A traditional CMS platform comes with a front-end presentation layer (the head), tightly coupled to the back end, which stores all the content in a database. The presentation layer typically dictates how the content should be put together, and is usually part of a web application.
With a headless CMS, all functionality is available through an API. A headless CMS, therefore, acts as a hub for content delivery. Thanks to an API-first approach, a headless CMS supports a real omnichannel experience: It works not only as a management system but is also capable of providing content not only to web applications but to different devices like smartwatches, digital boards, tablets, smartphones, TV screens, voice assistants, cars and VR devices too.
A headless CMS typically offers two levels, an API and a library for accessing the API from the development platform. A RESTful API is an application programming interface that uses HTTP requests to GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE content and related data. A RESTful web service is based on representational state transfer (REST) technology, which is an architecture and approach to communicating between different services¹. A REST API in a headless CMS allows developers to trigger, write and read content through the library.
The survey² shows the popularity of programming languages among software developers worldwide. SaaS CMS Scrivito gives developers full freedom in creating new applications and enables them to connect and deliver content to any edge device. Adding SaaS CMS Scrivito to an existing JAMstack / React project requires less than 15 lines of code.
SaaS CMS Scrivito goes even further. It is not only a headless CMS but also offers decoupled CMS functionality that provides everything to create a great front-end. With typical headless CMSs, editors fill out form fields without getting an idea of how the content will look when published. Scrivito comes with a new kind of WYSIWYG user interface. Editors love to work with Scrivito because it is intuitive and offers powerful features to business users. Widgets are building blocks for the website. A page is a collection of different widgets arranged freely in a grid. Users with editing permission can rearrange the layout and modify the content in place. The widgets’ behavior can be influenced by parameters provided by users, code or external events. Besides providing content, they can be interactive and include complex business logic such as CRM integrations, forms, product configurators, dealer searches, interactive quizzes, etc. Widgets can be reused across multiple website tenants.
Widgets are so easy to use that non-technical business people can simply set up a website including landing pages, etc. This empowerment of the business side shortens the time to market and reduces project costs. That’s why we call Scrivito a headless CMS with a head.
All of Scrivito’s content retrieval functionality is made available through an API. Additionally, a great GUI provides an awesome user experience. Enterprise SaaS CMS Scrivito satisfies such requirements, overcomes the classic categories, and offers a perfect symbiosis for developers as well as editors.
This blogpost is an excerpt from the “Measurable Success” white paper. You can download it for free to learn about the 10 most relevant factors by which the success of a CMS can be measured.
¹ Source: Roy Fielding, “Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures”, 2000
² Source: Compilation of Data from Stack Overflow and Amazon, March 2019