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Content Federation: How to manage your composable stack

Jane Skovbo
Jane Skovbo
Head of Communication & Business Processes at Enterspeed
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Composable is EVERYWHERE – and rightfully so.

The aim of composable architecture is to build a flexible, scalable, and resilient stack through APIs and microservices. Composable development enables you to combine and integrate different tools and languages in a system of loosely coupled components that are easily changed or added to.

It is, however, essential to plan long-term and shield yourself from lock-in and other hidden costs of headless. So, when you compose a composable digital experience, it’s imperative that it doesn’t grow unmanageable. You need control.

That’s what Content Federation does for you. It’s basically a conductor using its baton to master the data.

Content Federation: What it is – and why you need it

Content Federation covers a category that’s rapidly evolving and challenges more traditional schools of thought within tech architecture. That especially includes monolithic builds, but also newer technologies such as DXP, which – in our opinion – is disadvantaged by its structural necessity that all data pass through one vender’s control sphere.

Basically, Content Federation is a way to orchestrate headless, decoupled, and composable tech stacks to create multiple digital experiences. Content Federation platforms or layers are typically low- or no-code environments. They merge and systemise backend data from headless services such as CMS, PIM, ERP, DAM, or commerce – and provide front-end developers, marketeers, or other digital teams with easy API connectivity to any front-end framework.  

Content Federation enables organisations to obtain a tailored infrastructure composed of different systems and sources matching their exact needs – without losing themselves in complexity and custom code. This is a major learning from the past 10-ish years. When looking back, the need to digitalise has left too many organisations with a spiderweb of systems and custom fixes that are cumbersome to maintain and end up being a barrier for further digital development. Luckily, we’ve learned from the past and many now recognises the need to stay in control by orchestrating the backend data and prioritise performance across sources.  

Check out more on Headless Headaches: Is the Headless Honeymoon over?

Orchestrating composed data: Take control of your composition – and stay there.

When opting for a federated architecture, you opt for the freedom to choose your best technical fit. But as with anything else in this world, the freedom to choose, also means you need to choose right. If you, in your zeal to build a thoroughly comprehensive solution, end up with a whole bunch of systems, you’ll need to set yourself up for control. Otherwise, you might end up losing track of your digital composition.

So, what can you do to stay in control? Well, you can either employ a highly skilled conductor who knows how to play the orchestra – or you can accumulate everything in one environment that can manage all your different sounds, instruments, and timings.

That’s why we invented the Enterspeed. In our experience, companies and consultancies tend to make one of two common mistakes: They either pipe all data through the CMS, thus creating a de facto monolith that isn’t really made for that (resulting in a bunch of custom patches). Or they build a highly custom conductor on top of their systems, thus making themselves highly dependable on the developers and/or agencies that build it. Furthermore, custom builds need a lot of maintenance. Thus, you risk undermining the whole point of doing composed digital experiences rather than traditional build in the first place.

Check out more on build vs. buy: Build at your own risk.  

Stuck on legacy?

Don’t sweat your imperfect world.

Even though your current setup isn’t brand new, there’s really no need to panic and dissolve everything and start from scratch. Because really, who doesn’t drag along a little legacy?

If you opt for productised Content Federation layer, consider the upside of choosing one that embraces any legacy, that you might want to keep. It’s a shame to set up a whole new digital experience that can’t utilise your digital heritage.

Content Federation might be a new term for a somewhat new technology, but it’s not just relevant for new companies. Actually, a very likely scenario is, that especially enterprises and other major organisations will jump on Content Federation since the category is essentially developed to orchestrate complex infrastructures with several data sources. And that type of organisation is typically legacy heavy.

So, even if the starting point of your infrastructural turn-around is far from perfect and neat, Content Federation might be your ideal route towards faster and simpler digital transformation.

Check out more on The inconvenient truth of the IT imperfection of the world.  

Going MACH? First choose the right conductor

Innovate fast – develop swiftly.

One of the current biggest buzzes is MACH technology (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless). And while almost every SaaS company, agency and techy organisation is looking to be MACH certified, not nearly all have the infrastructure it takes.

Enterspeed enables MACH by simplifying your stack of headless backend systems and microservices – and serving the data at high speed to the frontend.

Enterspeed is a Content Federation layer, that can integrate any data source and systemise the incoming data to make it extremely easy to maintain and change, thus giving you the benefits of both speed of innovation and speed of development.

If you haven't guessed it, we're completely excited about Content Federation. Especially our CEO Toke Lund. And he would love to talk about how you can utilise the space.

Book him for a talk right here. 

Want to know more about Enterspeed and Content Federation?

Want to know more about Enterspeed as Content Federation layer? Wondering how and if Content Federation can enable your business? Just reach out. We'll be happy to talk about possibilities, and how you can take your architecture to the next level. And it's of course completely non-committal 😇

Jane Skovbo
Jane Skovbo
Head of Communication & Business Processes at Enterspeed

Thrown into tech marketing and loving it. Mother of two, wife of one, runner, and reader of romance.

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