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Enonic is headless

Morten Eriksen on

See what headless capabilities Enonic offers, and how we can help your organisation.

Enonic can provide your organisation with a powerful headless CMS—complete with a robust GraphQL API to distribute content to any channel. But we are not a pure headless vendor, as we give our customers the choice to use headless and traditional CMS capabilities together in what we call a hybrid CMS.

However, you can use Enonic only for headless delivery if you wish, in a manner that is just as flexible and lightweight as the pure headless platforms on the market. Enonic’s headless solution is fairly new, but current exciting use cases include Norsk Tipping, the Norwegian Directorate of Health (Helsedirektoratet), and Schibsted.

So, what exactly can you expect of our headless solution?

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More than a CMS

Our headless CMS is part of a larger platform called Enonic XP. In this open-source web application platform, developers get access to the essential services required to build custom applications in a single dependency.

These services include NoSQL storage and search, JavaScript MVC framework, identity providers, and a CMS API. The API is built on top of the NoSQL storage and can therefore use the powerful search functionality and more.

Finally, as Enonic is based on JavaScript, developers can get started quickly to build websites, apps, and APIs using our software development kit and the Enonic CLI.

See also: 5 reasons to go headless with Enonic »

Headless out of the box

The content model of Enonic XP requires that every content item must be of a specific content type. This ensures structured data, allowing every item to be treated the same way—whether it is pages, author profiles, case studies, images, PDFs, sites, folders, or other custom content types.

Enonic is thus a content-oriented CMS, as opposed to a page-oriented one. This is of tremendous importance if you are interested in headless—as structured content makes Enonic XP ideal for delivering content to any channel via an API.

Out of the box, Enonic offers headless capabilities through GraphQL, which can be accessed through our headless CMS starter kit—based on the Guillotine project. This open-source library can be customised, but you can also build your own custom APIs to deliver content as you deem fit.

Beyond headless

Optionally, content items can be set up with pages in Enonic XP. The platform supports page templates, page components, and reusable fragments—making it ideal to build landing pages in conjunction with headless distribution, or just to allow for previews.

This approach—the ability to mix between headless and traditional CMS at will—is called “hybrid CMS.” Our hybrid platform extends beyond a mere mixture of headless and traditional, as Enonic XP ships with a runtime and a JavaScript framework that allows developers to deploy their own content types and advanced logic into the platform—in the form of applications.

Applications can thus be built to deliver renditions of content, preview, APIs, or to further extend the functionality of the content management system. In Enonic XP, it is possible to build and deploy multiple separate applications to offer complex functionality, all while developing, deploying, and maintaining them individually.

Learn more: 6 reasons to choose Enonic as your hybrid CMS »

Schema system

A central part of any headless CMS is form-based data, and Enonic XP includes a schema system for building forms. The system is built on top of the low-level NoSQL storage and can read, validate, and store data as properties of specific value types.

Input types are the basic building blocks enabling editors to create content. In Enonic, input types include TextLine, ContentSelector, MediaSelector, date, HtmlArea, and checkbox. Input types can be directly used to build a form, but they can also be combined to nested structures within a form. ItemSets and OptionSets can be used for the purpose of further grouping nesting input types.

headless cms unique schema system

Enonic’s schema system is loosely coupled, as the data is stored in the repository while the schema is placed in code. The schema is only applied during saving for validation, and the data can exist without the schema. Schemas can thus be updated without having to upgrade the data, and the data can be migrated when needed.

Also, all stored data can be accessed through APIs or through import/export functionality.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a headless CMS?

A headless CMS separates the content layer from the presentation layer, allowing editors to create content to be sent to multiple channels via APIs.

How does a headless CMS work?

An editor adds content in forms to a database, which then uses APIs to deliver the content to a limitless range of digital channels.

What are the use cases of a headless CMS?

Omnichannel presence in websites, apps, wearables, etc. require content to be free of locked presentation/design.

What is the difference between headless and traditional CMS?

A traditional CMS keeps a close link between content and presentation, while headless cuts this tie.

What is the difference between hybrid and headless CMS?

A headless CMS strictly separates content and presentation, while a hybrid CMS makes this optional—enabling the best of both worlds.

Topics: 
Enonic XP
headless cms
cms
search function
content first
content management
hybrid cms