DXL Inject® - The “Cuckoo Pattern”?

In 2019, I wrote a post on The Five Fundamental Patterns that software architects can use to deploy content from Crownpeak’s Content Management platforms. Along with the standard content deployment patterns that you would expect from a content management platform (Standalone/Traditional and Headless), I also discussed three other patterns (DXL Invoke℠, DXL Ingest®, and DXL Inject®) that could be used to deliver content from the CMS into, alongside or in-front of all areas of the customer journey. With the beginnings of a rumble around the “Universal CMS” architectural paradigm, I felt it might be worth re-visiting one of these Crownpeak patterns and trying to do a better job of explaining it, and, in a world where organisations have to be more innovative with their investments, how it can help them to extend the life of their existing customer touchpoints drastically.

What is DXL Inject®

Simply put, DXL Inject® is Crownpeak’s ability to deploy content directly into an existing application, regardless of location or type.

Crownpeak’s CMS has a decoupled content deployment architecture (fundamentally separate content management and delivery functions). This architecture means that one option for content delivery is via a static file payload – architects can choose what file type and extension they would like to generate from the platform once content is published. During content publication, the generated files are transferred via FTP(s), SSH or rsync to wherever the architect decides they want them to land – this might be an Apache Tomcat® or WebSphere container, a Microsoft Windows Server running Internet Information Services, a Linux distro running the Apache httpd service with the PHP Hypertext Preprocessor, or some airport signage accepting simply XML. DXL-Inject® Diagram High-Level Architecture Diagram

DXL Inject® - The “Cuckoo” Pattern?

I was watching a nature program with my children last week about some breeds of Cuckoo and how they lay eggs that mimic other bird breeds to trick them into raising the Cuckoo chick in their own nest, as their own.

As I watched the nature program, I started thinking about similarities to the Crownpeak DXL Inject® pattern and how, as a real-world example, it might help me explain this architectural pattern to customers in a way that’s easier to understand.

So here goes….

Rather than build her own nest, which takes time and effort, the Cuckoo finds a nest that has already been built. She lays her eggs in multiple nests, on average nine each year, alongside those already in that nest. The birds that built each nest are unaware of the deceit and raise the chicks as their own.

Now think about an organisation’s digital touchpoints – lots of them – some new, many old. Across those touchpoints, multiple platforms and technologies play a pivotal role in the customer relationship with your brand. These touchpoints must be updated with current content and corporate brand/look/feel, or you risk brand damage with your customer. Imagine each one of these digital touchpoints as a bird’s nest.

Let’s assume that an organisation needs to change its brand/look/feel and that every touchpoint needs to be updated to reflect the new brand. Think about the effort to do this: lots of platforms needing differing skills (some of which might not exist in the organisation anymore), lots of testing, integration, etc. Quite the project. And one that not many organisations have the appetite for. You can liken that to completely changing the colour of the twigs and moss that each nest is built from to recreate precisely the same (albeit different colour) nest.

But there is another option - Along comes the Cuckoo, or more specifically Crownpeak with the DXL Inject® pattern. Crownpeak delivers the content, look and feel (the egg) directly into the original nest to mimic the other eggs (technologies) that were there before. The original digital touchpoint (the fooled nest owners) is none-the-wiser, and so continues to show the new content as if it had always been there and nothing had ever changed.

DXL-Inject® Crownpeak High-Level Architecture Diagram

Extending The Life of Existing Digital Touchpoints

In a world where organisations must do more with less, ripping and replacing multiple touchpoints is daunting. But, with customers expecting more from a brand as part of a 1:1 conversation, can an organisation afford not to adapt? Typically, delivering a cohesive experience across every channel is challenging and costly and, therefore, seldom gets done well – but, with Crownpeak’s DXL Inject® pattern (or the “Cuckoo Pattern”), they can get a lot closer in a fraction of the effort and cost typically associated with such an endeavour, while keeping content, brand standards and governance in a centrally-managed platform.