What is Kentico Cloud - and How Can You Make it Work For You?

Posted by Dave Conder on January 26, 2017

At the 404 Conference late last year, Kentico announced the release of Kentico Cloud, a new Software as a Service (SaaS) suite of CMS tools for digital agencies and their clients. Our BlueModus team is excited about this new platform; it has great power as well as great potential. Today I'll cover the basics of Kentico Cloud, as well as what it can do for your business.

What is Kentico Cloud?

Kentico Cloud is a set of SaaS tools, hosted in Microsoft Azure and managed by Kentico, focused on providing a fast and flexible content management platform for agencies and their clients. The suite is currently composed of three major services, with plans for more services to come. The following is an overview of the current services: Kentico Draft, Kentico Deliver, and Kentico Engage.
 

Kentico Draft

Kentico Draft (https://kenticocloud.com/draft) is a product that has actually been available for more than a year, as it was the first Kentico Cloud service to be launched. Initially, Kentico Draft was designed to provide a cloud-based content repository allowing content editors to enter content (including taxonomy) and then sync that content to Kentico EMS. Because this functionality allowed the content structure to be created and actual content to be entered before a site would otherwise be ready, it became an immense help to many web projects, allowing for shorter timelines on new builds.
 
With the release of the other Kentico Cloud services, Kentico Draft takes on a larger role: It now acts as the primary CMS interface for content editors to feed content into to the other cloud-based services. Content can still be synced from Draft to Kentico EMS, however that feature is no longer necessary to leverage the content on front-end sites.
 
The user interface for Kentico Draft is clean and simple, allowing users to define site structure, define content types, assign tasks to team members, and implement workflows. Editing content in Draft is easy as well. Users can enter content into simple or rich text fields, upload images, add metadata tags, and add related documents.
 

Comments can be added to each change, and multi-step workflows can be customized. Complete versioning allows for any previous version to be viewed or rolled back.

Once the content is complete, it can be synced to Kentico CMS, accessed via the next cloud service, Kentico Deliver.

Kentico Deliver

Kentico Deliver (https://kenticocloud.com/deliver) is a headless CMS API that allows content from Kentico Draft to be delivered to local applications. These applications can be built on any platform, including PHP, NodeJS, or ASP.NET. Kentico Deliver APIs are used to consume and display the content.
 
A complete RESTful interface is provided. This API allows the applications to retrieve content of any type from any area. It supports queries, filters, sorting, and more, and the unpublished versions of content can also be retrieved to provide a QA or staging environment prior to publishing.
 
Here is an example of a Postman request to the API:



The APIs provide clean and structured JSON data, which can be parsed, cached, or stored in any application, either on the web or on mobile devices.
 
Kentico has provided open-source libraries that provide ASP.NET APIs for Kentico Delivery. Additionally, there are also example applications that use these APIs, which can be found on Github here.

Kentico Engage

Kentico Engage (https://kenticocloud.com/engage) is a new platform that allows content editors and marketers to track and measure user behavior, which then allows for personalization of content in real-time. Just like Kentico Deliver, it is platform agnostic and all functionality is delivered via APIs that can be accessed via JavaScript or back-end functionality.

Using Kentico Engage, you can:

  • See who visits your site.
  • Connect users with their behavior.
  • Easily identify segments.
  • Provide a personalized experience.

Kentico Engage can be activated by simply dropping a JavaScript snippet into your site. Alternately, back-end interactions with the APIs can be implemented, which allows for real-time personalization on the server side as well.
 



Just like Kentico Deliver, Kentico has provided open-source libraries that provide ASP.NET APIs for Kentico Engage. You can find these on Github here.

Pricing

The billing model for these services is extremely flexible. Each service can be independently used as needed, although if you use Kentico Deliver, the Kentico Draft service is automatically included as well.
 
Pricing is primarily based on the number of users that will use the tools, with some variability based on total size of your content tree and the number of contacts you have. All three services have a 30-day trial available, and you can also sign up for free accounts.
 
You can find more about the pricing models here.

Conclusion

The launch of these new services is an exciting development for Kentico, as well as for all of its partners and clients. Kentico Cloud opens up a new channel and model for managing and delivering content without the often pricy investment in licenses or hosting environments. The product is a great investment in the future as it continues to improve and evolve (see the latest updates to Kentico Cloud announced earlier this month).
 
We’re excited about using these new tools and have already kicked off a number of projects that take advantage of them. I recommend that you take a look at the Kentico Cloud site to see how it might positively impact your business. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to BlueModus; We’d love to discuss potential opportunities to leverage these exciting new platforms.


Dave Conder
Dave Conder has been using technology to create value and solve problems for more than 15 years. His background includes technical management, network architecture and design, security, and application development. As CTO, Dave ensures that BlueModus always uses the best people, practices, and tools to deliver world-class digital marketing solutions.