- Ronak Ganatra
Jamie and I recently worked on a fun (not for him) little project - Build Your DXP - a community-curated catalog of microservices that come together in powering powerful and modular Digital Experience Platforms (DXP), enabling companies to fulfill their goals of delivering better customer experiences.
As companies are transitioning towards digitizing and modernizing, alongside breaking down monolithic stacks, the need for finding best-of-breed services to accomplish their use cases is gaining importance by the day. To assist teams in exploring and finding these services, and to promote an API-first and microservice led approach, we decided to launch Build Your DXP with the hopes of helping other companies decide on the services that are best suited to their goals.
What is a DXP?
Gartner defines a digital experience platform (DXP) as an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery, and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.
Expanding further on this, a Digital Experience Platform is an emerging category of software that assists companies in digitizing at a rapid pace, with the ultimate goal of providing a superior Customer Experience (CX), which, to avoid any confusion, is a reason why some sources may use DXP and CXP interchangeably. Oversimplified, DXPs can commonly come in two forms:
- A full-stack suite of harmoniously compatible solutions, from a single provider, like the Salesforce Cloud or SAP Commerce Cloud, or
- A range of products from multiple providers that connect together to create a powerful DXP that is customized by organizations based on their needs, such as a combination of products like a CMS, CDP, Analytics, Customer Engagement, A/B Testing, and so on.
In either instance, DXPs target customer obsessed businesses that solve complex problems but don't have the capacity to solve them on their own.
Build Your DXP focuses on the second form of DXPs, the modular approach where companies are free to choose the services that work for them, rather than have monolithic suites bend them to their will.
The emergence of DXPs coincide with the rise of utilizing a new architecture designed around microservices and APIs, that reduce the unnecessary IT complexity that most organisations were known for.
Theoretically, DXPs combine "Content Management" with "Engagement Management", to allow teams the flexibility of creating omni-channel content, with the reliability of agile workflows, data-driven insights, and consistent user-journeys.
About Build Your DXP
The goal of setting out to create Build Your DXP was to provide an objective landscape of services that follow certain guidelines:
- All tools and services must integrate with one another, either natively, or via a series of configurations.
- They must be independent of the other - whether for deployment, adding in, removing, or modifying - i.e. not a "monolith".
- They must provide an API.
- While not necessarily "Headless", each tool must be prominent in its category as an independently scalable component.
- No vendor should be a "monolithic" DXP by itself.
- Each vendor should be a cloud-based SaaS solution for easy adoption, without the obstacles of self-hosting, on-premises, or security upgrades.
The "components", or categories chosen, are those that most prominently appear, or can be included, in most B2B and B2C use cases across industries without niche barriers.
- AB Testing
- AI and Machine Learning
- Authorization & Authentication
- CDP (Customer Data Platform)
- Cloud Services (Hosting and Deployment)
- Customer Engagement
- Headless CMS
- Marketing Automation & CRM
- Personalization Engines
- Reputation Management
- Sales Automation & CRM
- Search & Discovery
Contributing to Build Your DXP
We have attempted to curate as many micro-services as we can - to compile a comprehensive list of leading vendors for each category, and when selecting microservices to build your own DXP, we encourage you to conduct your own due diligence into how these services apply to your use-cases.
Build Your DXP is open-sourced on GraphCMS's GitHub profile and I encourage contributions from anyone in the wider marketing community to help us in putting together a more comprehensive and objective directory of services! The purpose of putting this out there is to arm you with the context and insights you need to make well-informed decisions when evaluating for and implementing a modern stack, without any pretense.
See a tool that's part of your "DXP" and not on the list - let me know and I'll add it on there.