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Introducing Optimizely Content Graph

Introducing Content Graph

Optimizely Content Graph turns your Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) content into a graph. In much the same way as search engines like Google crawl the web and build a graph-based index of content, Content Graph transforms your CMS content into a queryable form and exposes it so that developers can search and manipulate content using the GraphQL standard.

Content Graph's architecture

Content Graph exists as a Optimizely Digital Experience Platform (DXP) Cloud service. You can provision it from within the PaaS portal. Once activated, you can begin by installing and deploying the required CMS package for your site. With the sync package installed, you can manage the synchronization of content into the Content Graph service by configuring triggers and scheduling options that determine when the package will sync content between your site and the Content Graph service.

You can then begin using the access key you received at onboarding to query the GraphQL service and begin building Content Graph-based solutions.

Enablements and use cases

There are countless applications for Content Graph. Most of these fall into two categories: content search and content delivery.

Content search is a primary use case for Content Graph. Developers can create custom search tools that transform user input into a GraphQL query and then process the results into a search results page. Unlike the existing CMS search tool, Search and Nav, developers can extend the logic behind these queries in countless ways to enable highly-customizable search experiences. Additionally, Content Graph's search is much more efficient than Optimizely's Elasticsearch-based Search & Navigation.

Search is not the only use case for Content Graph. Because it can expose all of the content in a CMS site as a queryable graph, developers can build dynamic content blocks by querying data and shaping as needed. For example, a developer could create a "Related articles" content block that queries the five most recent articles with the same tag or content type and displays titles, links, and an associated image asset in a block.

Headless content delivery is another use case for Content Graph. Because GraphQL calls return CMS data as a JSON object, Content Graph can enable cross-application and cross-framework delivery of content. For example, a mobile app developer could create an app that pulls content from CMS into the app and renders it in a mobile-native format. With this approach, CMS users can create custom mobile apps with the same content as their traditional websites.

Content Graph and Optimizely Search & Navigation

Some people may feel confused by the similar use cases for Content Graph and Optimizely Search & Navigation search service. While Content Graph provides similar functionality to Optimizely Search & Navigation, they are technically quite dissimilar and Content Graph is not intended merely as a replacement for Optimizely Search & Navigation. Rather, it is a separate product that can also provide similar functionality to Optimizely Search & Navigation, and may be desirable as a replacement on account of its faster performance and added features. Some customers, however, may not wish to invest in additional features and performance gains they do not need, so Optimizely continues to support Optimizely Search & Navigation.

That being said, the benefits of switching over to a Content Graph-based search service include:

  • Faster search results
  • Better error handling
  • More flexibility over search logic
  • Cross-application and cross-platform search capability