This blog post provides background information and an index of posts in a series about challenges that you may face when implementing applications using composable software architecture. With emphasis on headless Content Management Systems (CMS), the primary focus of this series is delivering websites and comprehensive Digital eXperience management (DX) solutions assembled from discrete systems that provide individual Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) including content management, search, and commerce. Before setting out to implement composable solutions, organizations should understand these procedural, functional, financial, technical, managerial, and architectural challenges and plan to incorporate remedies that address some of these concerns. These options include Kajoo, the AI-powered page and component builder for composable digital experience management solutions.
The technology industry is abuzz with articles about headless CMS and composable application architecture. Software vendors market composable architecture as a silver bullet for digital experience management, which is a short way of saying websites with various personalization, optimization, (email) marketing automation, and other advanced digital features including those unrelated to the website. Compared to relatively monolithic platforms available in the past, composable architecture provides organizations with the technical flexibility required to implement new features and incorporate entire new PBCs relatively quickly, including technologies yet to be developed. Unfortunately, little information is available about implementation challenges and strategies to address those issues.
Every tool has limits. It will always take time for intelligent and experienced people to deliver unique and efficient solutions. An understanding of common challenges as well as strategies to address them can assist in selecting the best composable products and architecting appropriate solutions for requirements, both those known currently and any that may arise in the future. It is especially important to implement solutions that avoid challenges that resulted from using legacy monolithic platforms of the past.
The following topics provide context for the remaining posts in this series.
Content Management Systems store data – primarily text, images, and video – for use by other applications. Separating content from its use makes that data reusable by multiple applications and multiple components within individual applications, allowing business users to manage content independently and without knowledge of the technology that uses that data.
Content Management Systems are most commonly used to power websites. In general, these solutions build pages by assembling presentation components implemented by developers, where each component renders data from the CMS or possibly additional systems such as electronic commerce.
Composable architecture is an approach to building enterprise software solutions that integrates multiple systems from different vendors rather than building an application on top of a monolithic platform from an individual vendor. Each system from a vendor provides a specific Packaged Business Capability (PBC). In most cases, composable software vendors deploy Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to host their software so that their customers do not need to install and maintain their own instances of those applications. Customers implement composable solutions that integrate some number of PBCs into a composite application that meets their specific business requirements.
Digital experience management refers to technologies and solutions that power online experiences. The most common type of composable application is a website that typically integrates advanced functionality such as audience tracking, personalization, and marketing automation.
Omnichannel, or multichannel, refers to using the Content Management System (CMS) to provide content through multiple channels. Most CMS implementations have one or more websites as their primary content delivery channels. Additional channels can include dedicated mobile applications, physical kiosks, print media, in-store display terminals, video games, virtual and augmented reality systems, and any other channel that can use software to retrieve content from the CMS. In some cases, multiple channels can share a common set of data managed in the CMS.
The following blog posts provide information about various challenges that organizations may face when implementing composable solutions, as well as strategies to address some of those concerns.
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