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Directus’ headless CMS aims to improve data management

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As companies grapple with the ever-increasing amount of data – and what to do with it all – data management becomes a complex concern. Some businesses may have twenty or thirty sealed SQL platforms (or more) data handling, which can make it a nightmare to get the most relevant data just for reports or applications.

Ben Haynes, co-founder and CEO of Directus, says the “headless” content management system is very useful here. This type of back-end content management system separates the content repository “body” from the presentation layer “head”, allowing the system to pull SQL data from multiple sources and present it in a variety of ways. This contrasts with typical CMS systems that organize content into a large bucket “head” into a website-oriented framework. That content cannot be adapted to other digital platforms and cannot be replaced because it has already been entered with the code.

Directus, an 18-year-old, Brooklyn-headquartered company, is working to differentiate itself when it comes to headless CMS and its capabilities and effects. The company has just released its open data platform, Directus 9, for general availability. It is advertised as a platform that can turn any SQL database into an API and no-code application.

“Directus removes barriers to accessing valuable data, providing a flexible, scalable and intuitive solution for any data-driven application or project,” Hans said.

The company is innovating and competing in the evolving space with contemporaries, including Sanity, Storyblock, Contentful and Strappy.

A ‘reckless, agnostic’ data management system

Directus considers its namesek system unique because it sits on top of multiple SQL databases and reflects data from them without modifying the original schema or content. This, Hans explained, enables database administrators to maintain full control while making it easy to inject, fetch, update and create data. DirectX 9 has been re-coded in 100% JavaScript, and is available as a free, open-source, on-premises software, or as a tiered cloud-based offer with special features and a community cloud option.

According to Haynes, the “opinionless, agnostic” system is modular, extensible, increasingly adaptable, and flexible. It can top-level and reflect data from a wide range of databases, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, CockroachDB, Oracle DB and others. “We do not support a single database; We support them all, “said Hans.

As he said, the company does not need to adapt itself to adopt the given technology stack. What the layering company is doing at the top allows the Directus system to be inherited. “It literally shines through your architecture,” he said. “Your data store stays perfectly clean and natural.”

Directus 9 ultimately embodies the company’s focus on “data democratization”. Hans said the database, which is usually locked behind IT doors, can be accessed by all business users, “from interns to sea suites,” Hans said. And they don’t have to build their own in-house systems that can take months or years to complete.

The latest version has 10 times more performance than previous versions of the company, allowing for near-instant SQL query responses. It also adds more secure dual-factor authentication and single sign-on permissions; Customizable dashboards, charts and other visualization tools; And numerous integration and presentation options.

“It’s a completely different approach than what’s out there,” Hans said. “Just saying ‘headless CMS’ is so pioneering, so myopic.”

Haynes started Directes in 2004 with the goal of democratizing data management. The software company has gained significant traction: it has recently reached the milestone of 16 million docker installations, and its software is used by Boss, AT&T, TripAdvisor, Comcast, the US Navy and the Government of Canada. “It’s wonderful to see the width of the usage patterns for this platform,” Hans said.

Work on Directus 9 began two years ago as a two-person project; Since then it has grown into a team of 20 engineers backed by hundreds of contributors. Looking ahead, the company will continue to enhance and improve the system by focusing on stability, documentation and testing, Hans said. At a broader level, it sees more impacts around digital visualization and data comprehension.

“We’re trying to find those outer boundaries,” Hans said. “It’s an exciting creation that’s really meaningful on such a large scale.”

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