Sami Hakimsan

Use the headless model to add flexibility when implementing digital services and PIM solutions

In recent years, the headless model has become one of the most popular ways of implementing modern websites and business applications. This is because the headless model provides a greater amount of flexibility and scalability compared with traditional, monolithic solutions.

It has also gained popularity in modern projects related to enhancing process development and product information management, as the approach offers several advantages to design and implementation that were previously unavailable to customers and to us developers as well.

What does headless mean?

The headless model means a software architecture style in which the user interface and the backend system – which are closely connected in the traditional implementation model – are separate from one another. As a result, the website or application user interface are not tied to any specific backend architecture or technology. By separating the frontend that provides the visual look for the user interface and the backend that is responsible for application logic implementation and data processing, we can modify and update the user interface’s look and functionality without having to update the background systems’ application logic or database.

It is a well-known fact that modifying the standard logic that comes with systems such as CMS, eCommerce, PIM and others is a rather tedious and expensive process. In many scenarios, even the simplest customizations become too costly under the traditional implementation model, where the background systems themselves need to be modified. The headless model allows for a much easier way to implement customizations, which in turn helps us to develop a service that is very cost effective and stands out from the competition in the market.

The headless model can be utilised in product information management (PIM)

In addition to digital service implementations, the headless model provides new technological perspectives and several genuine customer and user benefits also to business process and PIM development projects. For example, the model makes it possible to retrieve the required data from the PIM system via the API and to use the data with any user interface, since the content is not bound to a single user interface or page template.

This is also important for the multi-channel user experience, as the enriched product information can be shared and displayed in a variety of ways on different platforms – such as websites, mobile applications, digital brochures and product catalogs, or between CRM and marketing automation systems.

Headless also benefits PIM system integrations

The headless model also enables multifunctional integrations between PIM systems, since the system’s user interface and business logic can be separated. This allows them to be used as individual components, as is the case with the popular Akeneo PIM system.

The use of the headless model enables the customization of the Akeneo PIM user interfaces so that they can be modified for different use cases without having to change the business logic.This makes it possible to utilise the Akeneo PIM system in, among others, B2B, B2C, eCommerce, and mobile applications, as well as in marketing automation systems or with analytics tools.

When should a headless model be used?

A headless solution is not always the best option. This is because skilled digital services and software development partners can carry out quite high-level implementations even with the traditional models. However, headless can prove particularly useful when the customer requires a high level of data security in addition to a scalable and agile approach. The headless model allows you to do just that because the user interface is not directly connected to the content management system; instead, content is delivered through APIs. As a result, the service is not exposed to the data security risks often associated with traditional publishing systems.

By utilising the headless model in digital service solutions and in building a PIM system, we can improve product information management, provide a better customer experience, speed up marketing campaigns, and increase productivity for our customers.

In addition, our customers can leverage new technologies and platforms quickly and flexibly because changes to the user interface do not affect the content or its management system. This allows companies to respond quickly to market changes and be agile in their business development.

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