I pose this question rhetorically because I have an agenda hidden beneath it.
That’s because I want to talk about the workings of Contentful and focus in on a particular topic.
Recently, Contentful has gone about adding applications to its platform in order to strengthen what the content management system calls “digital builders” that is helping to evolve it beyond a headless content management platform.
Its new content strategy aims to provide much more than an API for developers to use to publish content through a front-end experience. Contentful has built a third-party marketplace where businesses can provide applications that are built on the app framework of Contentful.
Adding to this, the platform has made its APIs publicly available so that its partners and customers can build their own custom apps. For example, IKEA built a merchandise and content app that allows content creators to make and publish content on its website.
And now, the content management system recently announced two additional apps that help to broaden the platform with back-end CMS capabilities. These new apps, called Compose and Launch, are geared toward boosting productivity.
Both Compose as well as Launch allow creatives and editors to write and manage content without the dependence of a developer.
Compose is an app for creatives to, well, create, manage, and edit webpages through a page-centric model.
Launch is an app that gives content teams the space for planning and scheduling content releases, in addition to the capability of viewing all content together and manage them as a single project.
The reason why Contentful decided to build out their capabilities with apps was pretty clear: digital builders (content creators and planners) need ways to create, publish, and manage content with ease and use it across channels.
With a headless content management system solution, this is not actually that easy to do given that headlessness doesn’t usually have much robust back-end strength.
Yet Contentful didn’t build these two apps directly on their platform. And that was a conscious decision, because they wanted their clients to extend the platform based on their own specific needs.
For an app framework that is built on an open-source platform, it provides customers with an important ecosystem. Customers can use these two apps straight out of the box in addition to being able to customize them to fit a company’s specific workflows.
The fact that Contentful is expanding its admin-based apps speaks to the fact that by doing so, it is building a more traditional web experience management platform.
So as Contentful continues to build to provide solutions that are more related to traditional CMS solutions, such as front-end development, app building, and other digital interfaces, how far is it likely to diverge from its headless beginnings?
And regarding the short term, what will Contentful build next to help its customers deliver better digital experiences?