Three features so your dx cloud

Three Critical Features for your Digital Experience Cloud

It’s time to replatform your websites and digital applications. Your marketing team has requirements that your current system cannot efficiently meet. Your development team lacks the tools for them to keep up with the evolving landscape of digital devices. Rock meet hard place. In order to be successful, a move to a cloud-based digital experience platform is required. In this series, we will cover some of the key tools and features that will help your development team successfully deliver modern applications.

When considering a platform for building the next generation of digital interactions for your customers, developers first need a foundation on which to build. This foundation must have the tools needed to quickly build and deliver an application that can evolve in concert with your customers. In this section we will focus on three key technologies that will enable your developers to build and application that scales to future channels.

JSON API: It makes what you require possible

No one likes waiting for pages to load. Making your customers wait is no longer an option. JSON (jay-son) is an API format that enables code to execute asynchronously, or not in a defined order. This matters because it allows visitors to interact with page elements before the entire page is loading. With JSON APIs feeding your digital applications, your customers will have better experiences because you have eliminated the wait time.

Second, although JSON is short for JavaScript Object Notation, it is language independent. This means your developers will not have to rewrite APIs from scratch if you build applications in the hot new programming language. With this standard, they can select the best framework for the app you have in mind and have it fetch content seamlessly from a  web content management system like Drupal, for example. For digital applications, this is paramount to the decision to decouple your web content management from your front-end application. Leveraging JSON in these cases will hedge against future migrations.

In short, ensuring your systems enable a JSON API will enable you to connect your content from a single system to a wider array of digital applications with real-time capability. This means not only a better customer experience, but also a better developer experience when you add new technologies in the future.

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User Experience: It matters

Developers like options and there are multiple tools they can use to accomplish their goals. Each member of your team may have a way they are most productive including, a graphical user interface (GUI), API, command line, or local development. Enabling your team to develop in the way they are most productive will ensure the best result. Just be sure to have the tools and tests in place to ensure code deployments don’t lead to errors.

Because developers have different preferences in how they develop, it is important that your platform has multiple ways for code to be introduced for testing. Most platforms accomplish this through integrations, desktop tools and graphical user interfaces. Acquia offers all three. However, when your developers are developing code independently on their chosen tool, there is risk of teams becoming misaligned.

Continuous Delivery Pipeline: Ensuring Quality

DevOps and Continuous Delivery are best practice for teams that keep applications and sites updated.  In order to take advantage of keeping your properties up-to-date, your team needs the right tools to ensure that developers working on different sections of the code do not create unforeseen bugs in your site. Continuous delivery tools are integral in mitigating these risks.

Continuous delivery is a combination of methodology and tools that enable your development teams to release new features more often and with higher quality. Pipeline automation tools streamline the process of provisioning test environments, integrating new code into your application, and running tests to ensure the updated application performs as expected. Orchestrating these functions with multiple teams working on features in a continuous fashion is key to success and the right tools in place make that a simpler process.  

Next month we will continue this series by putting a focus on what happens after you delivered you application to your customers. We will look at what key management tools you need to ensure your developers are focused on delivering new, engaging features, not keeping the existing application running.

Peter Brown Photo

Peter Brown

Former Director of Product Marketing, Cloud Computing Acquia