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Scrivito unveils serverless CMS product

By building the CMS with ReactJS, Scrivito gained attraction with development community, according to an analyst.

Remember the first versions of websites? Those text-heavy, difficult-to-navigate static pages with pixelated graphics from the dial-up days only have nostalgia as a redeeming quality -- websites have gone through massive evolutions since the 1990s, and the trend isn't stopping.

As a plethora of CMS products and website builders have blossomed and fizzled out over the ensuing decades, a variety of CMS styles have emerged, including headless CMS, hybrid CMS and decoupled CMS. And now there's what one company is calling "serverless" CMS.

In February, cloud-based CMS company Scrivito unveiled its JavaScript-based CMS product, dubbing it a serverless CMS that organizations won't have to patch as updates come out. Being serverless helps with scalability, due to it not being tied to a specific web server. Compared with the popular CMS WordPress, which is server-based through MySQL and PHP with content delivery requiring hosting through the server, Scrivito claims its client-based application via ReactJS doesn't need that maintenance upkeep and that only the application itself needs occasional maintenance.

"They're trying to do something different, from what I can tell," said Mark Grannan, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, referring to the JavaScript-based back end.

By building its CMS product on ReactJS, a JavaScript library established by Facebook developers, Scrivito added developer-friendly language on the back end while not giving up the popular drag and drop, WYSIWYG components on the front end that keep marketers happy.

Scrivito also made one of its customers happy. Germany-based TVSmiles, a mobile marketing company, licensed Scrivito several years ago before the CMS company released its JavaScript-based product. Pleased with the user interface and some of the web components, the company used the product internally, but because of a coding language foreign to the developers at TVSmiles, they weren't using the product on the client side of things.

A video of the Scrivito JavaScript-based
product shows the WYSIWYG capabilities
of the CMS company's latest release.

"Whenever you approach a developer with a new CMS product, the developer will most of the time tell you to go away," said Gaylord Zach, CPO and co-founder of TVSmiles. "They're typically faster doing it themselves and don't want to go through the pain of integrating and customizing new products."

But when Zach approached his team with the ReactJS-based serverless CMS product, the team bought in. "With the new JavaScript-based product, suddenly Scrivito offers a solution where we have the technical expertise to use it," Zach said.

'Changing of the guard'

The move toward JavaScript and the ReactJS library is substantial in the CMS space, according to one analyst. It continues the trend away from page-oriented, sometimes static web pages to pages that can house individual, interactive components like videos, weather updates or other GPS-located widgets.

"Having that front end being natively built with ReactJS, [Scrivito] gained some performance benefits and attraction to the development community," Grannan said. "Players in the space longer than Scrivito has been are retrofitting their solutions to support things like ReactJS."

"We built Scrivito to help agencies and companies meet the needs of today's dynamic website requirements across any device or platform," said Thomas Witt, co-founder and CTO at Scrivito, in a news release.

As websites and CMS products have evolved over time, the CMS market has gone through similar disruption and fragmentation. While both startups and legacy systems have fizzled out, the evolution has given rise to multiple types of CMS, including serverless CMS.

"There's been a big changing of the guard over the last five to ten years," Grannan said, adding that the last three years has seen a bigger shift for the underlying architecture to support more dynamic front ends. "Rather than just an HTML JavaScript experience, now clients want to support single-page architecture and that requires a different relationship to the underlying content."

Multiple CMS flavors for multiple needs

While these new, flexible products like serverless CMS and headless CMS are gaining traction, it's still difficult for enterprises with decades of on-premises web content to switch to a more hybrid model.

"It hasn't been very common to replace the large-scale, corporate-marketing or corporate-IT owned CMS," Grannan said.

Grannan sees the Scrivito serverless CMS product as filling a niche for those marketing agencies that prefer the customizable WYSIWYG front end of CMS.

"Moving from an [on-premises] model to a multi-tenant, cloud-based subscription model is quite the undertaking both from a corporate and a tech standpoint," Grannan said.

There are multiple flavors of CMS for multiple needs.
Mark Grannansenior analyst, Forrester Research

It's because of differing preferences among CMS customers that several different CMS products, including on-premises, cloud-based and hybrid CMS have been developed. Further market fragmentation has led to even greater diversity of products, with Scrivito hoping serverless CMS becomes the next wave of CMS. "Scrivito seems to be targeting an agency sell-through model that is looking for really fast setup times and bullet-proof performance, but including some marketing-centric WYSIWYG-type tooling," Grannan said. "There are multiple flavors of CMS for multiple needs."

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