Decorative double Helix


Digital Experience Platforms and Content Management Systems share many similarities and some would say that depending on the context they can reference the same thing. At Arbory Digital we work primarily with Adobe Experience Manager which is branded by both DXP and an Enterprise CMS by Adobe. Is DXP just a way for Adobe to separate its product from the crowd of Content Management Systems, or are there any real differences?

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A content management system, or CMS, is software to help businesses manage and modify website content in a more simple and efficient way, often without having to code or maintain deep technical knowledge of website development. A CMS manages the infrastructure of a website so that front-end presentation and functionality can be a larger focus, ultimately helping drive the business value of a website without getting caught in the weeds of development. At the enterprise level, content management systems support a variety of users and workflows by integrating with a wider arrange of technologies that help a large business internally and customer-facing online activities. See some of the best Enterprise CMS options here.

A CMS will also likely provide access to additional applications and software through integrations that create a more comprehensive solution that can be utilized by everyone from marketing to IT. For a deeper dive into Content Management Systems, see our CMS blog.

What is a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?

A digital experience platform, or DXP, can be defined as a more comprehensive solution compared to a CMS. While this isn’t always the case, the breakdown of the title is the key to differentiation; entirely digital with a greater focus on the entire experience of customers through a platform of integrated software solutions for everything from content creation to modification, customer relationship management (CRM), and application security. The defining difference between a CMS and a DXP is that the ultimate focus of a DXP is on the end-user experience.

Much like a CMS, a DXP can support the creation of content and improves efficiency in editing and delivering content properly. The goal of a DXP is to make the next step in further connecting digital experiences. In today’s world, customers are increasingly more digital and more accessible in this digital realm. The experience that a customer has while interacting with a business across touchpoints online is incredibly important to their likelihood to request services or purchase products. A DXP is designed to engage with customers at every interaction, with the goal of making their experience as frictionless and as friendly as possible. From apps to desktops, brick-and-mortar sales to customer service calls, and more, each interaction provides valuable data about the customer’s journey.


It is safe to say that every Digital Experience Platform is at least part Content Management System and that the terms will continue to be used interchangeably in the context of large enterprise content management and website management. Gartner recognizes Adobe Experience Manager as a leader in both the CMS and DXP categories, but there seems to be more competition for Adobe when it is referred to as a CMS.

About The Author

Hank Thobe
Business Director at Arbory Digital

Technical Project Manager and Business Director leading and supporting AEM experts to provide high-quality services and solutions for various industries and sectors.

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