Robbert Kauffman

Mar 7, 2018

A better authoring experience for Headless CMS’s

Headless or Content-as-a-Service has become a popular CMS architecture in recent years. Thanks in part to the rise of Single-Page Application (SPA) frameworks such as Angular and React.

Organizations are no longer leveraging SPAs just for web applications but increasingly for regular websites as well. One of the key drivers behind the adoption of SPAs is moving away from a monolithic approach to a microservices architecture with a strong separation of concerns and of back-end and front-end development.

Although there are many more reasons to adopt an SPA, that is beyond the scope of this write-up. So far headless has been the popular, and also the logical and straightforward approach for integrating SPAs with WCM because of how SPAs are designed to function. However, there are serious architectural limitations with this approach that the business is often unaware of when moving to this technology.

Bloomreach Experience offers a novel and unique approach that overcomes these limitations so that you have a highly improved authoring experience that is similar to when the CMS operates ‘headful’ or when the CMS ‘owns-the-glass’.

The challenge with headless is that you lose out on prime CMS features such as integrated CMS preview, drag & drop and in-context editing. This is because these features are almost always tied to the delivery of the CMS. When the CMS is no longer doing the delivery but instead the SPA is, you lose these functionalities. For example, with CMS preview: when the SPA is the front-end, the CMS can't generate a preview because it has no knowledge of how the end result should look like. That is the SPA's responsibility. Other features such as drag & drop are typically also coupled to the delivery of the CMS. When you take out the CMS delivery, you again lose such features. In the end, CMS users are stuck with a very dated approach to managing their web properties: form-based entering of content. Sure there are workarounds, but these require significant customizations in the CMS, the SPA or both.


On headless / content-as-a-service: “CMS users are stuck with a very dated approach to managing their web properties: form-based entering of content.”


Bloomreach Experience offers a unique way to integrate SPAs with the CMS. In this approach, the SPA is still powering the delivery, offering great flexibility to IT. But at the same time, the CMS users can use all powerful features that come with a modern CMS: preview, in-context editing, drag-and-drop page composition, personalization, and more.

Are you currently using an SPA with a headless CMS, and are interested in learning more about improving the authoring experience? Or are there plans to move towards such an architecture? You can learn more about how we can help with the links below, or contact us directly for a demonstration.

To learn more about how Bloomreach's solution works from a technical perspective, please read the blog A new approach to integrating SPAs with WCM: fixing what’s wrong with Headless integrations, or watch the presentation A New Approach to Single-Page Applications from our latest conference, Bloomreach Connect Amsterdam.

Don’t understand fully what SPAs are and how they might help your business? Then watch the webinar with Bloomreach's partner Authentic, where they give an introduction to SPAs, their use cases and applications, and how Bloomreach can integrate.

Any other questions? We’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

The most advanced headless CMS. Powerful content editing with BloomReach's API.

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The most advanced headless CMS. Powerful content editing with BloomReach's API.