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Future-proof for success by becoming API-first

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When it comes to delivering on the emerging content strategies of today’s modern enterprises, line of business owners and digital content managers are realizing that their legacy CMSs are simply not capable of pivoting to meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers. As a result, the demand for headless CMS platforms has steadily grown over the past several years.

A subset of decoupled CMS architecture, a headless CMS does not include a fixed front end, freeing up technology development teams to use a combination of their preferred frameworks to determine when and how content appears. This flexibility extends to where businesses want the content delivered—from websites on laptops and smartphones to smart-home devices like speakers and TVs.

Along with the profusion of new technologies through which brands and publishers need to distribute their content comes the unexpected outcome of 2020 and life under lockdown life. More time at home means more time on a cornucopia of different devices for both work and play. The benefits of a headless CMS are further amplified in the days of COVID-19.

Sitting between the end consumer and your CMS of choice come APIs to manage both the organization of all your content and the delivery of this content to whatever channel and device you need. Think of these as the delivery trucks that bring the goods from the warehouse to the home.

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Understanding API integrations with headless CMS or hybrid headless CMS

A CMS that can empower organizations to be API-first is uniquely valuable and provides the advantages of headless CMS (API-only) with rich capabilities like workflow, search and content delivery. For example, Brightspot CMS is front-end and presentation-layer agnostic, which means the business driver dictates the way the platform is deployed—headless CMS, or hybrid CMS—it’s up to your business use case. Headless CMS architecture integrates seamlessly with both new technology and existing tech stacks, making it easier to adjust content and publishing workflows without creating time-consuming integrations for developers.

For businesses looking to develop and deploy engaging content experiences for their audiences no matter the device, it’s important to emphasize that Brightspot can empower them to be API-first—as opposed to API-only platforms that don't have the same level of flexibility. This gives publishers and organizations the option and access to use a number of pre-built integrations to save valuable development time and effort. With GraphQL API, Brightspot provides two API endpoints: Content Delivery API and Content Management API. These allow users to pull data in and out of the system, or programmatically query, save and delete content in Brightspot from another application.

All in all, no matter if headless CMS or hybrid headless CMS, an API-first content management platform gives the ultimate flexibility in executing a content strategy that works for your business’ vision and goals without having to compromise on how the solution is implemented on the back end.

The benefits of being API-first

For organizations and publishers looking to future-proof for success, choosing a content management platform that enables them to be API-first should be top of mind. The main benefits of being API-first include:

  • Increased collaboration: Brightspot's architecture allows for a multitude of plug and play integrations pre-built for the platform, including best-of-breed enterprise applications that enterprises depend on like Slack, AWS, Salesforce and Google Suite.
  • Improved time to market: An platform that enables API-first implementations supports the automation of processes that were once tedious, minimizing the time spent on things like creating definitions and new architectures when other tools or applications are introduced to a system. Brightspot is built to integrate with new and emerging technologies in machine learning and artificial intelligence that streamline content creation.
  • Minimized risk: APIs are used across companies at a very large scale, meaning that an individual’s work in one department, such as communications, will likely eventually intersect with the work of a developer on the back end. An API-first approach creates a reliable, consistent environment that reduces the risk of errors.
  • Simplified maintenance: New technology and digital transformation requires organizations to be agile, and able to make adjustments and enhancements at a fast pace. With an API-first approach, codes are more often reusable and the need to retrofit the back end for new channels downstream is minimized.

With its extensible architecture, Brightspot truly becomes your platform. Built as a solution that can empower organizations to be API-first, Brightspot lets your organization publish how you want—headless CMS, decoupled CMS, or hybrid headless CMS—and is designed to grow with your business as needs change. Read more about the different integrations Brightspot supports here that help organizations and publishers future-proof for success.

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About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is VP of Platform Product Management & Solutions at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 10 years, contributing to major Brightspot engagements from U.S. News & World Report to Arizent and Healthgrades. In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for AOL.com, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

Related resources

Take a technical deep dive on CMS architecture and the role that APIs play, including the distinction between API-only versus API-first system design.
Organizations leverage a variety of programming languages to build content management systems. Among the most popular are C#, Java, PHP and Python. And though some technical experts will swear by their favorites, it begs the question—which is the best to use?
Legacy CMS platforms diminish content value, have hidden costs and aren't flexible. Find out how to overcome them with an extensible content management system
GraphQL is the programming language that enables flexible connection with programming APIs that support headless CMS integrations like the one offered through Brightspot.