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STRG.stackd takes Adobe Experience Manager to the next level

A front-end stack solution that gives developers the flexibility to create user interfaces with traditional open-source stacks and allows state-of-the-art front-end development.

STRG has been an Adobe Solutions partner since 2020 and has successfully implemented the first Adobe Experience Cloud solution in Europe for its client, the ÖGB (Austrian Trade Union Federation). 

STRG developed a front-end stack solution, STRG.stackd, for Adobe Experience Manager that enabled front-end developers to use state-of-the-art tools such as React, Webpack, Tailwind CSS and Vue, while remaining seamlessly integrated in AEM’s back-end universe. 

By doing so, STRG provided ÖGB with maximum flexibility to design the front ends of its parent and child websites according to each site’s specific UI functionality needs, while retaining a “headless” content management system for authoring and distributing content centrally. STRG.stackd gave them the ability to use familiar tools by decoupling the front-end development from the AEM back end.

Adobe is pleased that STRG.stackd has strengthened AEM’s already powerful suite of digital publishing tools and looks forward to an ongoing collaboration with STRG on its data-driven AI solution, STRG.BeHave.

“STRG.stackd has opened up a broader market segment to us, the companies which would love to implement AEM but are getting pushback from their front-end developers/CTO because they need multi-tenancy flexibility and design customisation”

Michael Binninger, Adobe Senior Consulting

What is Adobe Experience Manager?

Adobe Experience Manager is a comprehensive suite of content management tools that encompass all aspects of a company’s digital workflows. Gartner consistently rates it as having the best “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute” among other digital-experience platforms (DXPs), calling AEM “a well-integrated and cohesive set of technologies designed to enable the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences across multi-experience customer journeys.” 

In other words, AEM can put a company’s entire digital operation and workflows under one big tent: content authoring, data management, cross-channel marketing, analytics, publishing, and even data-driven AI. AEM is A to Z. 

Adobe is one of the world’s most trusted and successful software companies. With AEM and its corollary product line (Creative Cloud, Experience Cloud, Commerce Cloud), Adobe has created a comprehensive ecosystem enabling mid-size and large enterprises to take control of their digital operations and make them work more efficiently and effectively. Using Adobe’s cloud-based solutions, a company doesn’t need to host and maintain its own expensive system architecture on-premises. According to Adobe, a company can expect an average ROI of nearly 250% within three years of implementing AEM.

But even great software can be improved. 

STRG.stackd adds front-end flexibility to AEM

Since 2020, STRG has been an european Adobe Solution Partner. While working with its client, the publishing agency of the ÖGB (Austrian Trade Union Federation), to implement the first AEM cloud solution in Europe, STRG came across a rough patch that needed some polishing. While the content creators, editors, marketers, managers, graphic designers were thrilled with AEM’s empowering tools and enhanced workflows in the back end, the front-end developers needed to use state-of-the-art tools like React and Webpack to be able to execute the designers’ vision. They needed something more than what AEM’s out-of-the-box APIs could accomplish. 

STRG’s CEO, Jürgen Schmidt, recalls how “ÖGB’s CTO told us that Adobe’s WYSIWYG page design features are great for their editors, but he had multi-tenancy front-end needs that required customisation using cutting-edge tools. How could we bridge the gap?”

To allow front-end developers to utilize their preferred state-of-the-art standards, STRG created STRG.stackd — a front-end stack solution based on Webpack that gives developers the flexibility to create user interfaces with cutting-edge tools such as React, Vue and Tailwind CSS, all while remaining seamlessly integrated in AEM’s backend universe.

STRG.stackd developer, Ralf Traunsteiner, elaborates: “For BMW’s global websites, AEM works perfectly out-of-the-box, because each child website basically shares the same design as the parent.” However, ÖGB demanded customised, multi-tenancy front-end capability, which is made much easier with the latest front-end technologies typically used with a headless CMS. “We decoupled front-end developer workflows from AEM and used Storybook and React to bundle those web components, yet we were able to integrate our front-end stack into the AEM architecture so it feels native and not something just stacked on top,” says Traunsteiner. “We achieved the benefits of both a headless CMS and AEM’s non-headless integration and workflows.”

“We achieved the benefits of both a headless CMS and AEM’s non-headless integration and workflows.”

Ralf Traunsteiner, STRG Developer

Win-win benefits for Adobe and client companies

STRG.stackd offers a benefit for clients, and also for Adobe’s own sales reps and tech consultants. Jürgen Schmidt says, “Adobe is thrilled with our STRG.stackd solution. They told me they’ve never seen a front-end stack more seamlessly integrated with their own architecture.” STRG.stackd thus broadens the AEM market segment to include companies that are getting pushback from their front-end developers/CTO because they need multi-tenancy flexibility and design customisation.

There are some other fringe benefits obtained from implementing STRG.stackd as an AEM solution. For companies with outsourced front-end developers (or relatively independent internal ones), it is not necessary for them to master all of AEM’s myriad functions and workflows. They can continue to work independently, using whatever customised tools they are already familiar with, and managers don’t have to worry about training up onboarded personnel. 

Ralf Traunsteiner says, “A CEO needs to know if AEM can be easily integrated into existing in-house development teams. Especially for larger companies that have their own front-end developers on staff, STRG.stackd gives them the ability to use familiar tools by decoupling the front-end development from the AEM back end.”
The Managing Director of ÖGB’s publishing arm, Roman Grandits, explains why STRG.stackd was so critical for their AEM implementation: “Sites for individual trade unions have the flexibility to customise front-end designs for their specific constituencies, while taking advantage of AEM’s centralised content management. This was possible by a front-end architecture based on React.”

“the flexibility to customise front-end designs … while taking advantage of AEM’s centralised content management [made] possible by a front-end architecture based on React.”

Roman Grandits, Managing Director, ÖGB Verlag

Integrating cutting-edge AI into front-end design with BeHave

Another huge advantage of STRG.stackd is how it enables the use of AI and machine learning to create, test and evaluate individualised user interfaces. Adobe’s Target module allows marketers to do just that, but things like A/B testing can also be a hurdle for front-end developers working with cutting-edge frameworks to build high-quality UIs. STRG’s own STRG.BeHave solution is deeply integrated into STRG.stackd. 

Jürgen Schmidt sees great benefits for BeHave: “What is also absolutely new is our implementation of STRG.BeHave with AEM and an automated cross-domain content-sharing system based on user-data and principles of behavioural economics. its built on #AI and Google’s neural network (TensorFlow), and incorporates STRG’s most cutting-edge technology.”

How can STRG help build a custom AEM solution for you?

Whether it’s building a custom front-end stack, unleashing the power of AI technology, setting up a cloud-based platform for AEM, or guiding your company through the processes of digitisation using AEM, STRG is the partner your company needs to succeed. Contact Jürgen Schmidt or Michael Dosser today to find out how we can help!

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