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Three Easy Steps for Rapid Prototyping



What is rapid prototyping?

Rapid prototyping is the process of quickly building a scale model for display to a client or partner, knowing that the prototype can be changed at a moment's notice. For a builder this could be an actual model, for a product it could be a mold model, and for an agency or development shop it could be a number of things. Many agencies will build rapid prototypes not just to display creative, websites & apps for clients, but to win the business in the first place by demonstrating a certain level of commitment to and understanding of the product or service at hand. Rapid prototyping allows the development team to participate in a faster feedback loop to get the best possible product while allowing the client to participate in the process. The constraints are usually time, money & technology infrastructure in terms of how that rapid prototype can be reviewed, and where. 


How are agencies currently handling rapid prototyping? 

In the creative agency world, there are numerous ways in which agencies will display creative work for their clients. Some have built proprietary galleries online that display comps pixel for pixel, some still print creative on 11" x 17" PDFs & others display a website example on a local server, hence forcing the clients of the agency to meet at the agency's offices for any type of digital presentation. There's nothing like displaying actual apps for clients to start planting vision seeds for how the creative will actually look and function in the wild.


Why use a web-based CMS? 

Cosmic JS is the ideal tool for rapid prototyping. Rather than displaying an idea for an application or website on your local server with the clients in your office for a brief meeting, or having printed screenshots of an app for display, simply build your app and quickly deploy on the Cosmic JS App Server, making it available for review on any device that has an internet connection. The client(s) having access anywhere allows them to provide feedback in real-time while also allowing the agency to quickly iterate on a design, content piece or structural component. The app can then be edited according to the client's direction and re-deployed with a custom domain for actual usage by the client once the rapid prototyping phase is over. 


Here are the three easy steps for agencies using Cosmic JS for rapid prototyping:

1. Integrate your GitHub repo with Cosmic JS 

2. Set up as many buckets as you would need for your rapid prototyping projects

3. Deploy buckets as the rapid prototype becomes ready for review 


Here are the three reasons Cosmic JS is best-suited for rapid prototyping projects:

1. No local server / stack set up to push to for display

2. Edit content in real time to adjust design accordingly (no lorem ipsum copy)

3. Once the rapid prototype is complete and approved, deploy on the Cosmic JS App Server with a custom domain

For more information on why Cosmic JS is the best solution for your rapid prototyping needs, read The Cosmic Stack to see the simplest content management stack on the market.

Cosmic JS is an API-first cloud-based CMS that gives developers and agencies portable, scalable & flexible content management solutions through its API that converts all content into JSON objects for consumption on any internet-connected device. 

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Cosmic JS is a powerful CMS API that allows you to manage content for your websites and applications faster and easier.  But did you know that you can also use Cosmic JS to deploy code to your website (in any language) from any GitHub repository?  In addition to deploying content and code, starting today you can also add unlimited domains to your deployed application.  This is revolutionary because it means that moving forward all you need to launch your website is a git repository, a domain name provider and Cosmic JS!  No more hosting server necessary!  I’ve added a couple of screencasts for your viewing.  Let’s get started.

Create a Bucket

After logging in to your Cosmic JS account, create a new bucket.  After creating your new bucket, you will be prompted to install an app.

Install an App

Let's go ahead and install an app, but you could just as easily skip this step and deploy your own application pointed to your Cosmic JS bucket.  After installing your app, you will be prompted to deploy the application.

Deploy the App

Next click "Deploy Web App" to launch the web application to http://[your-bucket-slug].cosmicapp.co.  Once you do this it will take about a minute for the application to deploy on a custom instance of the Cosmic JS app server.  While this is working its magic, let's add our custom domains…

Add Custom Domains

The Cosmic app server subdomain is great for development and staging, but when you go live, you're going to want to add our own custom domains.  Cosmic JS makes this incredibly easy by providing the option to add custom domains to your deployed application.  Here are the 4 easy steps:

1. Go to Settings > Deploy Web App > Add Custom Domains (upgrade your account if needed)
2. Add your custom domains
3. Click "Set Domains"
4. Go to your domain name registrar's website and point your A Name Records to the Cosmic JS app server located at 162.243.13.186

Now navigate to your domain and notice that you now have your application hosted at your custom domain!  Add as many domains / subdomains as you need!  Whenever you need to deploy changes to the app, just push the changes up to your GitHub repository and click "Redeploy Web App".

Cosmic JS now gives you the power to deploy a website faster and more nimbly than any other system.  And all you need is a git repository, a domain name provider and Cosmic JS!

The Repeater Metafield allows you to group Metafields into groups with the ability to “repeat” the group.  This makes building blocks of content on a page really intuitive.

In this Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight, we sat down with Kevin Grossnicklaus, Principal of ArchitectNow, a St. Louis-based software development firm that specializes in helping customers design, build, and launch rich web and mobile applications across a variety of industries.

Nick Bonanno, Founder & CEO of Simple Media, a boutique digital micro-services agency, sits down with Carson from Cosmic JS. 

We're happy to announce that we've rolled out some new features requested by members of our community.  Here are some of the new features:

This is blog number one on the new Cosmic JS blog page.  Hopefully this will help me find the best way to help developers and publishers use this platform easier and more efficiently.