Kentico | Opinion

Has Kentico got its head in the clouds?

How does Kentico Cloud compare to their CMS platform? Our Head of Technical Services reviews the benefits of their latest product offering.

30 January 2017 ( words)
Sean Lamacraft Sean Lamacraft

It's a cloud-first CMS and their first full venture into the 'software as a service' world.

Kentico Cloud

Since its creation in 2004, Kentico has continually worked to improve its core offering: Kentico CMS. Over the years, the system has gone from strength to strength, and has become a powerhouse in delivering ecommerce and enterprise marketing solutions to its ever-growing user base through Kentico EMS. They consistently evolve their solutions to keep up with, if not stay ahead of, the curve.

2016 was no exception.

At the tail end of last year, Kentico released their latest offering; Kentico Cloud.

What is it?

The name sums it up quite nicely. Kentico Cloud is a cloud-first content management system, and it is their first full venture into the 'software as a service' world. Another way to describe this is as a ‘Headless CMS’, but what is it?

A standard CMS, by default, gives us three things:

  1. A way to store data
  2. A user interface to administration the stored data (CRUD UI)
  3. A way (or ways) to display the data


By contrast a Headless CMS gives us 3 things:

  1. A way to store data
  2. A user interface to administration the stored data (CRUD UI)
  3. An API to retrieve the stored data


The third point is what sets the two systems apart. Using an API to expose the data means that a developer can use any coding language and technology for the front-end of the site - .NET MVC, PHP, Ruby, whatever... This gives agencies and developers a free rein on how they wish to develop a site.

Kentico have split their cloud offering into 3 parts:

  1. Draft
  2. Deliver
  3. Engage


Kentico Draft

Draft is the first offering in the Kentico Cloud package. Akin to Gather Content and the like, it allows the creation, structure and organisation of pages and content. Much like Kentico CMS, you can move documents through workflow and between users before publishing the final version. A very simple and clean interface makes it simple to use.

As it’s a separate system, you can use it in isolation, and integrate straight into Kentico CMS, EMS or Cloud, meaning it has a lot of flexibility to push a content-first approach.

Kentico Deliver

Deliver is the actual ‘Headless CMS’ offering. It combines with Kentico Draft to deliver the content via a dynamic API, allowing the developer to integrate with any framework or language. It makes development quick and easy, enabling reuse of content across multiple channels. It also takes some of the pain points associated with standard CMS solutions out of the equation, such as upgrades, hotfixes and hosting.

Kentico Engage

Engage is the last of the Kentico Cloud offering. It provides functionality to recognise and target the needs of individual visitors. It allows developers to personalise website content based on visitor attributes and behaviour. It's a very, very slimmed down version of Kentico EMS, and although it's quite limited at the moment, the roadmap is looking good.

Summary

As Kentico gold partners, Distinction are part of the Kentico Cloud early partner programme, using it for a few small sites. We're impressed so far.

At the moment, it's suitable for small brochure-style websites or campaign microsites, but in time I can see it growing to rival some of the best out there.

It's fast to develop on, has a lightning fast response time and is technology agnostic. It ticks a lot of boxes and I’d recommend giving it a go!

​If you'd like to arrange a demo, or have a project you'd like to discuss, please get in touch

Sean Lamacraft

Author: Sean Lamacraft