Innovative Headless CMS Solution with Pimcore Enterprise

The Pimcore platform combines different tools and functionalities from the areas of data management, commerce and content management in one consolidated platform. In a recent project with Camina & Schmid, our colleague Michael Dick used the new Pimcore Enterprise extension Headless Documents to implement a website as a single page application. In our interview, Michael talks about his experience with the feature and the benefits of the headless approach. 

Launch of headless documents in 2021 

Michael, Pimcore has been offering a CMS for some time. Then in 2021, the new Headless Documents feature was announced at Pimcore Inspire. What is it and what are the benefits of this feature?

Pimcore has previously provided a more traditional content management system (Documents). Similar to WordPress or Typo3, this allows content for a website to be entered via editable elements. However, this CMS is limited in its possibilities, for example when it comes to implementing special individual requirements, such as a SPA or PWA. Headless Documents now offers much greater flexibility, as the management of content is completely independent of the presentation on the website. 

Why was it so important to implement the website as a headless solution in this project? 

Camina & Schmid specializes in high-quality fireplace systems and tiled stoves. The company has a large, Germany-wide sales network of specialized retail partners. The relaunch of the website was intended to modernize the web presence to increase the visibility of the brand and to support sales through an expanded range of services. The company attaches great importance to the website being highly performant and user-friendly. That’s why it had to be implemented as a Single Page Application (SPA). With this solution, only a single HTML document is loaded and executed on the client side. When the website is being used, it’s not necessary to load a new page each time. Only the content or data that is needed gets loaded. 

In our case, the frontend – the presentation logic – was implemented as a custom development based on the Vue.js framework. The data to be shown on the website is transferred from the Pimcore system via an application programming interface (API).  

Learnings with the new feature 

Headless Documents is a new feature in Pimcore for which there are only a few cases so far. What learnings do you draw from this project, and how do you rate your experience with the new feature?

From my point of view, Headless Documents is a really good extension to the Pimcore platform because it establishes the foundation for connecting modern frontend frameworks with Pimcore. The great strength of Pimcore is data management: Product data from the PIM, digital assets from the DAM and Documents (CMS) can be easily related to each other since they are combined in one integrated platform. To be able to display this data in a frontend application, Pimcore offers an interface with the Datahub, which greatly simplifies the integration process.

In addition, Pimcore supports GraphQL as an interface option within the Datahub, which makes it possible to specifically query the data that the headless frontend needs – without creating additional development effort on the backend side.

In my opinion, with the new headless features, Pimcore has created the foundation to be able to develop exciting new websites and applications while having the option to freely choose the frontend tech stack. In this project, I implemented the frontend with Vue.js. Yet, I also find an implementation in Nuxt 3 interesting. So far there are not many projects based on Headless Documents, and we had to develop and try many solutions ourselves. I am very curious to see which solution approaches will be developed in the Pimcore community in the future.   

About Michael

Michael Dick has been working as a Frontend Developer in the Pimcore Business Unit at basecom since 2020. His focus is on the development and connection of innovative frontend solutions. 

Before joining basecom, Michael was involved in the development of a recruiting platform as a co-founder and worked as a freelance web developer and indie game developer.  In his spare time, Michael guides adventurers through the world of Dungeons & Dragons as a Dungeon Master.  

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