Using Sitecore To Create A Headless CMS Platform
03Mar 2020

Using Sitecore To Create A Headless CMS Platform

Headless CMS With Sitecore: A Seamless Experience

Since their inception, content management systems (CMS) have completely transformed the entire web content landscape. There was a time when CMS weas the primary instrument of managing websites which could be viewed only on desktops. Not only did they handle content creation and content management, but they also ensured that content delivery and content presentation could be clubbed within one system.

However, as times changed and the internet evolved, new platforms began to emerge with the promise of better opportunities. An era of mobile phones, internet-of-things, and virtual assistants dawned, requiring content to be served in a more efficient and mature way. Developers had to make sure that the same content could be presented across various applications without inducing any sort of complexity or incurring extraneous operating costs.

This is precisely what led to the evolution of  'Headless CMS'.

What Is Headless CMS?

A Headless CMS is essentially a content management system, its basic purpose being to create, organize, and deliver content without having anything to do with its presentation. In other words, a headless CMS focuses only on the back-end processes and completely disregards 'the head' . It makes the content universally accessible through a RESTful API, from where it can be picked up by other systems and devices. Being multi-purpose in nature, a headless CMS is low-cost, easy to use, scalable, and secure.

How Sitecore Helps Develop Headless CMS?

Sitecore enables developers to deliver personalized content, collect useful data, and still be able to function across multiple channels. In order to do this, it offers numerous approaches which can be effectively used to develop a headless CMS. These are:

1. Sitecore permits the decoupling of content management from both, content delivery and presentation. This allows the content to be stored in the form of small components, with each one of them having predefined responsibilities. When content is stored in a component-format instead of a page-format, it becomes easy to use different parts of it, on different platforms. This lends you a significant amount of usage flexibility.

2. The Sitecore Experience Platform carry an API layer which uses the RESTful interface for communicating with other channels. Commonly referred to as the 'Services client', this API layer receives a request, translates it into a search question, looks through the repository, and returns the result to the device from which the initial request was made. It also has an O-data layer which further provides specificity.

3. The Sitecore Experience Accelerator contains a standard toolkit with about 70 diverse components which can be used to create quick web content, without any sort of coding. This Accelerator can also be employed to change content into the JavaScript object notation (JSON) format. The primary benefit of a JSON file is that it strips the content of all its visuals, thus, re-aligning it to suit the requirements of non-visual devices.

4. Apart from the aforementioned, the Sitecore Layout service also helps develop headless CMS. This can be better explained with the help of an example. Let us consider that Sitecore is assembling different components to create a web page, in response to a request. For this, Sitecore first uses the context of the request-maker, i.e., their geographical location, device type, profile, etc. Once this is done, it retrieves the specific content asked for and equips it to be picked up by the device. However, just before this presentation is made, the Layout service kicks in and converts all components into JSON. This ensures that the content of the headless CMS is personalized in accordance with the user's needs.

More so, Sitecore has also come up with a JavaScript Service (JSS) which empowers developers to create headless CMS without any knowledge of Sitecore itself!

The Road-Map Ahead

If you want to develop a headless CMS but are unsure of how to go about the process, it would be wise to seek assistance from PennyWise Solutions. With their in-depth expertise in delivering content management solutions and the ability to provide custom-built CMS, it would be possible for you to create, aggregate, syndicate, and deliver personalized content. PennyWise uses Sitecore to induce sustainability and dynamism into all your business content.

After all, creating digital content in a collaborative environment requires diligence and tenacity, both of which PennyWise Solutions harbors in good measure.

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