Composable DXP is a term that has been gaining traction in the past year. So, what does it mean? What are the benefits of composability, and how can you implement it into your software stack?
According to McKinsey, more than 75% of consumers have changed their shopping behavior and switched brands in the past year. That change requires a modern approach to delivering digital experiences. In that regard, composability is an excellent concept to consider for your architecture.
Software developers have historically relied on monolithic architectures where one layer depends on another layer, causing bottlenecks. Through a composable DXP, developers can focus on small functionalities instead of the entire complex system.
Composability —also known as modularity— refers to the breakdown of an application’s components into smaller pieces that you can integrate with other applications or services. Modularity allows for faster development cycles and quicker response times when deploying new features or fixes to production systems.
But is it just jargon, or are composable DXPs here to stay? You will find it out in this article.
What is a Composable DXP?
To understand what composable DXP is, let’s first define DXP. A digital experience platform helps businesses to personalize and enhance their digital service offerings and experiences. It serves as a centralized hub for managing content and campaigns.
Composability is a software development paradigm that decouples components or services into modular, interdependent units. It builds on MACH, which promotes a microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native, and headless architecture.
In that regard, composable DXP enables the creation of the best-in-breed systems and components to deliver personalized, reusable, and scalable experiences and quickly respond to changing consumer demands. It’s an API-first solution that provides a specific set of tailored features that are independently deployable.
According to Gartner, 60% of companies will strive for a composable business strategy in 2023. One such platform is Sitecore. Sitecore envisions a future of SaaS offerings that incorporate a modular DXP model. With the market’s continual evolution, Sitecore delivers a combination of composable DXP and a fully integrated DXP solution that can help to drive business growth and eCommerce experiences.
The Anatomy of a Composable DXP
A composable or modular DXP integrates several functionalities into delivering the best-in-breed digital experiences. It comprises the following components:
- Content management system (CMS)
- Commerce platform
- Search engine connectivity
- Personalization engines
- Customer data platforms
- Content delivery networks
- Frontend libraries to build UI
To be truly modular, a DXP needs to be:
- Modular: Each component of your DXP needs to be divided into smaller units that are independent and deployable on their own.
- Autonomous: The components must be self-sufficient and autonomous, working independently of the other.
- Orchestrated: They require packaging before APIs can consume them.
- Discoverable: Designed to be easy-to-use, intuitive, and accessible.
Monolithic DXP vs. Composable DXP
|Monolithic DXP||Composable DXP|
|Customization||Rigid architecture that is only as customizable as the offering of the platform itself.||Easily customizable with an API-first approach that enables you to integrate and remove components.|
|Scalability||Monoliths make it difficult—almost impossible—to scale your resources.||You can easily scale up or scale down resources and components as you want.|
|Cost-Effective||A system that combines all features into a singular large unit, either you need it or you don't.||In this system, you only need to integrate the services you need, making it a cost-effective solution.|
|Modularity||One large integrated architecture.||Small, modular components that are interdependent.|
|Failure Management||A single failure in a service can bring down the entire system. The cost of downtime can be devastating.||A failure in a component only affects that component and doesn’t bring down the entire system, potentially reducing the blast radius for damage.|
Benefits of A Composable DXP
Traditional DXPs make it challenging to tailor digital experiences to meet customer needs. On the other hand, composability allows companies to prioritize their customers’ needs. You can leverage a monitoring tool to track uptime and ensure you’re delivering the best experience to customers at all times.
You can improve customer experience by adopting best-in-breed approaches and tracking all customer interactions.
Composable DXP makes it easy to customize your entire platform. A monolithic DXP limits your ability to customize your architecture, in turn forcing you to alter your strategy to match the vendor’s specifications—or limitations. You can add or remove services as you wish to enable the best digital experience for your consumers.
A composable DXP gives you a holistic view of your customers throughout the customer journey, making it easier to tailor and adopt services that suit them.
With the move towards a modern architecture that enables you to deliver experiences across multiple touch points and integrate the advanced technologies and approaches, monolithic DXPs fall short. A composable DXP provides you with the flexibility to deliver the best-of-breed services through its modular, API-first approach.
With that, you can deliver innovative solutions and advanced technologies across your platform. That means you’ll always be ready to adopt new technologies and leverage any service or tech stack as part of your entire architecture.
No Vendor Lock
The biggest issue with monolithic DXP is that you can only grow as far as the platform allows. In addition to that, you can only integrate the services the platform supports, making it very difficult to grow your business or adapt to consumer needs.
A composable DXP allows you to add, remove, update and change your tech stack, meaning you’re not locked into the vendor’s software and have complete control over your architecture.
Is “Composable” Just Another Sales Term?
Composable, best-of-breed, or modular are often used interchangeably, but they all indicate the same trend towards modularity, microservices, and APIs that enable independent and interoperable connectivity. Composability represents a significant step towards aligning a business with the MACH approach.
- Microservices: By embracing microservices, you can achieve modularity in your architecture. That means you can break down each functionality into small units that connect through APIs.
- API-first: This approach enables you to connect and consume any component or service you choose. That will help you break out of vendor lock-in, granting you greater control in integrating or discontinuing services.
- Cloud-native: By leveraging the cloud, you can enable scalability, innovation, and agility by delivering solutions immediately upon demand.
- Headless Architecture: This approach helps to decouple the frontend layer of architecture from the backend logic, making it easier to make changes. In addition to that, it enables you to create personalized experiences across several digital touch points with no disruptions or adjustments to the backend.
Composable DXPs help you keep up with the ever-changing technological environment by seamlessly integrating new technologies, delivering omnichannel experiences, and creating effective digital marketing campaigns.
We don’t believe ‘composable’ is just jargon. Rather, it highlights how market trends will shape future business practices and how digital experiences will evolve.
Build a Composable DXP With Oshyn
The journey from a traditional, monolithic architecture to composable DXP has been underway for a couple of years now. It’s a journey towards delivering a customizable, agile, easy-to-use, and accessible platform. Composable solutions enable organizations to select the best-in-class tools they wish to include in their tech stack.
To deliver composable digital experiences, you can leverage Sitecore or Optimizely. That means you’ll need a partner such as Oshyn to help. Oshyn is a recognized Optimizely and Sitecore Partner. We analyze your business and suggest the best way forward after a technical audit.