Our Thoughts
Piyuesh Kumar
Drupal Practice Lead - Backend
12 August, 2022 6 MIN READ

All about Building an Open DXP with Headless Drupal

12 August, 2022 6 MIN READ
Piyuesh Kumar
Drupal Practice Lead - Backend

Scalability is the key when determining which digital properties work best for your business. It helps you keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of digital experiences. In today's digital landscape, it is essential to deliver the right experience via the right touchpoints at the right time. Here’s where DXPs play an essential role.

A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is the platform that powers the unique capabilities of a digital experience. The platform enables businesses to build, deploy, run, and scale digital products. DXPs have become the core of most modern organizations because it centrally manages all aspects of delivering digital experiences via multiple touchpoints. A DXP can be used to build portals, websites, intranets, integration platforms, and more.

DXPs come in various types:

  • Monolithic DXPs
  • Composable DXPs
  • Hybrid DXPs

All versions aim to empower businesses to deliver exceptional Customer Experience (CX) across all digital touchpoints. 
 

What is a Closed DXP & Open DXP?

A closed DXP is a full-stack platform consisting of all key components and is maintained by a single provider. It facilitates the supply of one vendor’s product and services. Adobe Experience Cloud is an example of a closed DXP.

An Open DXP is a composable platform that combines several components from different sources to make them function as one. The open architecture is API-first making it easy to integrate with existing and third-party systems, unlike a traditional closed DXP. 

Open DXPs are backed by open-source CMS like Drupal where organizations have complete control over the direction of their digital transformation. Businesses can also upgrade tools and features wherever and whenever necessary without waiting for one provider to update the platform. Open DXPs enable low-code solutions, enterprise functionalities, and easy-to-use reusable components that empower businesses to create digital experiences as required.

 

The main components of a DXP 

DXPs pack a lot of components and functionalities in one system for omnichannel content delivery and management. Check out some common components that make up a typical DXP. The application and inclusion of these components may differ based on the product, use case, and industry. 

Open DXP with Headless CMS

  • Content management system (CMS) 
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Customer Data Platform (CDP)
  • Customer Experience Management (CEM)
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Tools 
  • eCommerce
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Search Engines

 

Monolithic DXP vs. Composable DXP vs. Hybrid DXP

Monolithic DXP 

A monolithic DXP is an all-in-one platform with a legacy CMS as the core to deliver and manage content. Such DXPs contain more features that a business might need. The tools that integrate with the CMS are not usually best-in-class, making monolithic DXPs cumbersome to developers and organizations.


Composable DXP 

A composable DXP contains several microservices or components for integration via advanced technologies. The CMS is headless and leverages best-in-class APIs to integrate with other microservices. Businesses and developers can use a composable DXP to custom create a modular tech stack suiting their business needs. 


Hybrid DXP 

A hybrid DXP is one step above a composable DXP with pre-built integration services. A headless CMS is the core of a hybrid DXP which provides a user-friendly interface of a traditional CMS and the architectural flexibility of a headless CMS. Businesses can choose the technologies they want to integrate with and also get to choose from a catalog of pre-built integrations that suits their needs.

Open DXP with Headless CMS

 

CMS - The core of DXPs

The CMS is the core of a DXP since it provides the required content for other microservices within a DXP to work together. A CMS like Drupal empowers businesses to communicate effectively with their customers by providing the right context and content. Even when a DXP offers advanced services such as omnichannel initiatives and automation, it relies on Drupal for the content.

The digital era, especially the post-pandemic market, has highlighted the increasing demand for personalized content on all digital touchpoints in a customer’s journey. This shift in digital experience has resulted in the creation of headless Drupal to keep up with customer expectations.

 

What is a Headless CMS?

In Drupal, the head is the presentation layer (front-end website templates, views, & pages), and the body is the back-end content repository. The traditional Drupal or Coupled Drupal enabled non-technical users to create and edit the content on the back-end and displayed that content on a pre-built front-end presentation layer.

Open DXP with Headless CMS

Headless Drupal decouples or separates the back-end and front-end content management. The back-end serves as the center responsible for content creation and storage, while the front-end is responsible for content delivery via an interface. 

Decoupled Drupal offers the flexibility to developers to choose the desired front-end technologies for each project and design experiences for multiple new devices and channels. Developers are not limited by the front-end possibilities offered by Drupal as decoupled Drupal empowers them to select the right tools they require. Businesses are empowered to deliver content on websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, chat portals, wearables, and CRM systems. 


Is the future of content management headless?

Headless CMS (Drupal) works best for content creation and management that can be delivered to any given channel via APIs. It also allows customizing content integration with better security and improved performance. As customers continue to demand personalized content, headless Drupal enables organizations to customize content creation, management, and delivery to enhance CX. 

Businesses focusing on omnichannel marketing, seamless integration, hyper-personalization, and high security would find an Open DXP with headless Drupal as the ideal solution. As DXPs evolve with advancing technologies, organizations can also future-proof their sites and create interactive experiences with new-age technologies. The future of content management would be DXPs with headless CMS as they allow companies to create solutions and experiences on multiple channels effectively.


Benefits of headless Drupal

Omnichannel content 

Editors get more control over content management for consistent and seamless delivery, and content is reusable over multiple interfaces. 


Enhanced front-end experience 

Developers and marketers can create amazing interactions and experiences for mobiles with PWA and front-end app development. 


Out-of-the-box performance 

Businesses can scale front-end and back-end independently with isolated templating and development for complete control without limitations.


API-first approach 

Developers can use APIs for data consumption and transfer content across multiple channels, devices, interfaces, and platforms. 


Cost-effective marketing 

With faster updates, rollouts, and easy-to-access and reuse marketing content, businesses can enjoy increased productivity with reduced costs. 

Content future-proofing 

Businesses can get the maximum value of the created content without having to recreate or revise content pieces every time technology or innovation is updated. 

 

Headless Drupal & Open DXPs: The way forward for digital experiences!


A modern Open DXP enhances the way businesses deliver digital experiences. It empowers companies to utilize customer data, buying patterns, and evolving technologies to craft personalized experiences for each customer. DXPs enable better collaboration between internal teams, like marketing, IT, sales, operation, and management.

Open DXP with Headless CMS

A headless approach is a perfect solution to deliver excellent content and digital experiences across multiple touchpoints. Headless Drupal helps businesses manage an omnichannel digital ecosystem efficiently and adapt seamlessly to changing technologies and customer demands. 

An Open DXP with a headless Drupal should be the marketing strategy for companies to future-proof themselves. QED42 has built composable DXPs with headless Drupal for multiple businesses across different industries resulting in excellent digital experiences and increased ROI. If you are considering enhancing your CX, chat with us to plan an excellent and cost-effective digital strategy.

 

Piyuesh Kumar