It's here – Sitecore's new cloud-native SaaS CMS, Experience Manager Cloud (XM Cloud for short), has finally shipped. XM Cloud is the final piece of the puzzle to Sitecore's strategy of moving to a fully Composable DXP. While a move to the broader composable architecture brings many IT-focused benefits such as Sitecore-provided SaaS hosting and decoupled content delivery, the new XM Cloud CMS also offers important benefits for marketers in the form of a new content authoring experience.
XM Cloud is built as a SaaS product with a truly decoupled architecture for delivery of customer experiences (e.g. websites, native mobile apps, digital displays, etc.); however, the CMS itself also embraces the decoupled architecture with a new authoring experience application called Sitecore Pages.
Introducing Sitecore Pages
Image source: https://www.sitecore.com/products/xm-cloud
Sitecore Pages offers a no code / low code experience for marketers to compose web page layouts through the use of drag and drop UI components. Marketers are now afforded the ability to design their own bespoke page components in an elegant interface as a precursor to technologists getting involved with coding. This design-first approach to page layout and composition enables faster content authoring and page design cycles for marketing teams through the use of atomic UI components. Marketers can drag and drop atomic building block components such as text blocks, image blocks, etc to design and layout their own reusable page components.
The new Sitecore Pages authoring experience supplements the existing authoring experience of the CMS because its provided by Sitecore as a separate SaaS application that communicates with XM Cloud through headless content management APIs. Not only does this show that Sitecore has built its product following a truly decoupled architecture, but it also now provides flexibility for how content authors conduct their work. Authors can design custom components in the new Sitecore Pages app and synchronize page layouts with XM Cloud, or authors can continue to leverage the existing Experience Editor interface directly on XM Cloud to design page layouts through traditional UI components.
The introduction of Sitecore Pages to the XM Cloud product positions Sitecore as an innovator by offering efficiency and power to marketers through the no code / low code interface. Low code technology has been a growing trend over the last several years, and its great to see Sitecore find a nice use case that fits within their technology product model.
Experience orchestration from any content source
Image source: SUGCON Europe 2022
Sitecore Pages takes a further step to truly empower marketers to own the experience orchestration layer, that is, the glue the combines all of the capabilities of the DXP, through a source-agnostic stance to content. While content being delivered through experiences provided by XM Cloud and Sitecore Pages can live in Sitecore, Sitecore Pages also offers data source connectors to other content systems such as several common pureplay headless CMS's. This truly positions Sitecore as an enabler by putting a focus on the experience orchestration capability of the DXP, regardless of where the content comes from. Customers that have multiple CMS platforms with separate content repositories can leverage the authoring experience of Sitecore Pages to combine and compose page templates using out of the box data connectors or though custom built connectors to their source systems.
This product release is brand new in the Sitecore ecosystem, so watch this space closely as updates are very likely over the coming months.