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Sitecore Symposium 2018: Headless CMS, The Great Uncoupling

Headless CMS, The Great Uncoupling session was lead by Deane Barker from Blend Interactive.  It provided a look at how we got here and what makes a headless cms important.


  • Why does software get bigger?
    • Rational reasons
      • Edge case support – people keep finding and using and edge case
      • Economy of context – some things work better when they work together
      • Adjacent market capture – adding in this feature lets us go after another market
    • Irrational reasons
      • Assumptions of economy of context – “all in one box/app”
      • Fast car syndrome – yes you can go 160mph, but you never really do
  • Does software ever get smaller?
    • Endowment effect
      • Fear of loss – hard to give up a feature you know is there even if you never use it


  • How did we get to headless?
    • Social networking
    • The need for omnichannel publishing
    • Javascript frameworks
      • Javascript is here to stay
      • Reduce reliance on server side rendering
    • The growth of the cloud
  • 5 layers to a CMS
    • Optimization
      • Personalization
      • A/B testing
    • Delivery and presentation
      • UI
    • Response logic
      • Url to content mapping
      • Access control
      • Version selection
      • Variation selection
      • Contextual content selection
    • Editorial tools
      • Admin
    • Modeling and aggregation
      • Database

Is it really headless?

  • Headless CMS should really be called “headless content repository”
    • A true headless cms does not do the top three layers (optimization, delivery, and response logic)
    • They focus on content infrastructure
      • But marketing people want the top three layers
    • Content can be delivered to any source (web, apps, social, print, rss, etc)
      • But in reality web is/has been the biggest target for content
        • Headless systems end up accommodating web
        • CMS tools add options for headless
        • Which group will find the “right” solution first?

This session really highlighted the value of Sitecore JSS.  You get the benefit of omnichannel content delivery, javascript framework front-end development AND all of Sitecore’s testing and personalization features.
Find the rest of my notes from Sitecore Symposium 2018

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Eric Sanner, Solutions Architect

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