Presenting dotCMS Apps
Dec 22, 2020
By: Stefan Schinkel
One critical fundamental choice when building a DXP is: do you choose a best-of-breed solution OR commit to a single-vendor suite that forces vendor lockin. There are benefits and disadvantages to both options, but when selecting a best-of-breed solution, extensibility needs to be a core capability of the products you choose to build your DXP.
For the majority of implementations, the highest costs can be attributed to systems integration and developers, making it difficult for decision-makers to assess the benefits of integrating any third-party software.
We are aware of that fact, which is why we built dotCMS with two main concepts in mind: integrability and extensibility. An interoperable and extensible platform can lower your total cost of ownership and increase your ROI. Plus, it has the tools to integrate with third-party software, preventing data silos.
The APPS module's key drivers were (a) centralizing and standardizing the integration patterns with adjacent technologies and business applications and (b) Exposing the control parameters for configuring those integrations (NoCode) without having to engage a developer. We wanted dotCMS Apps to drive agility while helping you realize a return on your investment more quickly.
A Closer Look at Interoperability and Extensibility
Interoperability refers to how easy it is to integrate software with external systems. On the other hand, extensibility talks about how easily software can be extended with additional capabilities.
For software to be fully interoperable, it needs to communicate and exchange data with the other parts of the ecosystem so that data silos won’t form. However, with an API-driven CMS like dotCMS, data sharing gets simplified and there are no chokepoints and data silos.
For any CMS or DXP, extensibility is a must. It gives them the framework to customize software to meet the needs of the company; otherwise, businesses would be stuck with an out-of-the-box solution that won’t scale.
dotCMS enables extensibility through a modularized core system, accessible data, a standardized interface, and detailed documentation. This is all packed into an open source platform that gives developers full control over the source code to modify it as they see fit.
Both interoperability and extensibility are two essential characteristics businesses need to take into account when picking a CMS or a DXP. These concepts reduce the overall total cost of ownership of implementation projects and enable enhanced functionalities.
Now that you know the two concepts behind dotCMS apps, let’s talk a bit more in depth about our apps.
dotCMS Apps Explained
Simply put, dotCMS Apps extend the capabilities of dotCMS and the content editors and developers who use it. dotCMS Apps are third-party extensions that can be integrated with the core dotCMS software to build better editor experiences, and most importantly engaging customer experiences.
Due to the extendable and open source nature of dotCMS, it’s also possible to build dotCMS apps as OSGi plugins to empower users with different functionalities that might not exist out of the box.
Another major benefit of dotCMS Apps is that they’re built using the OSGi framework. Using OSGi, we give users the tools to build independent software components known as bundles, each running in a separate container, independent from one another, resolving dependency issues.
dotCMS Apps make it simple for users to add a UI on top of the integrations to help them configure things and make the most of their dotCMS installation. dotCMS apps help users adapt our platform to individual business processes and simplify integrations with other services within dotCMS.
Similarly, since the developers have access to the dotCMS SDK, it becomes possible to edit and tweak the data and build a plugin that suits the business needs of a particular set of users. Similarly, dotCMS Apps work as building blocks for customizing parts of your dotCMS deployment, which will help you as you scale and begin to need more resources.
dotCMS Apps give developers the flexibility they need to create custom functionalities and integrate the new code with dotCMS seamlessly. Each app is completely isolated from one another and using or removing one won’t affect the rest of your installation.
Developers have free reign with dotCMS Apps to create specific capabilities and deploy them without impacting the platform. For marketers, this means better performance and faster time to market; for users, enhanced digital experiences.
If you want to learn more about dotCMS Apps and the direction our platform will take in the future, tune in to our Fall Webinar:
dotCMS: A DXP Built for Integration and Extension
dotCMS is built for integration and customization. Its API-driven architecture and OSGi support enable developers to choose the best approach for each integration point.
It doesn’t matter if you need to build a customer-facing app or a backend system to customize your software product further, developers can use dotCMS to do it without affecting the rest of your installation.
Also, thanks to its best-of-breed approach, dotCMS has the capabilities users need to create digital experiences fast and at scale, reducing the overall costs of IT and development while extending the capabilities of your software product.
For instance, The Lebron James Foundation used dotCMS to build and extend their previous website with a brand new SPA using dotCMS and our signature app, Edit Mode Anywhere. Read the case study and find out more about how we helped The Lebron James Foundation.