Keywords Studios provides technical and creative services for the Video Games industry. The company’s head office is based in Ireland; however, they have more than 70 studios worldwide. 

Benjamin Adcock is the Global Localisation Engineering Manager at Keywords Studios. He works to reduce and speed up manual processes at the company through Automation and Engineering.

The challenges

Benjamin says that the development team frequently encountered issues with corrupted files when using Interop. In addition, large Excel files would often refuse to open, causing significant delays and disruptions to their workflow.

The company also relied on macros and VBA for Excel and Word manipulation. However, this approach was not always efficient, and running macros often caused the application to become unresponsive, negatively impacting productivity.

Once, one of their clients sent them 500 Excel files that needed to be opened and resaved in a specific format before they could be parsed into the CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) software. The company’s team attempted to automate this process using Interop. However, running the script on each file individually was not feasible due to how long it would take to complete the task.

Due to their challenges, the team decided to find a more efficient solution.

The solution

The development team needed a single library that would enable all engineers to quickly understand and use each other’s code to parse Office files. They had been looking for an alternative to Interop for a few years.

On the recommendation of XLOC – one of their teams – the company decided to try out GemBox. They were impressed with the support they received, which was fast and efficient, even during the one-month trial period.

After evaluating the features and capabilities of GemBox, the company determined that it was the ideal solution for their needs. They were pleased with the licensing options, including the number of users and deployment locations, which provided them with the required flexibility. With GemBox, the team was able to streamline their workflow and enhance their productivity, enabling them to focus on delivering high-quality results to their clients.

How they use GemBox products

Nowadays, in Benjamin’s team, 9 developers use GemBox products, not to mention the users of XLOC’s persistent license.

The team uses GemBox.Spreadsheet to process a large volume of Excel files received from clients. They also develop scripts to restore the files to their original format. Even when dealing with unique file formats with more than 50 tabs, each with a different structure, the company can quickly prepare the files in a better format for their project managers and resources.

This approach significantly reduces the issues arising from manual copy-and-paste tasks and enables the team to simplify complicated files. Additionally, the company uses GemBox products to extract text from documents and PDFs for translation purposes.

Benjamin says that the key advantages of using GemBox products are “the speed, the variety of the input and export formats, and the ease for the team to use”. The team finds working with various input and export formats simple and intuitive, allowing them to quickly and efficiently process large volumes of data.

The company also implemented GemBox.Bundle to generate data merged PDFs using GemBox.Spreadsheet and Gembox.Document. By reading a data source in an Excel file, the team can create personalized documents for a set of individuals in just a couple of seconds. This approach has significantly increased productivity and reduced the time and resources required to complete these tasks.

“The Project Manager doing this prior estimated it was taking them 1.5 minutes per document to copy in the data and then save as a PDF. In one month, 155 were created, which would have been close to 4hrs of manual time. By using GemBox, this was brought down to just over a minute.”

What they love about GemBox products

GemBox products have proven intuitive and comprehensive, with documentation covering every possible scenario. The team members could quickly get up to speed with the basics of the entire library in less than a week. When new challenges arise, or GemBox adds new functionality, the team consults the documentation to ensure they use the library to its full potential.

The library’s ease of use is highly valued by all team members, not only because of its speed but also because it enables them to quickly understand how other members are using the same library. This has resulted in improved collaboration and increased productivity across the team.

The results

The team has been primarily measuring the time benefits that project managers gain from using a GemBox-powered application. By committing to a single library to handle office file parsing challenges, they have reduced the time spent searching for packages and testing new libraries. The team has gained significant time savings by using Gembox, as they can confidently rely on its capabilities to perform various tasks.

GemBox has helped the team overcome some of the more complex challenges they have faced and has enabled them to deliver tools that align with their goal of reducing and speeding up manual processes through automation and engineering. The library has proven to be a valuable asset to the team and has contributed to improved efficiency and productivity.