Sitecore announced that they will embrace the Composable DXP approach. DXP is, according to Gartner:
A digital experience platform (DXP) is an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.Gartner
The composable DXP is when your DXP does not consist of a single monolithic system, but of a series of systems that speak together using API’s. And preferably running in the cloud, because it’s 2021.
In other words, the solution you make is build by picking systems and platforms, making microservices with custom code, and allow these systems and platforms to talk to each other using API’s. All of this is running in the cloud.
The Sitecore CMS is not the sole provider of functionality. If there is a better product out there, you integrate that product into your solution.
“But wait!” I hear you mumble from your basement office. “Isn’t that the way we have being building solutions for our customers for the last 15 years?“. And, yes my fellow cynical software developer, it is indeed. But why is this a big deal then?
REASON 1: It now has a name
Someone has to sell the thing you do. And selling it is much easier if you have a name for it. Your sales guys can now go to your customers and say “We’re embracing the new composable DXP“. Even Gardner have rubber stamped your approach. And you can find whitepapers on composable DXP with buzzwords like “Putting your customers first”, and “Easy to customize” (like that’s not what we’re trying to achieve every day).
Yes, you have being doing composable DXP forever. But without the buzzwords, it is a hard sell.
REASON 2: Finally the Sitecore CMS will be praised for their integrationability
I just made up the word “integrationability“. But seriously, the strongest feature of the Sitecore CMS is it’s approach to integrations. Nobody talks about how easy and great it is to put data into Sitecore, and to pull data out of. And yet this is the single most used feature of all the features in Sitecore CMS.
I haven’t built a single solution in my 18 years of development that did not use integration into other systems. The very first system, a Sitecore 4.1 solution used an Oracle database and a custom VB script, and my latest project uses a full cloud based microservice infrastructure using Azure services and custom integrations to at least 5 other systems to provide the user experience.
You need a custom personalization rule? You just build it. You need to send data to external systems? You just build it. With composable DXP, Sitecore will finally be able to show off how great an integration platform it is.
REASON 3: Using the best system available will become the default
Sometimes the bigger hammer is not the better solution. Sometimes personalization can be done using a simpler system. Or maybe the customer prefers his own analytics platform. With the composable DXP, you can choose a more lightweight approach, if that’s what suits your project better.
REASON 4: Standalone services are easier to develop
Composable also means that one component has one job. Developing microservices are easier to understand, develop and debug. And they can be deployed independently from other services.
If one service becomes obsolete, you no longer have to dismantle a monolith. And as long as you remember to build your services so their status can be observed, you can build dashboards that will tell you which system is failing.
REASON 5: It is fun!
Cloud based development is fun! Building API’s and integrating systems are great! You get to actually make architecture. And code. And at the same time give more value to the customer. And to do it faster. And better.
The composable DXP is not a new thing. But it is now acknowledged by non-developers. And that’s a new thing. Sure, not all systems have great API’s. Or run in the cloud. Or are easy to host. But they will be better over time. The open world is here.
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