Pros and Cons of Headless CMS in a Composable Architecture
Composable architecture is not a new concept. Development teams who were around in the early 2000s will tell you how painful some of the major vendor programming solutions were. But there was hope from the Java community. I followed Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides (the gang of four), Martin Fowler, Robert Martin, and others who opened our minds to design patterns, including composable ones.
I remember reading a Martin Fowler article named Microservices. In the article, he mentioned an industry desire to build systems by plugging together components. These components are units of software that are independently replaceable and upgradeable and often backed by microservices or are microservices themselves. That article reinforced the idea that software could be composable. For the record, Jonathan Murray coined the term “composable” in a blog post in 2013. However, I wasn’t exposed to him until much later.
Composability within a complete, strong type language or compiled application using languages like Java or .NET is also not new. Sometimes, these applications are called monoliths partially because all the features tend to run in the same application domain. For example, Inversion of Control containers was introduced to manage dependencies and create a form of composability. Microsoft introduced the Managed Extensibility Framework over a decade ago. That framework allowed developers to inject and extend functionality.
Why would you want to move to a headless CMS? I’ll explain the common pros and cons of a headless CMS in a composable architecture to help you decide if you should make the switch.
Flexibility via a Composable Architecture
- Pro: A headless CMS in a composable architecture offers unparalleled flexibility. Developers can compose a tailored tech stack, selecting the best tools for specific tasks, resulting in a more agile and adaptable system.
- Con: This flexibility may introduce complexity, requiring a skilled development team to integrate and manage the diverse components effectively.
- Pro: Composable architectures with headless CMSs allow for seamless scalability. Your organization can scale individual components independently, optimizing resources based on specific needs.
- Con: Scaling may require careful orchestration and management, potentially increasing operational overhead.
- Pro: Adopting a headless CMS promotes technology diversity, enabling your developers to leverage the latest tools and frameworks for frontend and backend components.
- Con: Managing a diverse technology stack may pose compatibility, versioning, and maintenance challenges.
Should you move to a headless CMS? If your pros outweigh the cons, then you should consider it. You should also conduct a thoughtful evaluation of the unique requirements and priorities driving your content management strategy to see if it’s the right fit. Regardless of whether you go headless with your CMS, you should be moving towards a composable architecture for your website because composable architecture is the way of the future.
Want more guidance on whether a headless CMS is right for your organization? Contact us. We can help you better understand the pros and cons, help you implement a headless CMS, and help you make the most of the opportunities it provides.