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Why Constellation - Two Giant Leaps At The Same Time

Maciej Dybal, 6 minute read
This is the second blog in the Constellation Hands-On series. To learn more or catch up on the series, please visit the Constellation Hands-On hub. You can also explore Introduction to Constellation Architecture to learn more about the basics and initial concepts discussed.

There is this customary advice that every mother gives to a fresh airplane pilot: Fly slowly and low. 

While well-intended, it is not always feasible to move forward slowly and cautiously — sometimes, you must be bold and take a giant leap. Or two. That is the story of Pega Constellation. To make Constellation work, two revolutionary changes needed to occur: one was technological, and the other shifted the paradigm of how applications should be created. One could not work without the other, but together, they bring a plethora of benefits to those who will use them.

To make Constellation work, two revolutionary changes needed to occur: one was technological, and the other shifted the paradigm of how applications should be created.


New underlying technology

The ongoing digitalization of all aspects of our daily lives brings unique challenges to any software company. As users, we spend more time online than ever before: using different channels, displaying content tailored to our needs, and communicating instantly through video, chats, voice, and social media. We expect a seamless experience, intuitive interfaces, and answers available at our fingertips.

Service Providers scramble to bring us all these values — but it comes at a cost. The landscape of available technologies changes rapidly, the need to scale vertically and horizontally is growing, and the old approach of monolithic systems does not cut it anymore. To meet all these expectations and challenges, Pega Constellation introduced a clear separation of the background engine and front-end presentation layer and connected them with a granular, well-defined API. Client-side orchestration and stateless API allowed Pega to move to single-page application architecture and achieve some staggering improvement in performance:

  • 3x faster interactions  
  • 7x smaller network payload  
  • 10x faster initial server response time  
  • 30% fewer requests on the first load

At the same time, the same API allows application creators to use any modern front-end technology, which helps Pega to react to any new emerging frameworks or web trends quickly. It also gives the possibility to embed Pega workflows into the customer’s ecosystem, which gives users a consistent experience both from the perspective of company branding and across different channels thanks to Pega prescriptive authoring approach. Speaking of prescriptive authoring...

A new paradigm of building applications

The new API and Constellation design system, the microservice architecture, and the clear separation of concerns through the MVC design pattern are all insufficient to meet the requirements of modern web applications if they are not coupled with the modern way of creating applications. Pega introduced the Center-out philosophy and the microjourneys concept some years ago, but it really kicked it into the next gear with the Constellation by introducing prescriptive authoring. This novel approach promotes configuration over customization. The out-of-the-box components, UI elements, screens, and widgets enable diverse use cases depending on the context and underlying data. This way, app creators can focus on creating the best processes and workflow automation, and the design system handles how to display the content to the user in a consistent way that follows best UX practices. The Constellation design system can create adaptive and accessible user interfaces on your laptop, mobile phone, or tablet.

At the same time, focusing on business processes and underlying data model means that businesses can deliver value to their customers quicker and solve their most pressing issues instead of reinventing the front-end experience repeatedly. When paired with the paradigm of avoiding customization, this approach opens the way to simple and seamless upgrades where developers can use new versions of Pega Platform without the risk of regression bugs or extensive rework of customized elements. As a result, businesses can use any new emerging technologies and react quickly to new challenges of the ever-changing digital world.

Thus, by taking two giant leaps, Pega reimagined how to perform modern digitalization work and deliver value quicker, easier, and in a more consistent way across all channels and regardless of the existing technology stack. 

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About the Author

As a member of EMEA Consulting Maciej uses his LSA knowledge and project experience to advise customers on the best ways to use Pega Platform. He works hand-in-hand with customers and partners to deliver low-code applications that the end users will love.

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