Out with the old ….

The Concept of the Donut

This problem seems like it was encountered a lifetime ago, but its actually become fundamental to our approach. WCS is a huge monolithic application and everything is very tightly coupled. In considering how we might adopt Adobe AEM in a truly headless solution we were faced with a stark reality that there is a huge amount of functionality contained within the header and footer of our website:

“Why is the header on the old homepage and the new homepage the same?”

The simple answer - it is …. but not for long. We can now start to incrementally build out the header and footer components and also take those elements headless over the coming months.

Style Bleeding

Adopting the donut didn’t resolve all of our problems in fact it introduced a number of other issues that we have needed to overcome.

Shared Header / Footer

Although we took the decision not to build the new header and footer as part of the initial phase we did need to consider how our approach would scale as we continued to build out our headless front end.

Routing — Content Served from WCS or AEM?

Today we have launched our new homepage, but over the coming weeks our business teams will be migrating all of our Department, Brand, Article and Category Pages onto Adobe Experience Manager which will bring our fresh new look to the whole of www.boots.com.

AEM Preview

Editing and previewing content across the end to end customer journey was a critical requirement for our business teams. The issue we encountered was that as we move into our hybrid state we needed to enable the business to preview content across our microservices application and also the legacy WCS estate.

“This change is one of so many big advances that happen to Boots over the next 3 to 4 months, an ambitious change that places the customer at the centre of every thing we can do for them on a digital platform.

Our customers love the Boots store, these changes begin to enable that same love to transition to the way we are reflected on line. Every part of Boots is involved in how we make this change, truly inspiring to see how the whole organisation understands and gets behind what so many others would describe as a technology change!”

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Steve Westgarth

Steve Westgarth

Steve 🏳️‍🌈 is the Global Head of Engineering at GSK Consumer Healthcare where he heads up the Software Engineering function.