Fast-Track Content Management Application Development with Neo4j

The Challenge

Leading brands and companies such as Bosch, Media-Saturn, BASF, L’Oréal Luxe, EDEKA, thyssenkrupp, MAN or Commerzbank rely on FirstSpirit to engage their respective target audiences with their messages across multiple touchpoints – corporate website, mobile app, SMS, online shop, enterprise portal, intranet, social media, digital signage or IoT devices. It is crucial that the entire online presence has a consistent look and feel, and that content can be modified on a company-wide level. Often, the same content has to be provided for many different channels, e.g., employee portals, extranets for suppliers, customer-oriented web pages and social media.

One major global enterprise, for example, uses FirstSpirit to manage up to 150 different online presences in several different languages. The CMS offers high flexibility and scalability as well as high performance to manage complex, heterogeneous data structures in real time. The company’s entire intranet is located on one SAP portal for all employees to look up contacts at the respective sites or check the weekly canteen menu. The system needs to be easy to handle in order to enable all employees – programmers as well as non-experts – to upload relevant content quickly via a user-friendly interface.

“We asked ourselves ‘What kind of database would be the most suitable for reducing the implementation effort while at the same time keeping the queries as flexible as possible?’,” says Christoph Feddersen, Vice President of Product Management at e-Spirit. The goal was a CMS for seamless integration with existing IT infrastructure that could be connected to all conventional enterprise portals from established providers. e-Spirit wanted a straightforward, out-of-the-box integration solution for their customers without replacing any existing systems, thus reducing effort and cost. Furthermore, standardized interfaces and programming languages were used for developers and end users to work faster and more efficiently, ultimately shortening time to market.

The Solution

In FirstSpirit, Neo4j is used for portal integration and provides the interface between the CMS and the customers’ online portals. The graph database ensures fast and reliable data translation to enterprise portals, the intranet or online shops. Relevant content can be distributed via multiple output channels and utilized in convenient formats – on mobile devices, and in the familiar classic portal design.

FirstSpirit is the only CMS that integrates seamlessly with all popular enterprise portals and is certified for SAP NetWeaver, IBM WebSphere, Liferay, Microsoft SharePoint and Red Hat JBoss. “Our great strength lies in using content multiple times and distributing it on various portals,” says Feddersen. “If an image is published on the corporate website or e-commerce platform, it can also be used on other channels. Editors can see at a glance in which portals the image is being used, which rights are associated with it, whether it has been modified, or whether it can be deleted – all the information is stored in the graph.”

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