SaaS Headless CMS Components, Responsibilities, and Phases for Data Access

This blog post explains the following diagram that describes responsibilities for components in a SaaS headless content management implementation and the three main phases at which customer solutions can retrieve data from the CMS. To make it easier to understand, this diagram intentionally omits systems often integrated with solutions that involve content management systems, such as search and commerce. If you have any perspective on this diagram, please comment on this blog post.

SaaS Headless CMS Components, Responsibilities, and Phases for Data Access

In this diagram:

  • Content Management: SaaS headless CMS vendors host instances of their content management solutions, HTTPS endpoints for accessing content management services in those solutions, and extensible browser-based user interfaces for their customers.
  • Content Management User: Content managers working for the customer maintain content through browser-based user interfaces that use content management services to interact with the content management system.
  • Publish: The CMS supports publishing data from the content management system to any number of environments for content delivery.
  • Content Delivery Services:  The SaaS headless CMS vendor manages content delivery networks for data including text (JSON) and binary (media).
  • Source Code Management: The customer manages source code for their content delivery solutions.
  • Build/Deploy: The customer manages a process for building their content delivery solutions and deploying them to their content delivery tiers.
  • Content Delivery (App?): The customer is responsible for their content delivery tiers, including static websites, websites with application services, dedicated clients such as mobile apps and kiosks, or any other use.
  • Visitors: Access content delivery solutions, whether as websites, on kiosks, by downloading them from an app store, or otherwise. Some solutions use logic running on visitor devices to retrieve content and media from content delivery services managed by the vendor.

Beyond indicating components and responsibilities, this diagram illustrates the three main phases at which customer solutions typically consume data from the content management system:

  • Statically during the build process, such as to embed text and media from the CMS into the content delivery solution.
  • Dynamically from optional application services running in a content delivery tier.
  • Dynamically from the client application, as JavaScript or WebAssembly running in a browser or a mobile app.

Update 21.April.2021: For more information about accessing data in these phases, see this blog post:

One thought on “SaaS Headless CMS Components, Responsibilities, and Phases for Data Access

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: