What's in a Name, Part I-Lost-Count

The Tridion Sites Public Content API has been on my mind lately. I've blogged about product names before, but this one may be a bit ranty. Hopefully I can help remind people about the difference between a product feature and how its implemented. And luckily there hasn't been a big name change lately.

Let's start with a question. What is the name of the Tridion Sites public content delivery API?
The answer is the Public Content Delivery API.

Though the PCA uses GraphQL it is not called the GraphQL API. You might call the PCA a GraphQL API or a GraphQL-based API, similar to the many other APIs that use GraphQL as their query language.

In practice, this might not matter now, but what happens if there are new ways to interact with the PCA? Or what if the Content Manager adds GraphQL capabilities? 

Search, not Elastic

Similarly, the content delivery feature for search is called Content Delivery Search and not Elasticsearch, which is an excellent point that my colleague Jeff has has reminded me when talking about our search capabilities. Though the underlying search index/engine technology has been Elastic, the licensed product feature is Content Delivery search. Or you might refer to it as Dynamic Experience Delivery (DXD) Search, since DXD is synonymous with CD.

As such, there are supported (and easy!) ways to configure items and fields to place in the search index and ways to retrieve search results.

In a way, I've been validated by the fact that Tridion Sites 10 uses OpenSearch rather than Elasticsearch. :-)

Content Manager is clear

Interestingly, I don't see as much confusion with the Content Manager. You may understand that the Content Manager is backed by an SQL database of some flavor. For example with Tridion Sites 10, the documentation recommends one of the following database servers for the Content Manager: 
  • Oracle Database 19c (19.3)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2022 (Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition)
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database
  • Amazon RDS for MSSQL 2019
But I rarely see the Content Manager be referred to as "Oracle" or "MS SQL." Customers and partners generally understand that you shouldn't interact directly with the Content Manager database except in supported ways, as described in the documentation or as instructed when working with, well, Support.

Vendor name does not equal product name 

On yet another  tangent, I do hear products regularly referred to by their vendor names. This mostly works with the context is clear like when someone mentions "Oracle" it's likely a version of their database. Or when comparing similar products from different vendors, you might call the products by their vendor names.

But what does it mean when a customer says, "I updated it in SDL!"? 

Anyone who has worked with Salesforce products may know to not confuse the vendor name with the product, especially if you've worked with, say, the Storefront Reference Architecture. Its full name is the Commerce Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA). In the context of SFRA, I once had a project involving its Page Designer feature, so in updates and design sessions we would be clear to refer to the SFRA SFCC PD project!

This wraps up this post on names. The public content delivery API for Tridion Sites and Tridion Docs is called the (Content Delivery) Public Content API. The Tridion search feature is called Content Delivery search (or sometimes search in Content Delivery). It's just like the Content Manager--the engine or technology is important, but it's also separate from the product or product feature.

Next steps?

When you next see a Tridion Stack Exchange question tagged [graphql], kindly double check if it's also a [PCA] question and tag it accordingly. I got through 23 questions so far, then wrote this blog post while my browser started to struggle with all the open tabs. 

Update (2023/08/02): If you'd like to reduce your use of (three letter) acronyms, instead of "PCA," consider using Content API, Content Delivery API, or one from colleague Greg Guttman: Content Hub API.

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