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Érico Andrei - The Headless CMS

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Talk by Érico Andrei at the Plone Conference 2016 in Boston.

I am in Berlin via a live video feed. Hello!

In several recent projects with Plone I had a common challenge. The CMS was just one of many parts of the stack. People may view our content on a large computer screen, a mobile phone, or virtual reality glasses, which all need to be handled differently. There are several solutions, like contentful. Some common traits:

  • Everything is through the web.
  • APIs for various languages

Why was I using Plone for that?

  • No more custom PHP development please.
  • Lots of things included.
  • I am still quite productive with Plone.

Biggest reason:

  • I did not look for hosted solutions.

If I build it in Plone, I may be the only one at the company who can maintain it. Not so with a hosted solution.

But: I still love Plone, and want to use it, for good reasons:

  • One API endpoint.
  • Better control over performance issues.
  • Integration with front-end development is essential.

And now I actually have four Plone developers in the team, so that is great. The team is happy with Plone. We use as building blocks:

  • plone.restapi. This saved a lot of time.
  • a policy package
  • PyCharm IDE for writing Python
  • AWS/Kubernetes/Deis
  • Thumbor. Image server over Tornado. Cropping, filters, transforms. We have integrated this in Plone using event subscribers.

Lessons for Plone:

  • documentation, documentation, documentation. Everything I did was possible due to documentation.
  • More documentation, more documentation, more documentation.
  • We need more projects like plone.client.
  • We need more commercial offering of headless hosted Plone.