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The Rise of the Modular Product Era


After reading a very well done article on TechCrunch "Don't Dismiss Developers", a thought came to mind about our current developer technology ecosystem.  The most successful products don't try to build every bit of functionality in-house.  Instead, great companies find ways to build their technology upon a stack of specially designed services that offload complex tasks.  This is something that I call the "Modular Product Era".

Currently this is happening at the server level with cloud computing, file storage and database offloading to service companies like Amazon and Digital Ocean.  But there is also the application layer that is now being outsourced to different companies to leverage specially crafted and designed products that integrate easily into an application stack.  Much like in a community if you want the best bread, the best meat and the best cheese, you don't go to the supermarket and you obviously don't try to make all of these complex foods yourself, instead you go the local baker, butcher and cheese store.  And these specialized modules are becoming easier to incorporate into existing technology.

Ethan Kurzweil illustrates this, "For example, when you add your credit card to Uber by taking a picture of it, you’re actually using a cool piece of technology developed by card.io (now part of PayPal) to OCR the credit card number and expiration date and then after every ride, Uber makes an API call to Braintree Payments to process your transaction."

In this new Modular Product Era, we will continue to see companies becoming more specialized and providing a more focused service at a lower price point.  This is very exciting because this lowers the barrier to entry even further for growing technology startups.

Cosmic JS is being built with these principals in mind.  We want to build the best product for developers to easily integrate content management into any application.  We will do this through using a technology stack that leverages the Modular Product ecosystem.

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In this short tutorial I’m going to show you how to:

1. Upload an image to your Cosmic JS Bucket via the Cosmic JS API.
2. Alter your image using the powerful Imgix processing service (free with every Cosmic JS Bucket)
3. Add the uploaded image as a Metafield to an Object in your Bucket

In an effort to make it easier to create content-ready applications as well as manage content, you can now install and deploy applications using Cosmic JS.  It's the fastest and easiest way to go from 0 to content-ready web app (about 2 minutes!) without any server or configuration hassle.  It's really cool and only requires a few steps:

1. Sign in to your Cosmic JS account
2. Choose a bucket then navigate on the left sidenav to Settings > Apps
3. Select your app and click "Install"
4. Go to Settings > Deploy Web App and click "Deploy Web App"



In about 2 minutes your application will be deployed and connected to your Cosmic JS bucket.  Add and edit content easily and review from the deployed location.  Choose from one of the provided apps or add the link to the public git repo to clone your own app into deployment.

You can deploy your applications from any GitHub, BitBucket or any other public repo. Your application will be deployed to it's own isolated Docker container using Dokku, a Docker-powered mini-Heroku. This means that you can build your app in any language and easily deploy it from Cosmic JS!  You can find out more about how to make apps Dokku compatible by reading Heroku documentation

If you would like to contribute apps to be available on Cosmic JS, please contact support@cosmicjs.com.  Happy building!

It's now easier to get started using Cosmic JS as your content platform.  After signing in, click "Add new bucket" and you will see that you now have the option to install a starter bucket.  

After you click "Install", your starter bucket will be imported to a new bucket and your app zip file will be downloaded to your machine.  At that point you can extract the files and configure your new app to connect to your new Cosmic JS bucket.  

This is meant to help familiarize you with how to set up your bucket to best manage content for your websites and apps.  Sign in and enjoy!

Screenshot:

We know first hand the problem of building websites and apps on a time crunch.  And it's always nice to find something pre-built that you can simply pull "off-the-shelf" and customize to fit your needs.

You can now use Cosmic JS to deploy your GitHub private repos to the web.  All you have to do is sign up or sign in using your GitHub account and authorize access to your private repos. (Don't worry, we only access your private repos when you are ready to deploy them to the web).


After you authorize access the process is super easy.  Just go to Your Bucket > Settings > Deploy Web App and choose which private (or public) GitHub repo you would like to deploy. You can also deploy an app from any public Git repo url (make sure your app follows the Heroku deployment guidelines).


Click Deploy Web App and your private repo will be deployed to the world!

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a "Ecommerce" app using a little bit of Node, and Cosmic JS. For the sake of understanding how to consume Restful API’s, this tutorial will show how to make simple AJAX requests to the Cosmic JS API in order to retrieve, update, and delete data in our Cosmic JS buckets. Let's get started.