Sitecore Experience Manager Cloud

Sitecore Experience Manager Cloud, or XM Cloud, is a headless content management system that is a foundation for a composable digital experience platform (DXP) centered around content.

XM Cloud includes the latest versions of Experience Manager, Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA), Headless Services, Sitecore Next.js SDK, Experience Edge, and the Pages content editor. Because XM Cloud is a SaaS solution, Sitecore takes care of hosting, monitoring, and maintenance so you can focus on creating new functionality and integrating other composable solutions.

This topic describes key functionality in XM Cloud. Much of the functionality in XM Cloud will be familiar to developers who have previously worked with Sitecore Experience Manager or Sitecore Experience Platform.

To find information about recent product releases, visit the changelog.

SaaS environment updates

XM Cloud is made up of many different apps that run together, including Portal, Deploy, Pages, Explorer, Components, and others. Sitecore regularly updates these apps with new features, enhancements, and fixes. In addition, the content you create is stored and run on a unique Content Management (CM) instance in a base image.

Sitecore updates your XM Cloud base images in the following scenarios:  

  • Routine automatic updates - approximately a week after Microsoft releases a new Windows image, we update the XM Cloud base image. This ensures that you have the latest version and features.

  • Microsoft critical security fixes - whenever Microsoft releases a critical security fix for their Windows base image, to maintain the security of the platform and protect your environments.

  • Sitecore security fixes - Sitecore regularly applies updates to maintain the security of the platform.

Apart from these scenarios, we regularly release new XM Cloud images. However, we don't automatically update your environment for every release. You get these updates in the following ways:

  • Every time you deploy, the CM instance is updated to the latest version.


    You can enable auto deployments in the environment settings by turning on Trigger deployment on commit to branch, so that whenever you commit to your code repository you get the latest base image.

  • The up.ps1 script always fetches the latest base image, and you can use it in local development scenarios. If you develop locally, this ensures that you have access to the most recent version of the base image for testing and development purposes.

By following these update procedures, you can be sure that you have access to the latest features, security enhancements, and bug fixes.

Deploying in XM Cloud

You can deploy a project in XM Cloud in three ways:

Sitecore Cloud Portal

Sitecore Cloud Portal shows you what Sitecore applications and subscriptions are available to your organization and lets you switch between different apps. You can also switch between different organizations if you belong to more than one.

You use the portal to configure users, roles, and teams.

During XM Cloud development, you can use the Portal to see which XM Cloud instances are running.

Client applications with your preferred technology

You can use any front-end stack to build client applications if the technology you choose can:

  • Consume JSON-formatted layout and content data.

  • Use libraries for interacting with the Edge Delivery GraphQL endpoint.

This includes frameworks such as Blazor, ASP.NET Core, JavaScript, and more.

If you choose JavaScript, we recommend building client solutions with the Next.js Sitecore JavaScript Rendering SDK (JSS).

The Next.js SDK provides the best support for integrating with Experience Editor and Pages and ensures the best compatibility with upcoming features, such as SXA Headless components. A foundation template is currently available that includes an XM Cloud instance and a JSS Next.js application configured to render data from an XM Cloud instance. You can use the foundation template to set up a local development environment and perform an initial deployment.

Content delivery with Experience Edge

XM Cloud publishes and serves content exclusively to Experience Edge. The Edge for XM Connector is preconfigured as part of the XM Cloud solution. Edge is a content delivery network (CDN) that uses a set of GraphQL libraries, which your front-end application uses to retrieve content.

Using the XM Cloud Pages editor

XM Cloud Pages allows content authors to build the content for their websites. Pages is a foundation for Sitecore's composable and headless solutions and is intended as the editor of choice for XM Cloud, even though the Content Editor and Experience Editor are still available. Pages includes personalization and analytics capabilities and an embedded component builder.

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