Oracle by Example brandingCreate a Multi-language Application in Oracle Visual Builder: Create a Language Switcher

section 0Before You Begin

This 15-minute tutorial shows you how to create a language switcher in a web application with translation bundles for multiple languages.


To support readers of multiple languages, you can translate the strings in your Visual Builder application’s user interface into other languages and upload them to your application. The strings in a translated application are stored in translation bundles, which are JSON files that contain keys and values.

You can also create a language switcher component to allow users to change from one language to another, which is what you’ll learn how to do in this tutorial.

You should be familiar with the basics of creating an application, adding components and pages, and creating action chains.

In this tutorial sequence, the language you use is French.

What Do You Need?

section 1Specify Code for a Language Switcher

In this section, you'll declare a localization.locale property for the application and set it to a value stored in the browswer's local storage (translationApplication.locale). Visual Builder uses the application's localization.locale property to set the translatable strings to the language specified by the property. For instance, if localization.locale is set to fr-FR, which specifies the language and country (language-COUNTRY), the strings are set to the French language used in France.

  1. If you completed the previous tutorial, Create a Multi-language Application in Oracle Visual Builder: Translate Application Strings, go to step 2 and continue to work in the Translation Application app that you created in that tutorial.

    Otherwise, click this link and download If necessary, log in to Oracle Visual Builder. On the Visual Applications page, click Import and select Application from file. In the Import dialog box, drop the downloaded zip file into the Drag and Drop area and click Import. Click TranslationApplicationPart2 to open it.

  2. In the Navigator, click the Source Source View icon tab and expand the webApps then transwebapp node.
  3. Click app-flow.json to open it in the JSON tab.
  4. If not already present, insert a comma after "security":{} near the end of the file. On the next line, add the localization definition (in bold here) with a function call to set the locale property value.
      "userConfig": {
        "type": "vb/DefaultSecurityProvider",
        "configuration": {},
        "embedding": "deny"
      "security": {},
      "localization": {
        "locale": "{{ window.localStorage.getItem('translationApplication.locale') || navigator.language }}"

    This code sets the value of the locale property to a locale value it retrieves from a language switcher, or to the browser locale if there is no locale value.

  5. Under transwebapp, expand the flows, main, and pages nodes.
  6. Click main-start-page.js to open it in the JavaScript tab.

    You'll put the language switcher on the main-start page, so that's where you'll define the JavaScript function.

  7. In the PageModule class, add this setAppLanguage function, which sets the locale if the selectedLocale input parameter is set. The function to add is shown in bold.
      class PageModule {
            if (selectedLocale)  {
      return PageModule;

    The setAppLanguage function sets the language switcher locale value to that of the selectedLocale input parameter. The next task provides a way to set that input parameter.

section 2Create Buttons for the Language Switcher

For this simple application, you'll use a pair of buttons to select the language. A more complex application could use a Select (Single) or other component to select the language.

  1. In the Web Apps tab, select the main-start page, then click the page's Page Designer tab.
  2. On the main-start page, drag a Button from the Components pane to the Grid Row between the Create button and the table.
    Description of vbcsta_sec2_s2.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec2_s2.png
  3. In the Button's Properties pane, enter English in the Label field.
  4. Drag another Button component to the right of the first button and enter French in its Label field. If necessary, expand the width of the browser or canvas to position the button.
  5. For each button, mouse over its Label field and select the Make String Translatable Make String Translatable icon icon. Click Save in the dialog box to make its label translatable.
  6. Click the Web Apps Web Applications icon tab in the Navigator. Under Resources/strings/app/nls/root, copy the added key strings for the English and French buttons from app-strings.json into app-strings.json under fr-FR. Make sure to copy the comma after the Save string, too. The code to be copied is highlighted in yellow here:
    Description of vbcsta_sec2_s3.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec2_s3.png

    In the app-strings.json under fr-FR, add the text below in bold, and make sure to include the comma after both of the description key and value pairs:

        "button_label": "English",
        "@button_label": {
            "description": "",
            "source_text" : "English"
        "button_label_4334": "French",
        "@button_label_4334": {
            "description": "",
            "source_text" : "French"

    We could have returned to the application settings, downloaded the new strings, translated them, and uploaded them again, but this would take too long for only two strings. However, this way you have to make sure to use the correct JSON syntax.

  7. In the app-strings.json file under fr-FR, for both buttons, replace the text for their labels on the first line with the French version:
    English Label French Label
    English Anglais
    French Français

section 3Define an Action Chain for the Buttons

In this section, you'll define an action chain that you'll use for both buttons, with an input parameter to set a different locale value for each action chain.

  1. Return to the main-start page, select the English button, and then click the Events tab in the Properties pane.
  2. Click the + New Event button and select On 'ojAction'.
  3. In the action chain's properties, click the Add link next to Parameters.
    Description of vbcsta_sec3_s3.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec3_s3.png
  4. In the dialog box, enter locale in the Name field and click Create.
    Description of vbcsta_sec3_s4.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec3_s4.png
  5. Add the Call Function action from the Actions palette to the canvas.
  6. In the Call Function's Properties pane, click the Function Name drop-down and select setAppLanguage under Page.
    Description of vbcsta_sec3_s6.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec3_s6.png

    This is the JavaScript function you defined in main-start-page.js.

  7. Under Parameters, hover over the selectedLocale parameter and click the down arrow that appears. Under the Action Chain node, select the locale parameter.
    Description of vbcsta_sec3_s7.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec3_s7.png
  8. Add an Open URL action from the Actions palette to the canvas.
  9. In the URL field, enter index.html. This navigation will refresh the page after you specify the language. The action chain looks like this:
    Description of vbcsta_sec3_s9.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec3_s9.png

section 4Assign Input Parameters

  1. Click the Page Designer tab, then click the English button. In the Events tab of the Properties pane, the value for the locale input parameter hasn't been provided. Enter en-US for the parameter.
    Description of vbcsta_sec4_s1.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec4_s1.png
  2. Next, select the French button, and click the Events tab in the Properties pane.
  3. Click + New Event and select New Custom Event.
  4. In the Select Event dialog box, under the Suggested node, ojAction is selected by default. Click the Select button to accept the default.
  5. In the Select Action Chain dialog box, select ButtonActionChain and click the Select Action Chain button.
    Description of vbcsta_sec4_s6.png follows

    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec4_s6.png

  6. On the Events tab for the button, for the locale input parameter, enter fr-FR.

    Both input parameters are now provided for the buttons, which are passed to the action chain that's started by the buttons.

section 5Test the Application

  1. Click the Preview Preview icon icon. The application opens in a new browser tab.
  2. On the Departments page, click the French button.

    The page refreshes, and you can see the translated strings.

    Description of vbcsta_sec5_s2.png follows
    Description of the illustration vbcsta_sec5_s2.png
  3. Click Créer. Enter a new department name, select a location, and click Préserver.

    A success message appears briefly, and the new department appears in the table.

  4. Click the Anglais button to return to English. Close the browser tab.

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