1. Better Headless CMS
Headless CMS is an important trend in the CMS space that helps make content more re-usable and simplifies the development process. That said, the headless movement isn’t a silver bullet. Authors have found their experience and efficiency negatively impacted with overly simplified authoring tools and despite some gains, headless architectures don’t solve all DevOps pain points.
Crafter’s Git-based repository and decoupled architecture have enabled us to support headless use cases and truly deliver on DevOps support while providing authors with the in-context editing and preview tools they need. In 2018, our clients and partners launched several headless CMS use cases into production — augmented reality experiences, OTT video platforms, AI/ML-enabled rich media apps, and digital signage to mention a few. This year we’re continuing to improve on our advantages with brand new authoring tools and additional framework-specific SDKs for popular platforms like React, Angular and Vue.
2. New Crafter Studio Authoring Experience
We have a new user interface on the way for content authors! The new Crafter Studio is a single page application (SPA) and it’s shaping up to be very clean and modern. Excited! That said, updated look and feel is not the main reason we’re making the change. We want Crafter Studio to be much more usable and pluggable than it and other CMS platforms are today.
The timing is right for us. We’re able to leverage much of the refactoring work that we’ve done over the past year, new SPA frameworks and new capabilities like Elastic Search to introduce a new Crafter Studio that significantly improves both our usability and our extensibility. What can you expect? UX that’s easier to navigate, automatic updates from other users without refreshes, search enabled panels and dashboards, better code editing, improved drag-and-drop, and updated in-context preview and editing just to name a few of the enhancements you can expect.
3. Planet Scale Deployments With Docker, Kubernetes, and Serverless
CrafterCMS’s decoupled, elastic architecture, Git-based repository, and Code Forward, Content Back ™ support has been a big win for DevOps. We’re not stopping there. This year we’re introducing standard Docker containers and out-of-the-box support for Kubernetes that make building and managing on-demand, planet-scale, elastic environments even easier to configure and operate.
While containers are a huge leap forward in manageability for DevOps, we’re not stopping there either. The future of operations is “No Ops.” The natural result of containerization, proper automation, and good architecture is an on-demand future with much better scalability and security with less management overhead. To get there you need to go serverless.
To that end, we adding support for serverless, dynamic content delivery. What does that mean? It means we’re removing the need to manage servers by removing the need for local storage and dedicated instances. The name of the game is on-demand infrastructure that’s as big or as small as it needs to be. On-demand elasticity is more cost effective, much easier to manage and much more secure.
4. ElasticSearch Joins the Party
Another major update we’re making is the addition of ElasticSearch support. CrafterCMS has always had a pluggable search capability but now we’re going to start shipping with ElasticSearch, in addition to Apache Solr. Why? The main reason we’re making this move is that ElasticSearch has better native support for clustering and more robust, scalable offerings on PaaS platforms like AWS. Both Elastic and Solr are very powerful, popular platforms with relatively similar feature sets. Users with investments in Solr don’t need to worry, we’re certainly not dropping support for Solr. We’re adding support for Elastic. Our mission is to be the most DevOps friendly, easily manageable, highly elastic CMS platform available — and ElasticSearch helps us get there.
5. GraphQL Support
We’re adding native support to Crafter Engine, our delivery tier, for querying content via GraphQL interfaces. GraphQL is an API technology that in a sense “standardizes” data retrieval. It’s a single endpoint that enables consumers to describe what data they want and how it should be returned. GraphQL is a natural fit for CrafterCMS. GraphQL has become a du jour standard in the front-end and full stack development worlds and its use is trending toward ubiquity. It’s additive technology that’s standard, provides flexibility and leverages our communities existing skill sets. Win-Win-Win.