center on an update for machine translation services from SharePoint Online. It states that "With this change, your organization will no longer be able to perform manual, on-demand translation service activities in SharePoint Online."


We don't use that, but we do have variations in use in a large portal with 2 languages. It is also stated that "This change will affect your user’s ability to create new variation labels in order to schedule translation activities or workflows."

Does this mean the end of variations and the possibility to create new labels after September 2018? Although the message gives a link to click to learn more about Bing translation APIs, this doesn't address variations at all, or any path moving forward if you have SharePoint Online + variations and the need for separate sites for different languages. What is the future of SharePoint variations? Much thanks for any insight. 

3 Replies
Well, for now there is not an alternative to variations so I don't think they are going to remove the feature soon...I agree this message can point to that direction, but have not heard anything confirming this and also what alternatives we have

Thanks, Juan Carlos. What worries me most is the statement that "This change will affect your user’s ability to create new variation labels in order to schedule translation activities or workflows."
So, it would seem that after September 2018, if you have variations, you can never add new languages if need be? That is worrisome, as it is hard to project just when you may need to add a language, and there is no alternative to move to another model. 

We've never used machine translation, with the kind of content we translate, it is all done by professional translators - machine translation could introduce safety issues for us. The Bing translator APIs don't help us at all with being able to host multiple languages on a website, and MUI is only helpful to a point. 
Would really appreciate a little more information on the deprecation of variation labels if anyone knows and much thanks. It would help us greatly with planning. Much thanks.

Hi All,

I received an answer from MS Office Customer Feedback in the Admin Center:

Thank you for taking the time to provide Microsoft Office feedback! 

To clarify, your ability to create new variation labels remains, they just can no longer be automatically translated. We’ll work on updating our messaging. Please reach out if there are any other questions.

>>>So, it is just automatic translation that is being removed, not the creation of new labels (whew).