SAP & Amplience integration types

November 10, 2020 | 2 Min

Exploring SAP & Amplience Integration Approaches

author

Adam Sturrock

  • Ecommerce
  • Guides

This post is for SAP customers and potential customers who may be looking to adopt a best-of-breed enterprise headless CMS to power their content, assets and customer experiences whilst maintaining the benefits they enjoy or expect to realise with SAP.

What is a headless CMS?

For those that haven’t been following the headless trend; A headless CMS is the separation of the frontend experience (typically a website) from the backend content repository through an API layer.

An introduction to Amplience

Amplience provides a best-of-breed, modern, MACH-based CMS, DAM and Digital Experience Management (DXM) platform. MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless.

Why go headless with SAP & Amplience?

By adopting and integrating Amplience into your SAP solution you’re able to begin reaping the benefits of a headless CMS. This includes empowers your business users with a best-of-breed CMS and DAM that compliments SAP commerce offerings by providing a superior editorial experience and robust infrastructure designed to scale to serve enterprise level traffic volumes. By adopting a headless CMS you’re also positioned to enhance existing and launch new customer experiences beyond your website, from microsites and lookbooks to in-store experiences and contextual content delivered at any stage or point in your customer journey across all devices and channels.

What is Spartacus and why does it matter?

Spartacus is an Angular based PWA storefront designed for SAP Hybris Commerce and SAP Commerce Cloud. This frontend is separated from the backend using REST APIs and results in a modern customer experience that can be extended and enhanced with additional best of breed functionality; such as the ability to add content to the experience directly from Amplience.

Integrating SAP and Amplience

So now we’ve covered headless, why you might go headless with Amplience at a high level and what Spartacus let's explore the three integration options with the aim of identifying which one might be the right approach for your business.

Option 1: Standard Integration

Description: This integration places Amplience behind SAP, content and assets from Amplience are injected into SAP before being served in the frontend.

Pros:

  1. Unified administration interface through SAP to manage the customer experience.

  2. Simple mapping of content slots to site

  3. Can deliver content as JSON for E-commerce template or use our Content Rendering Service API to return HTML and directly inject into site

  4. Proven with lots of live customers

Cons:

  1. More suited for web based/ traditional E-Commerce sites but less so for modern frontend frameworks/architecture

  2. Tends to only manage static content, and not more of the experience

Why go this route / who this is for: If you haven’t adopted the SAP Spartacus storefront yet you’re still able to benefit from Amplience, this sets you up well should you choose to implement Spartacus in the future and you can bring the Amplience CMS with you, with very little change from the editorial administration experience.

Option 2: Fully headless Integration with Spartacus

Description: Amplience content and assets are directly requested into the Spartacus Storefront experience via Amplience content delivery APIs.

Pros:

  1. Reduce vendor lock-in.

  2. Detached frontend enables you to separate development and so you can introduce UX changes without having to do full server release.

  3. Use modern frontend and deployment frameworks for better UX and performance.

  4. Easily create new/additional FE/sites by just pointing Amplience content to them.

  5. Reduced page load speed and highly performant storefront

Cons:

  1. Separate administration interfaces to orchestrate different elements of the customer experience.

Why go this route / who this is for: You’ve deployed a Spartacus storefront or are in the process of adopting a headless architecture. You want the ability to rapidly iterate and innovate with your customer experiences and content release cycles. Your development team wants to avoid proprietary systems, frameworks and templating engines which lowers maintenance and implementation costs as you no longer need specialized developers.

Option 3: Multi-site/brand Hybrid Implementation

Description: This approach adopts either the standard integration or headless Spatacus integration and takes it a step further by enabling additional sites, channels and use cases. These new experiences could be non-transactional and powered directly by Amplience or transactional in which case you would likely leverage your existing SAP offering.

Pros:

  1. Connect to customers through multiple channels.

  2. Support multi-brand, multi-site deployment well

  3. Re-use of content across multiple sites

  4. Can launch new site quickly without the need to migrate content

Cons:

  1. Increased complexity

  2. Additional management and maintenance overhead.

Why go this route / who this is for: You have already integrated Amplience and SAP and you’re looking to rapidly deploy new customer experiences and channels.

Next Steps

If you’re an SAP customer and you’re considering or exploring what a headless content strategy might look like, speak to a headless implementation expert at Amplience and check the Amplience listing on the SAP app center.