Jeremy Davis
Jeremy Davis
Sitecore, C# and web development
Jeremy Davis
Jeremy Davis
Sitecore, C# and web development

Is this the most important slide from SUGCON?

Not clickbait - an actual opinion

Published 11 April 2022

I wasn't at SUGCON this year, but I was watching the Twitter reactions, and I've chatted to a few community people about what was said at the event. And in amongst all the exiting technical stuff about XM Cloud, I think there's one slide which really stands out to me...

This:

SUGCON presentation slide showing Symphony connecting to other CMS content sources

[Thanks to Gert Gullentops' twitter for the image]

It's showing the idea that the future "front-end as-a-service" product Sitecore are working on (Sometimes referred to as Symphony - the new SaaS-deployed enhancement to the current Horizon editing UI) will allow you to source content from multiple content management systems. And that's a really big break from the traditional CMS or DXP Sitecore have sold. We're used to products which can provide the editing and rendering tools for the content they store internally. Integrations with other content sources are usually custom code. In the past it's usually boiled down to "copy the data in" approaches (Using Data Exchange Framework, or your own code) for most people, and the occasional custom database provider implementation (like the way you can see Commerce products in the content tree with Experience Commerce) if you're feeling particularly clever.

So it's really interesting to see content integration becoming a first-class part of the Sitecore ecosystem for a few reasons:

  1. It's code you don't have to write any more
    Wherever the system can provide a good implementation for code that used to be our problem, it's helpful. We can now focus that development effort on something new - a customer feature we didn't have time for before...
  2. It fits with the "composable" model
    As we move away from the monolithic DXP, the ease of plugging together systems becomes more important. Supporting common APIs and standards to allow interoperability means we have more flexibility to choose the right tools for our projects. What one of my colleages has been calling the "best of need" architecture. You don't have to pick all the bundled tools of one vendor, but you get to select the tools which fit your requirements best from the whole market. And they should plug together easily.
  3. It's good for omnichannel
    A specific example of how composability helps is the idea that many businesses want to curate content for use across all their channels. Writing product copy once, and then using it on the web, in adverts and in catalogs for example. Being able to easily integrate your web CMS with the business' central content source makes that content reuse simpler and more effective.

This seems like a really clear signal of Sitecore's change of focus and direction recently - So I'm fascinated to see how this pans out in client projects...