Webinar insights: Questions on GraphQL and headless CMS answered

image of laptop screen for GraphQL webinar

Headless CMS and GraphQL have been trending topics for a while in the content management space. Headless is much more than just a buzzword, though—it’s a necessary layer in modern technology stacks. A flexible, headless CMS architecture can be a great support for a multi-channel customer journey. The popularity of headless is clear, with 86% of respondents to a Pupuweb survey saying they view headless in a positive light; 29% of respondents were already using a headless approach, and 38% planned to start.

Adopting a headless architecture has many benefits, but in order to achieve success with the technology, there are different hurdles to overcome and factors to consider. Headless CMS technology can be complex, which is why the same survey found that 48% of respondents in technical roles are very supportive of headless. It’s important for contributors across the content team, however, to also have a solid understanding of headless CMS architecture and GraphQL.

In short, GraphQL is the query language that enables flexible connection with programming APIs that support headless CMS integrations. Brightspot’s CMS has been designed to make working with GraphQL and headless simple. Brightspot recently covered this topic in a webinar, How Headless CMS and GraphQL APIs Diversify Content Delivery. It’s available to watch on-demand, with the top key takeaways from the conversation summarized below.

The point with headless is that from one master content hub you can make all your content changes and publish it however you want on any constellation of touch points.
Image of Brightspot founder and CEO, David Gang
David Gang, CEO and Co-founder at Brightspot
Headless can help by keeping developers in a constant position to iterate so they can focus on adding new experiences rather than focusing time on implementing the same solutions on different platforms. Your editors can focus on their content rather than repetitive publishing of it.
Omavi Walker, Senior Software Engineer at Brightspot
Omavi Walker, Senior Software Engineer, Brightspot
I think the way that you have to look at headless technology is that it is a true separation of the source of content—otherwise known as the back end—from the front end that you are delivering to, whether that is a website, an OTT app or syndication.
Image of Brightspot founder and CEO, David Gang
David Gang, CEO and Co-founder at Brightspot

Takeaway #1: Multiple considerations should go into evaluating headless CMS architecture from a technical standpoint.

There are three main CMS architectures: traditional, decoupled and headless. Each has its benefits, but one of the key pluses of headless is that it completely removes the presentation system, separating the front and back ends. This enables the same content to power a variety of experiences across channels. Headless also offers flexibility—making it easy to migrate to another headless CMS or use existing data with a new headless tool. This appeals to technical buyers who want to up-level their content technology without major investment.

Headless is particularly popular for enabling front-end freedom of choice. By removing the presentation system and instead delivering just data, it allows you to build your front end using whichever technologies are best-suited to your needs. Front-end developers can use their favorite frameworks and tools, which can change over time and with different projects. The front end can change completely without the back end even knowing about it, which makes it easy and fast to integrate new designs. Additionally, once GraphQL is set up, teams don’t have to rely as much on the back end making changes, with APIs doing the majority of the work.

Takeaway #2: There are advantages of using GraphQL APIs for content and digital experience delivery.

GraphQL is a foundational element to Brightspot’s headless CMS offering. Brightspot has two configurable GraphQL API types. The Content Management API (CMA) is useful for data ingestion, automated testing and custom editorial experiences, such as creating an iOS widget. The Content Delivery API (CDA) builds APIs safe for third-party consumption and delivers content to end users, such as through a website.

There are many advantages to using GraphQL APIs for content and digital experience delivery. GraphQL is an alternative to the traditional RESTful style of web services. One of its benefits is that when you send a GraphQL query to your API, it always returns predictable results, giving you exactly what you need. Apps using GraphQL are fast and stable because they control the data they get, instead of the server having control. This allows you to get all the data that your application needs in a single request. It also enables applications to be quick, even on slow mobile network connections.

Takeaway #3: Brightspot enables teams to take an API-first approach with GraphQL

One of Brightspot’s strongest GraphQL features is the self-describing type system, where GraphQL APIs are organized in terms of types and fields, not endpoints, making it possible to access the full capabilities of your data from a single endpoint. You can also evolve quickly, adding new fields and types to a GraphQL API without impacting existing queries. Aging fields can be deprecated and hidden, and you can use a single, evolving version to give access to new features and encourage clean, maintainable code. With GraphQL, the user interface is automatically generated based on Java class.

In conclusion

At Brightspot, we believe in front-end freedom of choice—to be able to choose the architecture that best suits each individual organization’s unique needs. That’s why we’ve designed our Brightspot CMSm to operate as a traditional, decoupled, headless or hybrid CMS solution.

For teams interested in learning more about the benefits of headless CMS and GraphQL APIs, watch our on-demand webinar here.


Go deeper with these headless CMS resources

Is your organization considering headless CMS as the solution to its digital-publishing needs? Here are some resources to help get you started, plus learn if Brightspot is the right solution for your business. Brightspot CMS is naturally headless, but users determine how they want to use the platform to create digital content experiences. Brightspot is a CMS platform that is front-end agnostic with an extensible architecture that is API-first so that users can publish how they want—headless, decoupled or both—all within the same environment.

Learn about Brightspot headless CMS
Naturally headless or decoupled, the Brightspot CMS platform ensures your content can be distributed to any device to support current and future distribution channels.
This eBook explains the origin of headless CMS and why this architecture is an appealing option for technical teams, including guidance for selecting the best CMS for your organization’s needs.
Join us for an in-depth look at the the benefits and consideration factors of headless CMS, with the discussion here tailored toward how headless benefits content and editorial teams.

More from Brightspot