April 16, 2018 Griffin Tewksbury

App development & the Headless CMS: Our Story

In our earlier post, Why the Headless CMS Changes Everything, we discussed the rise of the “Headless CMS” and its notable impact across emerging technologies. Since this time, we’ve implemented “headless” solutions across a number of projects. While each project capitalizes on the benefits associated with a headless approach, one of our most exciting projects is an iOS-based sales application.

With the goal of driving sales efforts, our client asked Consensus to develop an application that would empower their sales force to compare pricing and services against their competition in real-time, at the point of sale. Our teams partnered to strategize, design, and develop this new application, centered around a headless approach.

Developed on Drupal 8, this application uses the most efficient technology available for app development. As the success of the application continues to grow, here are a couple areas where the use of a headless approach has thrived:

  • Front-end Usability
    • As the back-end content (data in the case of this app) is exposed, the data is presented seamlessly to the application layer, which is written in AngularJS. Based on the flexibility of this approach, we’re able to leverage enhanced front end functionalities, such as an embedded camera capture and custom PDF/CSV production and distribution. This also enables routine data updates for new data, which impacts the application on deployment without requiring a new .ipa file. This ensures sales professionals are always working with up-to-date data without needing to consistently re-download the application.
    • The headless approach allows for a completely native environment, another key factor in the application’s success. In the short term, we’re able to iterate through UAT feedback with a completely agile approach, making presentation layer updates for quick review and remediation. On a larger level, the native environment helps maintain a manageable code base, ensuring sustained success for the application as it continues to grow.
  • Speed
    • While you may not realize it until it’s gone, speed is one of the crucial aspects of a good user experience, especially when working in real-time with prospective and existing customers. Coupled with Drupal’s headless framework, the application uses Acquia Cloud storage and administration for high performance and speed.

As always, our focus is on creating the best experience possible. The application is used in the field by our client’s sales representatives all across the country and acts as a key driver in differentiating their services from the competition. As a continued (and proven) success, this application is a yet another example of how impactful the headless approach can be.