Anyone who’s ever looked for a way to have many contributors input content for a single website will know that there are countless choices out there. From a broad spectrum of options, a few titans of industry appear regularly.
However, the way people use and rely on their CMS has dramatically changed in just a few years. Complexity has grown tenfold. Most enterprise CMS platforms still focus on the idea that ‘everything is content’ and push developers, content creators and marketing teams towards the view that ‘you can put anything in our CMS and it will just work.’
The Practical limitations
With an ‘everything is content’ approach, integrating external data sources can impose severe limitations for developers and contributors. It can even result in more - not less - manual input. It can compromise performance and can force developers to have to work longer and harder to ensure stability.
A great example would be with the University Of Bedfordshire, where we needed to integrate external course data. With alternatives, courses would (a) need to be updated manually, resulting in human error, or (b) use a convoluted automation process that would slow down the website and be consistently out of date between updates.
Flexibility and a philosophy of extension
With the new demands of CMS in mind, there’s one that rose to the top for Codiance. One that saw a CMS platform as more than content alone: Umbraco.
From the list of everything we could use as a framework for developing CMS-backed web applications, Umbraco was the only one that truly offered flexibility and choice.
Umbraco bills itself as having ‘no limitations’ and allows developers to ‘develop and extend your website’. These are crucial terms – terms that we believe are completely justified in their use. Umbraco has done away with the idea that all data, workflows and assets must be stored within the CMS framework. Instead, Umbraco focuses on integration.
Umbraco Heartcore and why it matters
Umbraco are driving this philosophy further forward with the introduction of Umbraco Heartcore – a headless content management back-office designed around rich integrations.
We’ll get technical for a short moment here: Content is made available with a RESTful API to deliver content everywhere – from smart watches to smart speakers, tablets to Smart TVs. Umbraco provides content wherever it’s needed.
It’s now possible to allow the CMS to focus on what it was meant to do – manage content!
It’s now possible to allow the CMS system to focus on what it was meant to do – manage content! – whilst providing seamless integration capabilities with a limitless number of other technology components. As engineers, we now have a choice as to where we store, retrieve or generate data without being limited by the encompassing nature of a CMS platform.
With Bedfordshire, the course data is automatically synchronised and input into the Umbraco CMS in the required format. No manual work. No convoluted automation workaround.
It should always be this simple, right? We’re sure there’s thousands of CMS users who’d have assumed the same. We’re sure most face these dilemmas.
As a company, we’ve taken what we’ve learnt from the University of Bedfordshire and created a framework of functionality that we’re calling Codiance Higher. Designed specifically to bring the benefits of Umbraco to the Higher Education sector.
We believe Umbraco is the most appropriate CMS platform for almost everyone: it provides a rich content editing experience and endless extensibility in a secure, robust and maintainable platform that’s designed to scale.
To anyone faced by CMS changes that are long or expensive, or are continuously editing workflows to publish content, please drop us a line!