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Bloomreach for the stars with your content management system

by Ian Pearce

Why Bloomreach Experience Manager is a great choice for content management in an enterprise world.

Over the years, I’ve worked with many different content management systems. In that time, I’ve seen a change in the role that a CMS is expected to offer from that of an enterprise ready brochureware service to a fully integrated content service, where presentation is easily decoupled from the content repository. 

My primary weapon of choice used to be Fatwire’s Content Server, which evolved into Oracle’s WebCenter Sites (WCS) but now there’s a new kid on our block here at TPXimpact called Bloomreach Experience Manager (BRxM).

Here, as we look to the future, I’m going to outline some of our thoughts about why we at TPXimpact believe that BRxM is your best choice for content management in an enterprise world.

All hail the Java Content Repository

Without a doubt, the most important feature of BRxM is that it’s based on Apache’s JackRabbit implementation. This means it’s compliant with JSR-170 and JSR-283, the Java Content Repository (JCR) specifications. 

The JCR’s repository-centric, decoupled approach makes it easier to separate content, metadata and configuration from the context within which it is used. Essentially, you have a repository that is intentionally decoupled from the channel through which it will be delivered, allowing integration and reuse of content throughout the enterprise in a wonderfully open fashion.

This decoupling comes in the form of APIs that offer RESTful interaction with the repository as well as extension points that can be customised through additional Java classes. 

Additionally, JAX-RS extensions can be easily integrated to facilitate exposing content to third party applications. This functionality is easily managed through the contribution and console applications that come with BRxM or indeed through first-class integration with IDEs such as JetBrains’ IntelliJ.

Omnichannel and omnipresent thanks to a headless system

The decoupled nature of the repository and delivery system gives you the ability to deliver content in the right way for the platform you are targeting. 

To accommodate more traditional delivery mechanisms, BRxM offers its own Apache Freemarker based templating engine that delivers content directly from the repository. Where it really gets exciting, though, is being able to make use of the APIs that were mentioned earlier to enable BRxM to serve content in a headless fashion.

A headless CMS approach allows you to truly realise the power of BRxM by leveraging inbuilt APIs to deliver the same content to the multiple channels within your infrastructure, without having to worry about the delivery mechanisms employed to surface that content. 

The decoupled nature of a headless system removes constraints around development cycles as well as allowing you to introduce new channels in your infrastructure without compromising the existing content model.

Deploy and be done

When you consider how you are going to deploy your repository and structure, you shouldn’t have to rely on proprietary tooling and complex publishing chains. Luckily, BRxM installations are built as web archives and deployed as a whole. Content can be included in this deployment or it can be imported as a bundle. JCR compliance once again considerably eases this process. 

The target for these deployments can either be one that you manage yourself or you can take advantage of the Bloomreach Cloud, a fully managed virtual environment hosted by Bloomreach. We’ve worked with clients that have targeted both on-prem and cloud based hosting solutions and found it easy to manage these deployments as scripted steps in a CI/CD pipeline. 

It’s a wrap

I hope that you have found the article useful as an introduction to the capabilities and opportunities available to you when you use BRxM as your enterprise CMS. 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help you with your omnichannel adventure!

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Ian Pearce

Tech Lead

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