Headless CMS

I have been coining an idea for a while about headless CMS. Naturally, it turns out that my idea is not that unique. In fact there is already a startups like http://www.contentful.comhttp://www.prismic.iohttp://www.osmek.comhttp://www.cloudcms.comhttp://www.webhook.com far away on this development.
Idea of Headless CMS surfaced again when I have been looking these static site generators. I found couple of weeks ago Grav, Grav is no-db cms. Basically every page is created as markdown editor on a tree structure on the disk. Then the site runs on top of HTTPHeader generating routing based on the structure on the disk. Grav is built on Symfony (PHP). Benefits on this approach is to be able to provide base structure for a site using markdown that is very similar to static site generators but it can also extended by hooking to database for example if you run a pizzeria you may have “static” content on markdown files and booking a table functionality on database driven. It also has backoffice as a plugin, so you get admin where editor can manage markdown files. Naturally, pages are file based you can have backoffice anywhere and then just have runtime and markdown files deployed to live server. This makes it more secure.  Anyway, Grav is worth of checking out if you are interested to look “different” thinking how to create a CMS.
Anywhoooo… back to headless CMS. I was considering since the internet is built more and more from Web Components. How hard would it be to build in Angular2 based CMS that has no serverside techology dependencies, instead it runs solely on JSON api. Though, I do need some kind of JSON store like Firebase to keep things hooked together.

Rethinking cloud-based ECM

I work these days with Adobe Experience Manager which is part of the integrated suite of products known as the Adobe Marketing Cloud, the Adobe Experience Manager connects with Adobe’s analytics, social media, targeting and optimization modules to create a holistic solution and Sitecore Experience Platform that connects the Web Content Management system with the Digital Marketing System to link together channels, engagement automation and analytics with third party tools. Both of these Experience platforms turns my focus on “CMS as platform“. CMS as platform has born due the lack of CRM solutions that integrates and understands web and social media. This hole has left room for CMS to fill this problem. Although, Adobe and Sitecore are both have been built on top of traditional CM to support cloud and therefore I am not sure if these platforms will solve Cloud -part on real Enterprise Content Management Systems.

So what would be the real Cloud CMS?


If we forget current CMS’s and think from the technology perspective Cloud and Enterprise Content Management one rather interesting concept is to rethinking use of data and presentation to completely different level. Since the Internet is big API of data. I have been playing with the thought where data does not need to be centrally stored but instead it can be loaded from many sources using open API’s or simply scrapped using crawlers. Then on CM side using advanced caching mechanism to stored into central package that can be handled with workflows. Just image a web page where the server that is serving a page is only having information about the presentation, cached content but the data can come from anywhere from the Internet. I could use SkyDrive over Office365 as data storage or Google Drive for generic content. I can host comments from Facebook and video’s from Youtube. If I were having social content I could stream content from a site like Wikipedia. All in the same stream. The CMS on this case would be playing role of brand manager with simple CM functionality that backtracks the changes and workflows and provides editors very easy mashups for social media  Internet snippets and content. The role of the CM editor would be more of an Author who through workflows controls the content produced in any media and social media site. Regular editors could use already familiar tools on the Internet to produce content and use CMS just to low level editing,  construct and page design from the Internet media. This would optimise management of web and social content in the same stream without loosing control of the processes.

OK, I admit this would be rather brave change for some that require full control but nothing that cannot be solved with today’s technology. I also think rethinking data out of “CMS” would free CMS more to evolution of marketing and experience control.