Composable DXP, not just another marketing buzzword

Umbraco CMSTechnical KnowledgeDigital Strategy18 April 2023Daniel Walker
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Technological research and consulting firm Gartner describes a DXP (digital experience platform) as “ integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimisation of contextualised digital experiences.

Digital experience platforms can come in many shapes and forms. 

The traditional digital experience platform methodology was known as a “Monolithic digital experience platform”, where one single platform would cover every area of your digital experience. 

An example of this is Optimizely, where the one system is comprised of dozens, if not hundreds, of subsystems that are all managed and housed within the one tightly controlled ecosystem.

So, in comparison, what makes a DXP composable, and how do the two differ?

Difference between Composable and Monolithic DXPs

While a Monolithic DXP is a more traditional system that provides an overarching ecosystem for all your digital platform needs, a Composable approach turns that design on its head. 

Instead of having just one platform delivering all your DXP needs, you instead have a number of different platforms that all integrate and talk to each other to make up your ecosystem.

Monolithic Vs Composable Umbraco Com

Figure courtesy of Umbraco HQ


This change in structure opens up the door to many new avenues and opportunities for your business as instead of being tied into a single ecosystem, often with a limited suite of integrations and tools available to you, you’re instead free to explore Best of Breed systems for your needs.

“Best of Breed”

Best of Breed software can be defined as an individual piece of software that specialises in its one area. It doesn’t try to do everything, its sole purpose is to focus on that one requirement and do it well.

An example of a Best of Breed software would be something like Sendgrid, which offers a specialised service (Email Delivery) and is 100% built around delivering that product.

This style of software fits directly into the Composable DXP approach, as you’re able to pick and choose the different software suites to make up the various areas of your digital platform. It also allows you to swap out a piece of software with another one, which is extremely useful if the business requirements around that ecosystem ever change.

Main advantages of Composable digital experience platforms
  • Able to utilise Best of Breed components - Being able to make the most of the best technology suites available right now, instead of being tied down to an old system that may be lacking
  • Swap out systems as the business requirements change - Business needs change over time. Having the increased flexibility to change any part of your platform out for something that suits the new requirements, and often allows you to save money on services that aren’t being fully utilised, is a massive long-term advantage for your business.
  • A more customer centric approach - Composable DXPs allow you to create seamless connections between multiple areas of your business. This also gives you the option to build a more personalised experience for the user, and increase the overall customer experience.
How Umbraco fits in

Umbraco slots perfectly into the Composable digital experience platform model, by providing a massive array of out-of-the-box integrations that are supported and maintained by the core Umbraco team. 

This, combined with Umbraco’s open source approach, allows developers to build custom integrations with virtually any third-party application on the market, ensuring that you’re able to have the freedom to design the digital experience platform that fits your needs.

If you’re interested in seeing how Umbraco can complement your business, contact Calico today.

Daniel Walker
Daniel Walker

Daniel is a skilled .Net developer and certified Umbraco Master, with over 7 years of experience creating web-based applications. He enjoys turning complex problems into simple solutions. When not at his desk, Daniel enjoys playing with his dog Hercules and hitting the gym. If you see Daniel admiring his Pokemon card collection, please ask him about it. He loves showing it off.


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