Q&A: What’s Next for Adobe Developers?

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The developer community plays a critical role in delivering next-generation customer experience (CX). Adobe uniquely understands and supports the developer community to ensure that developers can deliver a CX that marketers are dreaming of. Providing the details, training, and technology that enable the dev team to improve CX is essential.

In this interview, Jonathan Roeder, director of developer experience, and Gabriel Walt, senior product manager for Experience Manager Sites, provide insight on Adobe’s relationship with developers, along with some of the new solutions and technologies that are coming shortly from Adobe Experience Manager.

Q. Let’s dive right in and talk about why the developer experience is important.

 A. Jonathan Roeder: It’s important because the developer’s role in delivering improved CX is critical to business success. Developer productivity has never been more important, as CX is constantly changing and requires regular improvements. Developers need better tools to complete projects more quickly. There's just so much to do, and developers want to be empowered to do great work and not be hampered by poor experiences and poor tools. At Adobe, we are committed to doing everything we can to improve the developer experience and optimize their efforts.

Q. More specifically, why is the developer community so important to Adobe Experience Manager?

A. Gabriel Walt: We rely on developers to use Adobe Experience Manager to build customers’ websites and create unique experiences. Adobe Experience Manager makes it easier to deliver the designs and experience improvements that the brand has identified that will provide an advantage in the market. Using a common platform for more of the development and operational activities makes it easier for development and marketing teams to work together seamlessly.

Q. How is Adobe Experience Manager being used to help the developer community be more productive?

A. Jonathan: Thematically, Adobe is working to reduce operational complexity, streamline and pre-integrate all Experience Cloud offerings, and enable our development community to rapidly provide business value via our services and standardized tools. Adobe Experience Manager is hitting all of these key themes. With Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service, operational concerns are greatly reduced, freeing up developer and operations cycles. The Commerce Integration Framework makes it a cinch to connect Magento, or a third-party commerce platform, to Adobe Experience Manager to build world-class commerce experiences. And powerful GraphQL APIs put developers fully in the driver’s seat when developing digital experiences.

Q. What are some of the highlights for developers at the “Adobe Developers Live” virtual conference?

A. Gabriel: Adobe Developers Live is a virtual conference dedicated to bringing together digital experience developers. We're discussing several innovations, focusing on Adobe Experience Cloud, progressive web apps, Storefront GraphQL, and the commerce integration framework. These solutions offer an easy and compelling way to innovate and to bridge the gap between content and commerce systems.

One of the most important real-world benefits of the new solutions will be seamless data integration. A common problem in commerce experiences is that a mix of data—such as commerce information, product data, and site content—exist in different silos. However, it all must work together seamlessly to deliver an improved experience. We are providing developers with a platform that integrates the data to enable a seamless experience. This supports the move to greater use of front-end frameworks, in which the browser makes requests to different endpoints and brings this information together in one experience that is displayed to the visitor.

Moving this integration to the front end gives developers more flexibility in querying the different data sets and content that they want to integrate. In addition, this approach provides better separation between the back end and the user experience. If you bring the integration to the front end, then the person who is an expert at building a nice, compelling experience is also the person who can choose which data and content to pull together for this.

Q. Why is Adobe so focused on communications with the developer?

A. Jonathan: We want the developers that use our products and our tools not only to be aware of how important we think they are and the effort we’re putting into our solutions, but also to be heard, because we know they have great ideas. We want them collaborating with us, and we want them participating and communicating back to us what they see and what they need. We want to build a virtuous cycle with them.

Gabriel: Communicating new solutions for developers that will empower them is a critical component of working with the developer community. For example, we want to communicate two important product/technology trends that are important for developers to know about right now. First, we have a cloud offering for Adobe Experience Manager. It is very compelling because it simplifies a lot of the developer’s tasks, mainly when it comes to operational issues and demands for operational expertise. Instead, they can now rely on the cloud service to be always up, always on, always updated, always scalable, and to be always learning. The cloud service brings a lot of value to the developer. The second is that we are focusing on supporting the trend of front-end development. This approach will enable developers to deliver much better experiences. In the last year, the trend has gone toward more and more front-end development of CX.

We also want to work closely with developers to make them aware of other initiatives that will help them enhance CX. We are now providing proven APIs with GraphQL that enable it to expose the content in a very compelling and powerful way. Also, Adobe is delivering progressive web app support out of the box. This makes it much easier for developers to deliver the next generation of web applications that will support the brand with a better customer experience. We are also building new front-end workflow tools to deploy front-end files and CSS JavaScript files more easily. This makes it simpler for developers to build and deploy their projects using Adobe Experience Manager without necessarily needing a lot of Adobe Experience Manager-specific knowledge.

The pace of technology change is increasing, and we need to keep communications flowing so that every developer can not only meet their brand’s needs, but also deliver competitive CX. When we can help reduce time to solution, everyone wins.

Summary

Adobe is committed to supporting and enabling developers with the latest technologies, products, and services to deliver better CX more quickly. Many new features and capabilities are inspired by input from the developer community. As new and challenging changes to CX are demanded by leading brands, Adobe will continue to empower the developer community to meet them.

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