What is MACH Alliance?

Stefan Schinkel

A new organization has emerged in the content management system space with members from across the industry. Named the MACH Alliance, the organization is a global consortium of CMS vendors, technology partners, and eCommerce platforms who are focused on providing an open framework for collaboration and problem-solving.

The alliance aims to reduce complexity for CMS users and professionals through education, knowledge sharing, best practices, research, and development. In this article, we cover the basics of the MACH Alliance including what it is, its manifesto, its advantages, and how dotCMS fits into the concept of MACH.

What is The MACH Alliance?

Formed in June 2020 and founded by Contentstack, commercetools, Valtech, and EPAM Systems, the MACH Alliance is a non-profit corporation whose aim is to introduce an open, best-of-breed-based enterprise technology ecosystem.

The MACH Alliance offers enterprise companies guidance on how they can grow by implementing a composable, best-of-breed architecture to build open tech ecosystems that are based on Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, SaaS, and Headless technologies.

The MACH Alliance Manifesto

The alliance’s manifesto rests on the concept of best-of-breed software, which refers to companies building a tech stack based on their specific needs and using the best tools possible for their particular use case, which is something we’ve always been advocates of at dotCMS.

Let’s take a closer look at MACH Manifesto to understand more about the main tenets of the alliance:

  • Ensure that a best-of-breed-alternative is always available

  • Share technical knowledge about why best-of-breed trumps suites

  • Create best-practices that show companies how to transition to best-of-breed

  • List and explain selection criteria for enterprises such as what to ask when RFPing

  • Publishing technical content demonstrating how to integrate technologies

  • Educating the public with events and resources on the benefits of open technologies

MACH Architecture Explained

Now that we have gone over what the alliance is and briefly explained their main tenets, let’s go over the architecture (the MACH) behind it.


At its core, microservice architecture involves developing software applications using smaller modular services rather than building software as one, large unified block of code called monoliths. Microservices work independently with other services, giving the software greater flexibility. Yet, well-built microservices can also work together when needed, ensuring end users never feel like their experience is fragmented in any way.


An API-first CMS —also known as a best-of-breed CMS— doesn’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades. Instead, it focuses on being an excellent content management and authoring solution while giving its users the APIs necessary to integrate another best-of-breed software to build a truly solid, modular tech stack.


Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services, including servers, storage, databases, and software over the internet or the cloud to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.


Headless technology decouples content from the frontend delivery layer, also called presentation. This approach enables enhanced connectivity between different services using APIs, making omnichannel content delivery possible.

Advantages of the MACH Architecture

Moving from monolithic architecture or suite-based platforms can be daunting for enterprises, but a best-of-breed or MACH-based architecture gives global companies the freedom to choose a tech stack that makes sense for their specific business concerns. Along with this, MACH offers several other advantages such as:

  • Faster speeds: Agile architecture and methodologies ensure that MACH-based platforms provide companies with a faster route and a solid MVP. For enterprises, MACH also enables faster rollouts and better concepts that can be scaled faster and lower costs.

  • Best-of-breed Strategy: The MACH architecture enables you to take advantage of all the best, new technologies in the market and prevents enterprises from purchasing a platform that might be bloated and with features that they don’t need.

MACH Architecture vs. Suite Architecture


Software Suite


Highly flexible to implement new services, designs, and business models

Inflexible system where you are limited to the platform’s capabilities


Allows for flexible scaling of services.

Not scalable; limited in terms of functionalities


Flexibility to innovate and meet modern demands

Restricts innovation


Promotes the use of modular, microservices-based architecture

A large integrated architecture

Frontend Agnosticism

Push boundaries to build across several digital touchpoints and channels

Integrates logic and presentation together in one system

How dotCMS is on Par with the MACH Alliance

While dotCMS isn't part of the MACH Alliance, it shares its philosophy and matches the definition of a MACH technology. Here are some of the reasons why dotCMS fits into the definition.

No Need For Updates

Contrary to monolithic suite software, a SaaS-based, best-of-breed technology stack doesn't need upgrades. Enterprise companies can't spare time on manually upgrading and updating everything; a SaaS-based CMS like dotCMS takes these two cumbersome tasks from enterprise companies' hands and makes it possible for them to scale and operate with confidence without fearing downtime.

Integrability and Extensibility

One of the best things about the best-of-breed architecture is that it enables integrations with hundreds of tools. Building a DXP with dotCMS is an integration bonanza because we've built a centralized app store containing all of your integrations of dotCMS-powered digital marketing and digital commerce tools. The dotCMS app store has NoCode controls for business teams and contains native integrations with Amazon Rekognition, Google Translation, SAML, and Edit Mode Anywhere.

Faster Time to Market

The MACH enables enterprises to move faster, iterate, and get products in the hands of the users faster than when compared to monoliths and suites. dotCMS' best-of-breed architecture ensures that enterprises don't spend more time than they should when building and validating their ideas. dotCMS provides enterprise clients with a platform ready to create tailored experiences that suit the customer's needs.

Best-of-Breed Software Stack

Enterprises lose a competitive edge when they fail to adopt and leverage the best technologies on the market. dotCMS, on the other hand, has a best-of-breed philosophy. We believe integration should be lightweight at all levels, making digital experience integrations fast and efficient. This means, as well, less risk to core business applications and creating a solution architecture that remains flexible enough to cater to continuous change with an overall lower total cost of ownership.

Improved Customer Experience

Monolithic platforms aren't the best when it comes to delivering timely customer experiences . CMOs and their marketing teams need to be in the driver's seat when it comes to customer experience orchestration. That means codeless interfaces built with marketers in mind. dotCMS empowers marketing teams to create agile customer experiences that will decrease time-to-market on new devices while reducing costs in the process.

Enhanced Security

A monolithic architecture may have bugs and security vulnerabilities resulting from modifications or upgrades to a particular component. As a best-of-breed platform, it is our job to provide modern tooling that allows responsible developers and administrators to deliver the most secure content managed site or content application available. dotCMS is primarily concerned, from a security standpoint, with the security issues that arise from the dotCMS tooling itself, the admin console, and related web services, rather than any specific web or content implementation built by third parties within the platform itself.

For enterprises who run business-critical applications on dotCMS, the Enterprise Edition brings additional value and peace of mind to help to optimize the total cost-of-ownership, ROI, and innovation.

If you want to learn more about how dotCMS helps enterprises read more here: dotCMS Enterprise.

Stefan Schinkel
Chief Revenue Officer
December 01, 2021

Filed Under:

api cloud headless cms mach

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