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BizReport : Internet : May 26, 2017

How to build on the microservices trend

According to one expert, a combination of PaaS and microservices can help brands reach scability, while remaining agile in the always-changing digital space. Here's how:

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can marketers leverage microservices-based architectures?

Arjen van den Akker, Product Marketing Director, SDL: Microservices allow web developers to design, test and deploy applications one component at a time. For marketers, this approach is highly beneficial to meeting the needs of diverse customer sets and responding to ever-changing customer demands. Marketers can leverage microservices by iteratively developing and deploying new features for their web and mobile applications, tweaking them in response to user feedback. Using microservices, companies can develop and deploy web applications piece by piece to reflect each phase of the customer journey, more smoothly incorporating third-party elements and creating the perfect recipe to satisfy user needs.

Kristina: What are the benefits of this approach?

Arjen: Microservices-based architectures allows marketers to use both content and contextual data in a channel agnostic way, offering access for native mobile apps, mobile messaging, content syndication, social channels, print, kiosks, POS displays and more. This makes it much easier for marketers to share dynamic content across multiple channels and devices, while remaining reactive to constantly changing internal and external factors.

When changes happen, such as a new channel emerging, marketing teams are not forced to entirely redesign and redeploy web applications for every device and service. WCM microservices, at the most basic level, allow for faster content integration with less customization.

Kristina: Why are more marketers switching to this approach to WCM, and how can it benefit customers?

Arjen: Marketers, particularly those at large global enterprises, are switching their WCM approaches and incorporating microservices because of the decoupled nature of these services, which makes it easy to integrate their WCM system into a larger ecosystem of digital marketing solutions. One example of this that we see at SDL is the challenge of integrating WCM systems and the website driven by those systems with existing back end technology, such as CRM, PIM, eCommerce and Marketing Automation solutions. Rather than create hard-coded point-to-point integrations, a microservices approach takes away the hurdles of incompatible technologies (e.g. Java vs .NET), the different locations (inside and outside the firewall) where systems may be based; and upgrade issues of one of the systems that might lead to incompatibilities in integration with another system.

As a result, it's easier for marketers to "join the dots" and let multiple systems that contribute to the overall customer experience work together in a smooth way. The customer benefits by engaging with the brand in an efficient, pleasant way that eliminates broken customer journeys, cumbersome re-entering information and the feeling that they are an anonymous visitor rather than a respected customer.

Kristina: How does this microservices trend play into the "API economy" and how will it continue to unfold?

Arjen: The rise of the API economy means that marketers need to be thinking about the integration of technology at every step of the customer journey in their business. Because every company cannot "do it all," this requires marketers to leverage web architectures that offer seamless integration of third-party applications, and PaaS and microservices applications are a great way to do this. At SDL, our Web Microservice API not only provides content but also contextual data that help personalize the overall experience. It enables various types of content and context queries for third-party consumption and content syndication, allowing carefully created content to provide more overall value to the business. We expect to see these types of applications grow in WCM, as marketers continue to unlock the power of microservices and cloud platforms in today's API-driven economy.

Tags: internet business trends, microservices, PaaS, SDL, SMB trends

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