Content as a service.

While having discussions with some colleagues, I find it amazing how otherwise very knowledgeable content management specialist find it very complex to see that the next generation for web content delivery should be content as a service.

Talking endlessly on terms like pre-publishing, caching, creating complex webservices, reverting back to JSP’s, PHP’s or servlets, it’s only nice food for discussion in order to kill some time.

I feel however that we – as web content management specialists – fail to understand that in order to keep up, we need not to think into specifics and limitations, but in generics and possibilities. Rather that using the old MVC we could upgrade the pattern into MADS, Model – Any format – Data Services. Not thinking if content should be disclosed in multiple formats and feeds, but just only consider which non-default services we want to provide to better service our crowd sourcing population.

And yes I know that this is same old same old, but why do I still see Sharepoint specialists trying to figure out how to include some user specific content in an otherwise static portal and decide if the impact wouldn’t be to intensive on the server? If they would have invested into a content services layer, they would only be discussing at which location they best convert the XML or JSON in XHTML. Serverside and using JQuery’s $(div).load’ed or runtime with Javascript micro templating based on the JSON formatted response of the same service.

Have had similar discussions with Tridion experts while designing content service classes based on the Tridion Broker and disclosing content as AMF, JSON, XML and html snippet. This didn’t result in a full REST API, but it generated a lot of awareness on the power for content disclosure (GET’s only) using one servlet with automated formatters and just some easily put together Java Data services.

Food for thought, while still figuring out how to put together a nice article on “designing for change” with intelligent Aggregation and transformation layers.

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