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Alion | Alion Headless Umbraco API Solution

Alion Headless Umbraco API Solution

Alion blog author

Thomas Chance

17 March 2020

min read

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At Alion, we’ve been creating Websites to help companies expand their digital horizons. In doing so, we’ve found that there is a growing need for a greater omni-channel approach when helping companies achieve their digital goals.

As such, we have created our own Headless API solution built upon the Umbraco CMS system. A scalable and flexible system driven to accelerate your business’ digital presence and online systems.

Why have we done this?

Typically we've found that companies often combat with several factors surrounding their digital offering, Most notably:

  • Data Conformity and Consistency - With multiple channels for data, its often a tedious and long task to update all of the associated systems with any updates
  • Further Development Costs - Additional solutions and products created inflate the above point as well as having to start from scratch with regards to time and budget.
  • Development 'Lock-in' - Solutions built for a specific purpose also tend to involve a specific specialist, this causes a potential blocking point or bottleneck when looking to update or even move the solution.

So, we've discussed the potential pain points that a company could find themselves in with their digital solutions, lets take a look at Umbraco and Headless to see what we can do to solve the above issues.

Umbraco

Umbraco is our Content management system of choice, a robust, scalable CMS system built upon the Microsoft .net framework. Offering users the most Friendly experience when it comes to editing their websites. We’ve used Umbraco on several projects and found the feedback to be overwhelmingly positive with its ease of use and familiarity to the Microsoft family of products as well as options existing for self hosting or Cloud based subscription hosting. It offers the ability for the user to truly control how their website works.

Headless

A rather new term to the Web world is this concept of “Headless” systems. To understand what this means, let us look at the existing content management systems and analyse what becoming headless would mean for it.

Typically a Content Management system controls a variety of aspects surrounding your website, most notably the “Templates” or “Views” of your webpages. Everything from Header to footer is typically created by your developers and marked up for your content management system of choice. This leads to the issue that the code may either need a specialist to maintain or even that the code becomes non transferrable to your desired web host due to it all being locked within the system itself.

Enter - Headless. The concept that the content management system no longer needs to dictate the views or templates of your web based solution. Instead we instruct the CMS to transmit the data you wish to display instead. This allows the front facing side of the website dictate how a particular view or template should be shown.

What this means is that no longer does your chosen solution require a specialist to maintain it all as the two halves of the web project become modularized. They can even be hosted in two completely separate locations, with your main templates of the website being able to be written in an entirely different coding language.

This also comes with the benefit of an easier omni channel approach as all data used by your website can be transmitted to other digital solutions you may have in place, such as progressive or native web apps, kiosk based systems or even alternate I.o.T (Internet of things) applications. 

Umbraco and Headless - A match made in heaven.

Knowing the above about Umbraco and Headless systems, we at Alion decided to research and develop a solution to the aforementioned issues of being locked in to a particular “code space” as well as being able to offer more avenues for marketing and digital products for our clients.

Using the powerful and friendly editor experience of Umbraco a user can now enter their page information and data into the Umbraco CMS system and see it deployed in real time to all avenues of their digital applications. Thus improving not only speed for your editors, but also ensuring consistency across your brand of online solutions. Ensuring that all data remains in sync with your latest information and developments.

So what next?

With Umbraco powering digital solutions and the ability to use its friendly user experience across all platforms of a companies set up, we plan to skyrocket our offerings to you, ensuring that your projects with us are using the most scalable and flexible system out there.

Interested in finding out more regarding Umbraco or the Headless system? Please get in contact with us and we would be happy to discuss your next digital frontier.

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