Headless CMS in action: Gearing up Coleman’s mobile app to support any channel

image of campers using Coleman camping gear for headless CMS in action article

A recent Brightspot implementation with the outdoor equipment company Coleman shows how going with a headless CMS architecture can help deliver a rich app experience in far less time than a traditional approach.

As a refresher, headless is a version of a content management system where the back end is decoupled from the front end. That means the CMS is responsible for storing and managing content on the back end, presenting only raw data for separate front-end systems to consume downstream. It's a way to get a lot more control over how and where you present your content.

This solution was perfect for Coleman as the company set out to develop a native mobile app called Get Outdoors to help users plan camping trips quickly and easily. The company needed a powerful CMS that could aggregate everything users needed into one place. The Brightspot team created a back-end CMS and built two apps—one for iOS and one for Android—using the JavaScript framework React Native. As a result, one instance of content published to Brightspot will automatically publish on both versions of the app.

"Both apps are managed and published within Brightspot," says Minnie Kwag, a Brightspot software engineer who worked on the project. "We created the CMS for them to use as a platform and used a headless architecture, where we created an API that displayed the data from the CMS."

Using a separate front end helped slash the normal development time for such a project by a third, but that wasn't the only reason to go headless. Coleman now has the ability to support any channel with its robust outdoor content, which includes guides to state and national parks, how-to articles, gear guides and other camping resources.

"If Coleman later decided to build a microsite for Get Outdoors, or create content for the Apple Watch, it wouldn't be too difficult, because they have a headless implementation," Kwag says. "It's just a matter of creating those other APIs to ingest the data."

In the meantime, for the existing Coleman apps, the Brightspot team is working on new features, including an offline data capability that will enable users to download videos on how to make a campfire, or set up a tent, for example, and watch the videos even if their devices are out of range at the campsite.

Still have questions about headless CMS architecture? Check out our article about the pros and cons of coupled, decoupled and headless CMS architecture, watch our informative webinars or contact us.

Find out why developers love a headless CMS, learn about the power of GraphQL and see why big brands trust Brightspot for their headless implementations.


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.

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