In the history of Web Content Management Systems (WCMS), the fifteen years from 2000 onwards saw a clear trend toward monolithic systems – standalone, fully integrated systems that attempted to do everything a web presence required – managing content, media, users, authentication, SEO, marketing, email, e-commerce, forms, analytics, and more. Examples in the enterprise space include Sitecore, Adobe Experience Manage, Episerver, Kentico, Ektron and Sitefinity. In the open-source space, we can mention WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Umbraco and Dot Net Nuke.
Through different methods, all these platforms aspired to be one-stop-shops, whether it was through community extensions, or through a process of acquiring smaller companies and integrating the acquired technology into their product offering. But with the emergence of new technology like cloud and headless architectures, customer expectations have evolved, making way for MACH technology. MACH was built as a response to the demand for increased flexibility, faster time to market and the need for best of breed tools.
MACH essentially stands for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless. This architecture is a set of technology pricinciples behind new, best of breed technology platforms that deliver all aspects of an organizaton’s web presence using separate, best of breed services from anywhere in the world. This innovative approach allows developers to create highly scalable, efficient, and flexible applications that can easily adapt to changing business needs.
The MACH technology originates from the principles of agile methodologies, which emphasizes rapid delivery and continuous improvement. By breaking down large applications into smaller modular units called microservices, MACH enables teams to be nimble, iterate quickly and respond effectively to changes in the market. This composability allows software systems to be built from interchangeable parts that can be composed into various configurations.
For instance, an architect can determine which specific services are the best fit for an organization and compose a Digital Experience Platform (DXP), from the appropriate services. For instance, it is possible to utilize diverse platforms for distinct functions such as basic content management, form management, email, among others. For a website, all the services might be woven together in a React App and delivered at blazing speed from a secure Content Delivery Network like Vercel or Netlify. This same orchestra could also be used to power an app, or a kiosk, or an IOT device.
The benefits of a MACH approach are numerous:
First and foremost, it allows organizations to break free from the technical debt that often accompanies monolithic systems. By using best-of-breed services, organizations can avoid the costly and time-consuming process of upgrading a monolithic system, and instead focus on building a solution that meets their specific needs.
Another benefit is the flexibility and scalability of MACH. Because each service is designed to do one thing well, it's easy to swap out a service if a better one becomes available, or to add new services as needed. This means that organizations can easily scale their digital experience platform as their needs change, without having to completely overhaul their system.
Canvas Reply helps design world-class digital experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands. With services including UX Research, UI & Creative Design, Bespoke Development, and Project Delivery, we combine insight, creativity, and technical expertise to deliver all-encompassing digital solutions. We work collaboratively to design products that integrate with your digital ecosystem and provide meaningful, memorable experiences for your users. We aim to solve real problems for your organization through user-centred design.