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What's Wordfast Server?

Wordfast Server (WFS) is a Translation Memory (TM) and Terminology server.

Supported platforms

WFS runs as a 32-bit Windows application on any Windows machine that is connected to the Internet. WFS will also run on 64-bit versions of Windows. Those include Windows 2000™, Windows XP™, Windows server™ 2000, 2003, 2008, 2012, Windows Vista™, Windows Seven™, and Windows 8.x™.

Required environment

WFS does not require any third-party database system – it uses its own proprietary database and indexing system. Thus, it is not necessary to own or enable Windows database services or DBMSes like Microsoft SQL server™, ODBC, Oracle™, etc. For optimal performance of WFS, you should minimize the number of third-party applications and services installed and running on that workstation.

Client-server communication channel

WFS uses TCP-IP to communicate with clients such as Wordfast Pro, Wordfast Classic, or Wordfast Anywhere. It uses its own protocol on top of TCP-IP, as well as its own military-strength encryption method. Thus, all WFS needs is a valid Windows socket. IIS or other services do not need to be activated. Another communication channel uses an easier HTTP protocol through a small application (WfServerRelay). This manual’s Appendix 2 describes a REST API which allows developers to connect their applications to Wordfast Server in literally less than an hour.

Physical requirements

WFS only needs a basic, Windows platform with an internet connection to run.

Hard disk: A minimum of 10 Mbytes is necessary to install and run the application. For the database (TMs and glossaries), reserve three times the expected bare database size to accommodate indexes and temporary files. RAM: Over 2 Gbytes of RAM. Processor: Any processor can be used.

Server capacity

One instance of WFS can exploit a database of up to 10,000 Translation Memories (with any number of different language pairs), totalling up to 1,000,000,000 Translation Units (TU), and serving up to 5,000 clients.

A collection of TMs is a database, a TM is a table within the database, and a TU is a record within the table.

Most clients will start with one server serving all languages simultaneously, and will probably never outgrow WFS’ capacity. However, it is possible to split the load among as many servers as there are language pairs (one TM supports only one language pair), or even one server per TM, so that stellar scalability is achieved.

Database format

WFS’ native TM format is the Wordfast TM format, which is a tab-delimited text file, as described in the Wordfast Classic Reference Manual ("TM format" chapter, or in Appendix 4 herein). It’s the simplest of all formats—it can be opened with text editors, like Notepad, or unicode-compliant word processors, as well as with Excel. Wordfast TMs can be regular ANSI (8-bit) text, or Unicode UTF-16 (both little-endian and big-endian). WFS can import TUs from TMX TMs (all levels of TMX), and from Wordfast TMs. The Wordfast TM format is the most compact and reliable TM format in the industry. Note that the Wordfast TM format does not systematically store text formatting information (inline codes) per se, because they are known to bloat and choke TMs. It does record, however, placeholders for all third-party “tags”, which are meant to preserve formatting when the user wants it to. In short, the Wordfast format stores formatting information using a symbolic method.


The WFS database is a collection of discrete TXT files (one TXT file per TM and one TXT file per glossary), plus one single configuration file with a .stats extension. All other files, such as indexes and temporary files can be recreated as needed by WFS.

Backing up simply means backing up TMs, glossaries, and the single .stats file. Any standard method can be used, including mirroring, replication, RAID strategies, etc. The only requirement is that the backup method accommodates “live” files. If that is not the case, the server should be stopped before files are backed up. Most modern backup utilities can back up live files.