Sitecore xConnect Overview
Sitecore has great documentation which I used to get to know the key components of xConnect. This article is meant to quickly retrieve the key components at any time I need a global overview of the terms and to document learnings from experimenting with xConnect. Maybe the article can help somebody else, but be sure to always check out the official documentation to get the latest and most detailled information.
Why use xConnect?
Sitecore sets itself apart from other systems through the extensive Marketing capabilities it offers. XConnect brings the possibilities to a whole new level in my opinion, because it enables the collection of sitecore and non-sitecore interactions to create a unified view of the customer’s interactions (omnichannel data collection). With xConnect the collection and retrieval of data is abstracted away from Sitecore Kernel and any client can access xDb through xConnect. With this ability to connect anything it is possible to create the most optimized experience for the customer.
xDB is an umbrella term for the services that are responsible for processing and storing the collected data.
xConnect is the service layer that sits in between the xDB and any trusted client, device, or interface that wants to add or use experience data using the xConnect Client API. It consists of serveral services and API’s to support the collection and search of data.
The xConnect Client API is a portable web API that allows trusted clients to create, read, update, and search contacts and interactions over HTTPS. No client is allowed direct access to the collection database and search index. All communication goes through the xConnect Client API. The xConnect Client API implements the oData protocol.
The diagram above shows how different components all have to go through xConnect to make use of the experience data. Even when it's not within Sitecore context. In this case we can use an intermediairy server that is responsible for the communication with xConnect.
But what is exactly going on if we dig a little deeper? In upcoming posts I will elaborate on several parts of xConnect. As posts are published I will keep adding a link here so check back regularly if you are interested.