Building out your DXP is crucial to remaining digitally adaptable as technologies and customer demands change. Implementing a highly interconnected and seamless DXP, however, is often a costly endeavor. In fact, Gartner predicts that 85% of the effort and cost of implementing a DXP platform within the next two years will be spent on integrations.
That’s why it's crucial for your CMS to lay the foundation for integrating with critical internal and external systems. An interoperable CMS — with an API-first approach — therefore, reduces the time and effort required to build out your interconnect DXP platform.
Let’s look at what CMS interoperability is, what it means to have an interconnected DXP, and how an API-first CMS enables interoperability.
Interoperability refers to the ability of software to easily integrate with other systems in terms of sharing functionality and data. This means interoperable software facilitates communication with external systems by standardizing interactions and reducing compatibility challenges. An interoperable CMS can not only pull data and content from a range of external systems, but can also deliver content and experiences to a multitude of frontend applications.
Another crucial aspect of interoperability is the data itself. If a platform cannot easily exchange data — both to and from — another system, then it’s not truly interoperable. This means it’s often not enough to simply connect with other systems, but the software needs to utilize common standards for the information itself. Standardization could mean using JSON or XML for API communication and having a CMS that stores content that’s completely decoupled from its use.
Data sharing limitations lead to data silos, and ultimately, an ineffective DXP solution. That’s why avoiding data silos is critical when building a DXP that enables marketers to deliver better digital experiences. Implementing highly interoperable software that's built atop industry standards, therefore, is the only way to build an effective interconnected DXP.
For most organizations, the DXP is meant to manage and deliver digital experiences across the customer journey. This usually entails a multitude of systems that perform specific functions in a best-of-breed approach.
In general, these external systems that are integrated to form a DXP include:
When these systems are interconnected, the DXP ecosystem should be deeply integrated in a way that enables non-technical users to leverage data and functionality from one centralized interface. That’s where the interoperability of an API-first CMS comes into play.
While a highly interconnected DXP that shares data and functionality seamlessly is ideal, it can be challenging to avoid data silos without a standardized way of communicating. That’s why APIs enable greater interoperability amongst software.
Most modern applications now expose APIs that allow developers to pull and push data from one system to another easily. This means an API-driven CMS is ready to connect with most software out-of-the-box. API-driven or headless CMSs are also capable of delivering experiences to nearly any device or channel that emerges. That makes API-first CMSs highly interoperable with both frontend and backend systems.
GraphQL takes interoperability a step further by reducing the learning curve for developers. With GraphQL, developers can use a standard query language to access data from another system without learning their specific APIs. This dramatically eases the burden on development teams when it comes to integrating new systems.
An API-driven CMS can lay a strong foundation for an interconnect DXP, but dotCMS takes this a step further. The platform is interoperable beyond default APIs (Java, REST and GraphQL) with features like OSGi support and Velocity scripted APIs. OSGI plugins can range from custom security features like CSRF and OAuth support to custom rules and conditions for greater personalization options.
With dotCMS, developers have a wide range of options when it comes to integrating with backend data sources or frontend interfaces. Low code API tooling and Layout as a Service enables developers to choose the frontend that’s best for the job, while integrating with Edit Mode Anywhere is straightforward and makes marketers' lives easier. There’s also plenty of out of the box integration on the marketplace to save even more time.
White Castle, for example, leveraged the interoperability of dotCMS and its Edit Mode Anywhere feature to deliver a new SPA. Using the in-context authoring environment, the burger chain created a highly-personalized website section they call “The Crave” so customers can configure the site to display relevant recipes and event-related news. White Castle — and its implementation partner DYNAMIT — believe dotCMS has been critical to becoming more digital adaptable and able to deliver content on-the-fly.
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