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Brightspot GO: Frequently asked questions

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Here are some of the questions we often get asked by customers evaluating Brightspot GO as their CMS solution. Don't see an answer to your specific question? Talk to us today—we will be happy to discuss your specific use case!

General

Do I have to use the Brightspot GO content types?

No! While you certainly can use them—be it for inspiration, to drive requirements with your business stakeholders or as a starting point to get to launch quickly—you can also create your own content types directly in the Brightspot GO UI. As your content types are created, APIs are also automatically generated for you, as is the CMS UI.

Do I have to use your front ends?

No, you can use any front end you’d like, whether that’s a React FE, simple HTML, CSS and JavaScript, or hanging on to your newly launched look-and-feel.

But… can I use your front ends?

That's a yes. Our pre-built front ends are available for our customers to use, extend and customize for their digital experiences. We love seeing what our customers come up with based on our toolkits.

How do I customize your front ends to match my style guide?

With GO, you can customize however you’d like. You can likely get most of the way there with our theme editor and no-code, in-CMS customization tools. To go further, you can add CSS within Brightspot GO, giving you a low-code option to customize your front end(s). If you have developers and choose to, you can also create a professional software project and edit the entire front-end bundle of JavaScript, CSS and Handlebars templates to take your customization as far as you’d like to go. Let us show you how!

Do you integrate with ______?

Brightspot GO includes dozens of integrations to handle most common use cases. We are constantly adding new integrations to the Brightspot GO library—if we don’t have it today, we may have it tomorrow. Generally speaking, if a system provides an API then we are able to integrate with it. You can also talk to an expert about building new integrations.

Is Brightspot GO only a headless CMS?

No! In fact, Brightspot GO can be used as a headless, decoupled or hybrid CMS—all from the same infrastructure. You can mix and match the approach that makes sense for your needs; one experience might be fully headless, another might be decoupled. You can run both, and share content between them, all from the same CMS instance.

But… can I use Brightspot as a headless CMS?

Yes, absolutely. Our content type editor lets you easily create any content types that your business needs, and our GraphQL and RESTful content delivery and management APIs and webhooks make it easy to connect to Brightspot from front-end experiences built in whatever language, framework or environment you prefer.

How are you different from other headless CMS solutions?

We're so glad you asked! Brightspot GO's flexible, front-end agnostic approach to content management is unique—and puts us well ahead of our competitors when it comes customers looking to avoid lock-in. Plus, we’re pretty chuffed about our CMS UI—as well as our industry-leading authoring, workflow and collaboration tools.

What is the difference between Brightspot and Brightspot GO?

"Brightspot" is the name of our company, as well as the name of our platform, upon which we have built the Brightspot Enterprise CMS as well as complimentary products like Brightspot Assignment Desk and Brightspot Media Desk. "Brightspot" also incorporates our Delivery organization, which builds world-class digital experiences and custom CMS extensions and integrations for our customers. "Brightspot GO" is the SaaS version of our enterprise CMS—designed to dramatically accelerate the launch and management of enterprise digital projects as well as substantially reducing the dependency on development resources required to accomplish them.

How many environments come with a Brightspot GO license?

Simply put, as many as you need. Typically, users of the Brightspot GO SaaS CMS only require a single production environment for publishing activities. We are happy to talk to you around specific needs for different use cases around CMS migrations, development testing and more.

Does Brightspot GO include hosting?

It sure does, and we consider one of the many significant benefits of our offering. Your Brightspot GO license includes hosting on one of the world’s most comprehensive and widely used cloud platforms, up to 5T of monthly bandwidth and storage at no additional cost, 24x7 monitoring and security and automatic upgrades to ensure you are always on the most current version of Brightspot and seamlessly able to access all features and functionality as they are released.

Technical

What APIs does Brightspot GO support?

Brightspot GO supports GraphQL and RESTful content delivery and management APIs and webhooks to make it easy to connect to Brightspot from front-end experiences built in whatever language, framework or environment you prefer.

Brightspot offers two types of configurable GraphQL APIs. They are the Content Management and Content Delivery APIs, commonly abbreviated as CMA and CDA, respectively. With some very light configuration, GraphQL schemas and APIs are automatically generated and updated with each change to relevant data models and business logic.

Visit our developer documentation for more information:

Do you support webhooks?

Using Brightspot, you can create webhooks in two ways. The first way is the standard way you create a webhook—through configuring APIs; however, Brightspot also allows webhooks to be easily created via its editorial UI.

webhook screenshot

In the image above, the user is able to simply navigate to a section within Brightspot CMS, select REST Management API from a dropdown list, and then see an interface with all necessary elements laid cleanly out for them.

After entering a name for the API and defining the API's URL (not the same as the webhook's URL—a conversation for another day), the user can click "Add Webhook," which pops open a content edit form where they can define the URL to which metadata is sent as well as what event triggers the webhook.
webhook screenshot
Topics are the events discussed above. Many of these come out-of-the-box with Brightspot: Publish, Conversation, Translation, Workflow—and quite a few more than those. Depending on which topic the user chooses to "listen" to, the UI morphs to add deeper configuration functionality.

From those examples alone, outside apps can receive notifications when something is published, when a comment is made in the conversation widget, when a translation has transitioned to any number of states, or when an asset progresses through a workflow.

All of this is highly actionable information for an editor.

Content filters allow a user to dig down with even greater granularity as to which specific event triggers a notification. Maybe the user only wants the webhook for a particular site in their multisite environment, or maybe only for the notification to trigger the first time a specific event occurs.

All possible.

As software-as-a-service platforms continue to enjoy widespread popularity across the internet, webhooks remain a valuable way to get these platforms to communicate, and more importantly, ensure the users of these platforms are well aware of relevant changes the moment they are made. And with Brightspot, you get the tools to make webhooks however you prefer to do so.

How do I create my own content types?

Brightspot GO gives editors even more flexibility than before by enabling them to create their own content types in just a few mouse clicks. The video below shows how easy it is done.

Visit our developer documentation for more information on creating new editorial content types.

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Video Companion
Inside Brightspot: Editorial content types

How do I modify and/or extend Brightspot content types?

Developers can leverage JavaScript to extend and modify content types, as well as the Brightspot GO CMS UI, using a feature called JavaScript Classes.

JavaScript Classes allows developers to customize the CMS UI; for example, by creating a brand-new right rail widget that invokes an action or connection to another third-party system. JavaScript Classes can also be used to build support for new integrations, to add custom business logic to content types, and also to create view models.

Leveraging JavaScript Classes enables engineers to customize Brightspot exclusively through the CMS UI—eliminating the need to write, commit and deploy code using Java, and saving valuable time.

Visit our Brightspot documentation portal for more detailed information on adding custom styling and scripting to Brightspot.

How do I customize or create my own front-end theme and/or style guide?

With GO, you can customize your front end however you’d like. You can likely get most of the way there with our theme editor and no-code, in-CMS customization tools. To go further, you can add CSS within Brightspot GO, giving you a low-code option to customize your front end(s). If you have developers and choose to, you can also create a professional software project and edit the entire front-end bundle of JavaScript, CSS and Handlebars templates to take your customization as far as you’d like to go.

Brightspot Styleguide
Brightspot Styleguide

Visit our developer documentation for more detailed information on managing, customizing and extending themes.

Can we use React (or next.js or Angular or something else)?

Yes. Brightspot is designed to be front-end agnostic, meaning you can work in whatever front-end framework your team with which your team is most comfortable.

Do I have to know Java?

Nope! While Brightspot GO’s underlying architecture leverages Java, Apache, MySQL and Solr, you can also use JavaScript to extend the CMS UI, to create new widgets, as well as to add custom business logic to your content types.

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Brightspot GO: CMS user guides and documentation

Our user guides provide tutorials, how-tos, references and conceptual background for the content types you can use in Brightspot GO.
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