Web CMS vs. Custom applications - different approaches

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This presentation offers you examples and tips in choosing whether to build your custom application on top of Web CMS or to do it as a stand-alone custom application (built using some framework).

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Web CMS vs. Custom applications - different approaches

  1. 1. Perttu TolvanenWeb & CMS Expert, PartnerNorth Patrol Oy, 20131Web CMS vs. Custom applicationsJ. Boye Philadelphia 2013, Web Content Management Track
  2. 2. Agenda• Background overview• The challenge: ”unified customer experience”• Solution 1: Create ”service brands” (...and forget the unified experience)• Solution 2: Differentiate conceptually (content areas from custom functionality)• Solution 3: Build on top of CMS• Solution 4: Build on top of framework• Comparison of different solution scenarios• SummaryNorth Patrol Oy2
  3. 3. We used to build everything on top of CMSs...North Patrol Oy3CMSWebsiteeCommerceWebsiteExtranetIntranetWeb-siteWeb-site
  4. 4. ”Intranet CMS”Then we understood that internal systems are adifferent playing field...North Patrol Oy4”Web CMS”WebsiteeCommerceWebsiteExtranetIntranetWeb-siteWeb-site
  5. 5. The landscape of concepts and products in 2013North Patrol Oy5HR systems(Oracle, SAP, etc)IntranetNews, guidelines, phonebook, importantdocuments, searchPhonebook/ peopleprofilesERP(+ other line of businesssystems)CRMPartnerextranetsDocumentmanagement& project sitesWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceCustomapps
  6. 6. ERP(+ other line of businesssystems)CRMPartnertsWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceCustomappsChallenge: “Unified customer experience”Trends related to this:1) The role of the Web CMS isgetting smaller in manycases – even though sitesare getting more massive!2) Building customapplications has becomemore cost-effective by theuse of frameworks.3) The role of APIs has growndue to different systemsand mobile applications.
  7. 7. Solution 1: Create “service brands”WebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceNeed: Best possible experiencefor the users of each serviceCustomapps
  8. 8. Solution 1: Create “service brands”CustomerextranetsWebsitesExample case
  9. 9. Solution 1: Create “service brands”CustomerextranetExample case
  10. 10. Solution 1: Create “service brands”CustomerextranetWebsitesExample case
  11. 11. Solution 1: Create “service brands”• Different websites for each concept.• For example many cities separate the publicwebsite and the self-service website veryclearly.• Strengths– Easy to use best-of-breed products– Minimum tailoring requirements– Conceptually very mobile friendly (”apps ideology”)• Challenges– Possibly lot of integrations– Customer needs to understand the roles of each service– Unified login (identity, SSO) often a requirementCustomerextranetsWebsitesExample case
  12. 12. Solution 1: Create “service brands”Example caseeCommerce
  13. 13. Solution 1: Create “service brands”Example caseeCommerce
  14. 14. Solution 1: Create “service brands”CustomerextranetExample case
  15. 15. Solution 1: Create “service brands”• Different websites for each concept.• For example many cities separate the publicwebsite and the self-service website veryclearly.• Strengths– Easy to use best-of-breed products– Minimum tailoring requirements– Conceptually very mobile friendly (”apps ideology”)• Challenges– Not a ”unified experience” – different sub brands!– Possibly lot of integrations– Unified login (identity, SSO) often a requirementWebsite =marketing &productinformationCustomerextranet =additionalorders,support, FAQ,communityeCommerce= bulkproducts andservices
  16. 16. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceNeed: Best possibleexperience + desire forunified user experience
  17. 17. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample caseDelta is a car dealernetwork that also worksas an importer (eg. Kia).The main website is usinga CMS (DotNetNuke), butthe used cars portal is acustom product that isintegrated to severalback-end systems anddatabases.
  18. 18. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample caseThe user experienceis similar in all areaseven though thetechnology/sourceof service isdifferent in mainnavigation sections.
  19. 19. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample caseYLE is Finland’s nationalpublic service broadcastingcompany. YLE operates fournational television channelsand six radio channels.YLE News is using EscenicCMS, the Web TV ”Areena”is built on Zend frameworkand most other websitesare built on Drupal.
  20. 20. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample case
  21. 21. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample case
  22. 22. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptuallyExample case
  23. 23. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptually• Unified website experience for users, butdifferent segments of the website are builtusing different technology/products• Strengths– Possible to use best-of-breed products– ”Unified customer experience” with minimum cost• Challenges– Building and maintaining consistent user experience– Larger conceptual changes harder to design– Liftups from different segments can require integrations– Content targeting or content suggestions are manual work– Hard to re-use elements or contentWebsite Extranet eCommerceUnified navigation / header
  24. 24. WebsitesSolution 3: Build on top of CMSWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceNeed: Unified user experience+ lot of changing content +data from back-end systems
  25. 25. Ministry for foreign affairsof Finland is a massivecontent website built onCMS product (.Net basedNetCommunity).During the years there hasbeen done lot ofcustomizations andapplications on top of CMS.Solution 3: Build on top of CMSExample case
  26. 26. Solution 3: Build on top of CMSExample caseSitra.fi is built on Drupalplatform. It was one of thefirst large responsivewebsites in Scandinavia.The website has a lot ofcontent, but mostly itaggregates content fromdifferent social media sitesdepending on project/issue.
  27. 27. Solution 3: Build on top of CMSExample case
  28. 28. WebsitesSolution 3: Build on top of CMS• Unified website experience for users andgood tools for content producers.• CMS implementation can become quiteheavy and complex.• Strengths– ”Unified customer experience”– Possibilities to do rich liftups and content targeting– Possibilities for multi-language management exist• Challenges– Complex to further develop and apply updates– A CMS is an ”extra layer” for developers of custom solutionsand that can increase complexity and costsWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceNeed: Unified user experience+ lot of changing content +data from back-end systems
  29. 29. WebsitesSolution 4: Build on top of frameworkWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceTechnologies typical in this scenario are eg. Django, Zend, Symphony, Microsoft ASP.net and Drupal.Need: Unified user experience+ lot of custom functionality +data from back-end systems
  30. 30. Solution 4: Build on top of frameworkExample caseValio.fi is built usingMicrosoft technologieswithout any CMS product.Most of the content comesfrom background systems.Editors have custom made”CMS tool” for controllingsite liftups and templates.
  31. 31. Solution 4: Build on top of frameworkExample caseValio.fi is built usingMicrosoft technologieswithout any CMS product.Most of the content comesfrom background systems.Editors have custom madewysiwyg interface forcontrolling site liftups andtemplates.
  32. 32. WebsitesSolution 4: Build on top of framework• Unified website experience and goodpossibilities to further develop the customareas and functionalities.• Content producers have limited capabilitiesto change the website design.• Strengths– ”Unified customer experience”– Good possibilities for custom feature development– The CMS speaks the language of users• Challenges– Highly tailored solution to maintain and support– Content producers might become unhappyWebsitesCustomerextranetseCommerceTechnologies typical in this scenario are eg. Django, Zend, Symphony, Microsoft ASP.net and Drupal.
  33. 33. Create “service brands”Best of breed productsPlenty of limitationsContent producers valueOverview to different solutionsDifferentiate conceptuallyMaintaining consistent UI is hardIntegration risks are fairly limitedBuild on top of CMSUnified experienceContent can be redesignedBuild on top of frameworkNo restrictionsContent redesign limited”App-friendly” strategyNot really a strategy... Just of a tactic
  34. 34. Summary1. Solution 1: Create ”service brands” if you want to use best-of-breed products and yourbusiness can operate with several different service brands. Building separate services isalso usually the most cost effective choice - and fastest to redesign/rebuild.2. Solution 2: Differentiate conceptually if you don’t have clear vision or resources to build aunified experience. Conceptual differentation can be cost-effective choice and a good wayto try out if building a unified experience would make sense.3. Solution 3: Build on top of CMS if you absolutely need unified and complex userexperience – and you have a lot of content - and content producers that need to managethe user experience. Just be prepared to struggle with the CMS updates andimprovements.4. Solution 4: Build on top of framework if you absolutely need unified and complex userexperience – and your biggest future plans relate to building more custom features andintegrations. Just be prepared to maintain and improve the system periodically.North Patrol Oy34
  35. 35. North Patrol Oy35BUYER´S GUIDE TO WEBPROJECTSwww.northpatrol.com/blog

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