Is solution your monolithic? Think again

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 | Strategy

Surjit Bharath

Director of Hidden Foundry

Optimizely Most Valued Professional (OMVP), Subject Matter Expert (SME), CMS and Commerce certified

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Is your solution architecture coupled or monolithic?

If it is powered by Optimizely, then technically, I would argue that you should consider yourself to be on a hybrid architecture.

Different flavours of coupled architecture exist. In the developer world, 'coupled' typically means that the front-end and back-end are on the same stack. For Optimizely, this often translates to the front end being served from ASP.NET. However, 'coupled' doesn't necessarily imply that the technology itself is intertwined. It can also mean that any changes to the front end necessitate corresponding alterations in the back end, and vice versa. This stands in contrast to a true headless approach, where the backend is dedicated to serving raw, domain-specific data, while the front end focuses solely on presenting that data without direct influence.

The hybrid approach offers flexibility in your organizational architecture. Some of your channels might be headless, while your main website remains coupled. This could be due to historical reasons – perhaps that's where the website originated. Alternatively, it could be for simplicity, as working with ASP.NET MVC might be more efficient than using a front-end technology. Given that a headless approach can incur additional hosting costs, having the front end and back end on the same platform can lead to significant cost savings. Furthermore, you might anticipate the need for headless channels in the future, perhaps for launching an app or when a third-party organization requires access to certain parts of your data.

Circling back to your solution – if you're using a coupled architecture, remember that Optimizely offers tools like Graph, Search & Navigation, Service API, and Content Delivery APIs to support your "headless" channels. Most of these features, except for Graph for CMS 12, are available right now. There's nothing stopping you from creating a headless channel that communicates with Optimizely CMS via one of these APIs, while also developing data structures that represent domain information, rather than being confined to the format of a page or visual block.

So, are you coupled or hybrid?

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