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Uniform Canvas

Uniform Canvas allows business users to have complete control over the presentation layer and build compositions from the components sourcing content from multiple Headless Content Management Systems and Headless Ecommerce Platforms. Such compositions are built without any changes required to the front-end code, and edge-based personalization and A/B testing features are seamlessly integrated.

Uniform Canvas comes with a notion of a Component Library for the front-end developers to register components with, powerful SDK to integrate Canvas with the existing modern JavaScript applications.

The 3 WHYs of Uniform Canvas#

In order to understand the value of Canvas, consider the following three major use cases as key pillars:

  1. The Presentation layer (the head) for the Headless, API-first world Using Headless Content Management Systems and / or Headless e-commerce allow developers to use any modern tool they want on the front-end and deliver solutions that are performant out of the box, highly scalable, and secure. The developers have the option to use the Jamstack approach (or Jamstack Hybrid) and deploy to a modern platform, like Netlify, Vercel or Cloudflare. This makes both developers and IT happy. Unfortunately, this leaves the marketers and non-technical users in a bad place - they are unable to maintain control over the presentation layer. Code changes are needed to build new pages or experiences. Business users are not able to use the best-of-breed headless technologies to launch new landing pages / campaigns without developer involvement and integration cost. They also often cannot preview the content in context. This sets the Enterprise adoption of Headless technologies back in terms of flexibility and capabilities and limits the ability to achieve fast time to market and overall user productivity. Canvas brings the balance back into the modern MACH/Jamstack/Headless world, where business users now have the ability to create and manage experience-level entities (pages, screens, etc.) without requiring to make code changes.

  2. Integrated personalization and A/B testing that is dead simple Digitally ambitious marketers did not give up on the idea of doing personalization and A/B testing at scale. The current generation of Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) failed to support this use case without compromising performance and operational cost/scale. The ability to configure personalization and testing in the same place where the presentation layer is built is an incredible boost to productivity and simplification of getting started with these capabilities.

  3. Multi-source experience composition As both the idea of a Composable DXP and MACH architecture is getting traction; this prescribes that there is no single system of record for content. A Headless CMS of choice owns the marketing content while e-Commerce system of choice owns the product data, the media assets are owned by a Digital Asset Management system, so on. It is cumbersome and often impossible for non-technical users to compose an experience (page, mobile screen, kiosk screen) sourced from multiple places (marketing content from one Headless Content Platform and product data from another Headless Commerce Platform).

The WHAT#

Uniform Canvas is intended to address the three needs highlighted above. It is an extension to our current Uniform SaaS Platform (uniform.app) and is intended to be fully integrated with the current capabilities - intent-based personalization and a/b testing.

Canvas allows no code management of the presentation layer (which can either be a single component on a page, or the whole page, or a non-web experience - a mobile app page or a kiosk screen).

Canvas provides a GUI for non-technical users to create the elements of a presentation layer for a website, web app, or any other consumer.

The Developers interact with Canvas API to access the structures built by non-technical users as JSON data and using Uniform Canvas SDKs to integrate such capabilities into their new or existing applications.

What's included in the first release#

  1. Our Edge-based intent personalization and edge-based A/B testing is fully integrated with Canvas.
  2. Support for the following Headless CMSs: Contentful, Contentstack, Sanity, Salesforce CMS.
  3. Support for the following Headless Commerce Platforms: BigCommerce and commercetools.
  4. React SDK only (more JS framework support will come soon).
  5. Next.js starter included (more starters will come soon).
  6. Optimized for the landing pages scenario (we are expanding the use cases further, allowing to manage 100s of compositions).
  7. No CLI (yet) - more on that soon :)

Getting to know Canvas#

Here is the sequence of good reads we recommend to go through when starting with Canvas.

Introduction#

Learn about the core concepts of Uniform Canvas here.

Key terminology#

Review key definitions in Canvas here.

Go through the tutorial for Next.js#

Check out the developer tutorial for Canvas using Next.js here.

Feedback? Stuck? Have a question?#

Please submit your feedback to us via hi@uniform.dev. We would love to hear from you :)