Today, we mark a new milestone at Hygraph, as we transform the idea of the API-based CMS. Aside from being frontend agnostic, we’re thrilled to announce that Hygraph can now push the boundaries and capabilities of what a Headless Content Platform is even further, by being backend-agnostic.
Connect any web service and API to your Hygraph content model to query and join data across multiple sources with a single GraphQL query.
Having spoken to hundreds of our users and customers, and understanding their pains of managing a stack to power highly-demanding composable architectures, this direction seemed to be the missing piece in what a true Content API should provide.
Michael Lukaszczyk, Co-Founder and CEO
You are now able to unify all mission-critical components of your stack into a single API, while reducing the complexity of your architecture, removing redundant copies of your data and getting rid of the middleware code that glues your services together. With this, development efforts and overhead for your connected digital experiences will significantly decrease.
Furthermore, it unlocks immense potential for businesses to modernize their legacy code and tech stacks, by letting them harmoniously work together rather than being overhauled or "hacked". Unifying and enriching your content programmatically, and delivering them across devices from a single endpoint allows organizations to meet business goals by having their services work for them, and not against them.
We call it Content Federation.
- With Content Federation, you can unify your stack into a single API, reduce the complexity of your architecture, remove redundant copies of your data and get rid of expensive custom middleware code that glues your services together.
- Remote Sources are the entry point for accessing remote content & data through the Hygraph GraphQL API, allowing you to create a single content endpoint without having to migrate everything to a single platform
- Requests to external services can be wired to content stored in Hygraph using Remote Fields, allowing you to also pass in values as arguments such as product IDs. This way you can easily combine related content from different sources on the fly.
- We support both RESTful and GraphQL APIs as Remote Sources, and provide a configurable TTL caching layer on top for optimal performance.
#A short recap into the history of CMS
Starting in the ’90s, web content management systems entered the software landscape to help people collaborate on the intersection between website and content creation. The dominant players from that era, such as Drupal, WordPress, AEM, or Sitecore, still hold massive market shares in the web ecosystem. Today, they are often referred to as “CMS monoliths”.
But with the exploding diversification in the device ecosystem, businesses faced new challenges on how to serve content to channels beyond the browser. Seeking a way to solve those challenges, the category of headless content management systems got invented, allowing developers to integrate the content into any platform or frontend framework of choice, using an API.
In addition to this, the increasing complexity of working with monolithic software systems is propelling engineering teams to adopt microservice & MACH architectures, and to embrace a best-of-breed approach in systems design.
However, after taming the exploding fragmentation of devices, software architects are now facing a new fragmentation of third party services and microservices when composing backends for products that are bringing value to their customers. This composition process is usually complex and time-consuming, requiring developers to write glue code often referred to as middleware.
Today, we are excited to announce an addition to Hygraph that helps businesses mitigate, simplify, and in some cases, remove this extensive step in their software development process, making sense of the fragmentation of the frontend and backend landscape. One content API, unifying your entire stack.
#Introducing Remote Sources
To make Content Federation a reality, we’re introducing the concept of Remote Sources. A Remote Source is a system or product that holds content that should be combined with content in Hygraph into a single API.
Configuring a Remote Source can be done very easily through our simple to use low-code interface. We support both RESTful and GraphQL APIs, and allow developers to configure custom headers on requests to the remote source. An example use case for this would be providing an Authorization header.
After connecting a Remote Source, you can now add Remote Fields to your schema to combine content from the remote system with content in Hygraph. And that is all there is to it! Within minutes, you can query content from your Remote Source through the easy to use GraphQL API that Hygraph provides.
#Get Started With Content Federation
Remote Sources are available in all Hygraph plans, including on the Community Tier. Detailed documentation can be found here or reach out to us to get a consultation on how remote fields can drastically decrease the complexity of your stack.