Get started with the Bloomreach React SDK | React CMS

​ Niklas Winkels

​ 2019-07-10



Learn how to create a React app consuming the Headless Experience API based on a standard Bloomreach CMS project. The React app will read component metadata, models and content items to render Banner components, which are dynamically added and removed in the React CMS. Bloomreach Experience allows you to use an external front-end such as React for rendering while still providing a native-like authoring experience, such as integrated preview, in-context editing, drag & drop, server-side personalization. For more information on this approach, see A new approach to integrating SPA's with WCM: Fixing what's wrong with headless integrations. At the bottom you'll also find an overview of the Bloomreach React SDK:

⚛︎ React SDK for powering content and components in React CMS applications by Bloomreach Experience. This library makes integrating a React app with Bloomreach Experience a breeze. It supports both client-side- and server-side rendered/isomorphic React apps.


Note: This blog has been published in July 2019. You can find an up-to-date readme as well as the code on GitHub.


⚡️ Create a Bloomreach CMS Project to use with your React app

First, create a Bloomreach CMS project by following the Get Started tutorial. Add features to the project via Bloomreach Essentials like Banners, Events and News. See the Add Features to the Project docs for details.


➕ Add Example Banner to Homepage

We need to add a Banner component in the Channel Manager for our demo. Open the Channel Manager to edit the default channel.

Select the Home Page Main container and add Banner component there.

Open the Parameter Setting dialog on the Banner component you've just added, and select a Banner document. e.g, banners/banner1.

Publish the channel.

If you visit http://localhost:8080/site/, then the homepage will show the Banner component content:

We will convert the channel to an SPA Site Channel in the following step to be used with a React App.


🔧 Configure the Headless Experience API to use a React App in the CMS

Go to the console at http://localhost:8080/cms/console. In the hst:root mount for the default channel, configure the following properties:

  # SNIP
  hst:namedpipeline: SpaSitePipeline
  hst:pagemodelapi: resourceapi
  hst:responseheaders: ['Access-Control-Allow-Origin: http://localhost:3000', 'Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true']


We've converted the root mount to an SPA Site Mount and set the mount path of Headless Experience API to resourceapi. See Configure SPA++ for details.

Also, we set CORS response headers (['Access-Control-Allow-Origin: http://localhost:3000', 'Access-Control-Allow-Credentials: true']) in order to allow a React node.js server (at http://localhost:3000) to consume Page Model JSON API (at http://localhost:8080/site/resourceapi/). This is very helpful in local development environment.

After writing changes to repository, you will be able to see Headless Experience API working at http://localhost:8080/site/resourceapi:

We've just completed setting up a SPA Site Channel and its Page Model JSON API mount. Now, let's look at the React CMS part.



⬇️ Install the React SDK

npm install --save bloomreach-experience-react-sdk



import React from 'react'
import { CmsPage, RenderCmsComponent } from 'bloomreach-experience-react-sdk'

const componentDefinitions = {
  "MyCustomComponent": { component: MyCustomComponent }

class MyApp extends React.Component {
  render() {
    const request = { hostname: window.location.hostname, path: window.location.pathname + };
    return (
      <CmsPage componentDefinitions={componentDefinitions} request={request}>
        { () =>
          <RenderCmsComponent />


At a minimum, <CmsPage> and <RenderCmsComponent> should be imported in the React app.

<CmsPage> fetches the Page Model when it is not supplied as a prop (see section on server-side rendering); it fetches updates to the page model on component changes in the CMS; and it initializes and manages state, and provides this as context to <RenderCmsComponent>. The <CmsPage> component can be put anywhere within the React App.

<RenderCmsComponent> renders components based on the Page Model API response. It consumes the state from <CmsPage> and renders the container components and any content referenced from the components as contained in the Page Model API response. The <RenderCmsComponent> should be nested within <CmsPage> and placed in the React app at the exact location where you want BloomReach Experience to control what components and content is rendered.

Please note that <CmsPage> takes children as a function instead of as a prop, because it is not possible to provide state through context providers due to a bug in React currently. So make sure to wrap any children of <CmsPage> in a function, as in the following example:

{ () =>
 // any children go here
 <h1>Blooming is what I do</h1>


<CmsPage> takes two props: componentDefinitions and request.

The request prop is used to fetch the Page Model for the current page; and to detect whether preview mode is active so that meta-data for Channel Manager functionality (e.g. in-context editing) is included in the HTML, and consequently Channel Manager functionality is enabled.

Finally, component definitions are supplied through the componentDefinitions prop. The component definitions tell <RenderCmsComponent> what React component to render by mapping these to the hst:label of a CMS catalog component.

Server-side rendering

For server-side rendering (e.g. using Next.js) you need to fetch the Page Model API server-side and supply it as a prop to <CmsPage>. Apart from this the usage is the same as with client-side rendering.

The helper function getApiUrl() can be used to generate the Page Model API URL using the current request.

It is important to pass cookies from the initial request and supply these with the request header of the Page Model API request. Otherwise, you will get a 403 error in preview mode.

Finally, to get preview to work for server-side rendered apps you can use a reverse proxy to route requests from BloomReach's site preview to the React App-server. For more details, see section 3.2 Server-side apps of the Hippo Lab: Integrate a React application with BloomReach Experience.

import fetch from 'isomorphic-unfetch'
import { getApiUrl, CmsPage, RenderCmsComponent } from 'bloomreach-experience-react-sdk'

// setting pageModel to empty list instead of null value,
// as otherwise the API will be fetched client-side again after server-side fetch errors
let pageModel = {}

const request = { hostname:, path: asPath }
const url = getApiUrl(request, {})
// pass cookies of initial request for CMS preview
const response = await fetch(url, {headers: {'Cookie': req.headers.cookie}})

if (response.ok) {
  try {
    pageModel = await response.json()
  } catch (err) {
    console.log(`Error! Could not convert response to JSON for URL: ${url}`)
} else {
  console.log(`Error! Status code ${response.status} while fetching CMS page data for URL: ${url}`)



Example React apps

There are two example React apps available that use the SDK. One client-side rendered, and one server-side rendered using Next.js. You can find the example apps on Github.

Creating custom components

Any components that are supplied through the compenentDefinitions prop can be any type of valid React component, including functional components. Props are passed to these components as context so that you can access the components' configuration, content, etc. See more information below.


The following props are passed to a component that is rendered by <RenderCmsComponent>:

  • configuration - Object component configuration. Contains the contributed models, raw parameters and resolved parameters. Content included in the component's model is not serialized as part of the component's configuration but in a separate content object, and a JSON Pointer reference is used to link to the actual content object. This is done to prevent content from being included multiple times in the API response when referenced multiple times on a page.
  • pageModel - Object full Page Model API response.
  • preview - Boolean is true if preview mode is active based on current URL supplied through request prop of <CmsPage>.

For more information on the Page Model API response, see the Swagger documentation.


import React from 'react'
import NewsItem from './news-item'
import { getNestedObject } from 'bloomreach-experience-react-sdk'

export default class NewsList extends React.Component {
  render() {
    const preview = this.props.preview
    const pageModel = this.props.pageModel
    const configuration = this.props.configuration

    // return placeholder if no list is set on component
    const list = getNestedObject(configuration, ['models', 'pageable', 'items'])
    if (!list && preview) {
      return (<p>Click to configure {configuration.label}</p>)
    } else if (!list) {
      // don't render placeholder outside of preview mode
      return null

    // build list of news articles
    const listItems =, index) => {
      if ('$ref' in listItem) {
        return (<NewsItem contentRef={listItem.$ref} pageModel={pageModel} preview={preview} key={index}/>)

    return (
      <div className="row">
        <div className="col-sm-12 news-list">


Content components

Components that reference a single content-item (e.g. the Banner component) can use a convenient wrapper-class that looks up the content and passes it as a prop. See below.

To enable this, the property wrapInContentComponent: true has to be set on the component in thecomponentDefinitions prop. See componentDefinitions in the API section for more details.


  • content - Object raw content object that contains the content-item's fields and field-values. Any references to other content-items (e.g. images) are serialized as JSON Pointers.
  • manageContentButton - React.Component for placement and rendering of the Manage Content Button in preview mode in CMS.
  • pageModel - Object full Page Model API response.
  • preview - Boolean is true if preview is active based on current URL supplied through request prop of <CmsPage>.


import React from 'react'

const content = this.props.content;
const manageContentButton = this.props.manageContentButton;

class Banner extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <div className="my-content-component">
        { manageContentButton && manageContentButton }
        { content.title && content.title }


Static CMS components

Static CMS components are components that are defined by developers / administrators and cannot be
modified by users in the CMS. However, any content or site menus these components reference can be changed by users in the CMS.

Since <RenderCmsComponent> only renders container components (drag-and-drop components) by default, you have to specify two additional properties in order to render a static CMS component: the path property to point to the relative path of the component, and renderComponent to specify which React component to use for rendering the component. See the example below.

<RenderCmsComponent path={'menu'} renderComponent={CmsMenu} />


More component examples

For more detailed examples, see the components included in the example applications.

Helper functions

Additionally, there are a variety of helper functions available. See the examples below. For full details on the APIs, see the API section.

import { createLink, getImageUrl, getNestedObject, parseAndRewriteLinks, parseDate } from 'bloomreach-experience-react-sdk'

const link = createLink('ref', link, linkText, className)
const image = getImageUrl(content.image, this.props.pageModel, this.props.preview)
const list = getNestedObject(configuration, ['models', 'pageable', 'items', 0])
const contentHtml = parseAndRewriteLinks(content.content.value, this.props.preview)
const date = parseDate(



Headless API


The CmsPage component is a higher-order component that takes care of:

  • Fetching the Page Model for client-side rendering, when not supplied as a prop.
  • Fetching Page Model updates on component changes in the CMS.
  • Initializing and managing state, and providing this as context to <RenderCmsComponent>.


  • cmsUrls - Object Override default CMS URL's. (Optional)
  • componentDefinitions - object Mapping of CMS catalog components to React components. Determines what component to render based from the Page Model. (Optional)
  • createLink - Function Called when creating internal links so that links can be constructed using the router library of the React app. (Optional)
  • pageModel - Object Supply Page Model as prop. Used for server-side-rendering where Page Model API is fetched server-side. When supplied, CmsPage will not fetch Page Model API on mount, only on component updates in CMS. (Optional)
  • request - String Current URL-path for determining if preview mode is active, and for fetching the Page Model for the page that is active. (Required)

cmsUrls property

Property that allows you to override the default URL's for fetching the Page Model API. Typically you will only have to define schemehostnameport, and contextPath. Input object takes the following properties (all are optional):

  • scheme - String scheme (default: http)
  • hostname - String hostname (default: localhost)
  • port - number port number (default: 8080)
  • contextPath - String site context-path (default: site)
  • channelPath - String path to the used channel, if channel is accessed through a subpath
  • previewPrefix - String preview-prefix used by CMS (default: _cmsinternal)
  • apiPath - String path to Page Model API as subpath (default: resourceapi)
  • apiComponentRenderingUrlSuffix - String (default: ?_hn:type=component-rendering&_hn:ref=)

componentDefinitions property

Maps CMS catalog components to React components. Expects as input an object with hst:label of the CMS components as keys and as value another object. The nested object has the mandatory property component who's value maps the CMS component to a React component. See the example below:

const componentDefinitions = {
  "MyCustomCmsComponent": { component: MyCustomReactComponent },
  "AnotherCmsComponent": { component: AnotherReactComponent, wrapInContentComponent: true }


Additionally, the property wrapInContentComponent: true can be used for components that reference a single content-item. When this property is set on a component, it will be wrapped in a convenient wrapper class. See section Content components.

createLink property

Called when creating internal links so that links can be constructed using the router library of the React app.

Takes Function as input. The function should return valid JSX and have three parameters:

  • href - String href of link
  • linkText - Function contains the HTML that is wrapped inside the link. Is a function so that it can include HTML.
  • className - String classnames to add to the link element

For example:

const createLink = (href, linkText, className) => {
  return (<Link className={className} to={href}>{linkText()}</Link>)


pageModel property

Page Model can be supplied as a prop when using a server-side rendered / isomorphic React framework. When supplied, <CmsPage> will not fetch the Page Model API client-side.

request property

Takes Object as input with properties hostname and path, both of type String. The property hostname should contain the hostname for the current request (client-side this is window.location.hostname). The property path should contain the URL-path for the current request (client-side this is window.location.pathname);


Renders a CMS component and all of its children using the Page Model supplied by <CmsPage>. Will render the entire Page Model by default.


  • path - String path to a component (static CMS component), container or container-item in the Page Model to render only that component and its children. If no path is supplied, entire Page Model will be rendered.
  • renderComponent - React.Component render a static CMS component using specified React component. Only works in combination with path property, which should specify path to the static CMS component. Site menus that are rendered this way can leverage the <CmsEditButton> component for rendering edit buttons in the CMS.


<RenderCmsComponent path={'menu'} renderComponent={CmsMenu} />



Inserts meta-data for either a content-item or site menu for placing an edit button in preview mode in the CMS. Content-items that are rendered by a content component using wrapInContentComponent: true do not need to use this component, but should use the manageContentButton prop that passes the meta-data.


  • configuration - Object configuration of the site menu (not the component configuration containing the menu) or the content-item object which has the _meta object in its root.
  • preview - Boolean toggle to prevent edit buttons from being rendered outside of preview.

getApiUrl(request, [newCmsUrls])

Helper function for generating URL to the Page Model API for server-side fetching of the Page Model.


  • request - Object containing hostname and URL-path as properties hostname and path respectively. See the request property section above.
  • newCmsUrls - Object takes cmsUrls property as input to override default CMS URL's

Return types

String returns URL for fetching Page Model API

createLink(linkType, link, linkText, className)

Creates a link to either a component or content-item itself or a referenced content-item (can be a document, image or asset) and returns the link as JSX.


  • linkType - String type of link to create. Valid values are selfref or href.
    • self - Create link to the component or content-item itself. E.g. for a news-item in a news overview.
    • ref - Create link to a referenced content-item. E.g. for a banner.
    • href - Used by parseAndRewriteLinks() to create links using a href only.
  • link - Object the component configuration or content-object that is linking to itself or referenced another content-item.
  • linkText - JSX | Function HTML to wrap inside the link. Is a function so that it can include HTML.
  • className - String classnames to add to the link element

Return types

JSX returns link as JSX object that can be included as a variable anywhere within the return section of a React component's render method.

getImageUrl(imageRef, pageModel, preview)

Creates link to URL of image in case BloomReach Experience is used for serving images.


  • imageRef - String JSON Pointer that references the image.
  • pageModel - Object since this function is a pure JavaScript function it can't get Page Model from context, so it has to be provided as function parameter. The Page Model is used to retrieve the image.
  • preview - Boolean toggle for whether preview mode is active. Components rendered by <RenderCmsComponent>can pass the prop this.props.preview.

Return types

String returns URL to image.

getNestedObject(nestedObject, pathArray)

Returns a nested object or value using a path array. Useful when you need to access deeply nested objects/values without having to string null checks together.


  • nestedObject - Object the object containing the nested object or value.
  • pathArray - Array contains the path to the nested object as an array.

Return types

Object|null returns the nested object if found, otherwise returns null.

parseAndRewriteLinks(html, preview)

Parses HTML of a rich-text field of a content-item for rewriting links in HTML to internal links. Uses the createLinkfunction passed to <CmsPage> for constructing internal links.


  • html - String value of rich-text field of a content-item. Should contain HTML only.
  • preview - Boolean toggle for whether preview mode is active. Components rendered by <RenderCmsComponent>can pass the prop this.props.preview.

Return types

JSX returns parsed and rewrited HTML as JSX.


Parses date-field of a content item and returns date as a string.


  • date - String takes raw value of a date-field as input, following the ISO 8601:2000 format.

Return types

String returns date in full date format.



Release notes

Version 0.5.0

  • Fixed bug with SSO handshake in client-side rendered applications.

Upgrade steps:

  • Pass query string parameters along with other request details to <CmsPage>:
    const request = { hostname: window.location.hostname, path: window.location.path + };
    <CmsPage componentDefinitions={componentDefinitions} request={request}>


Version 0.4.0

Added support for rendering static CMS components.

  • Added new property renderComponent to <RenderCmsComponent> which allows you to render a static component. This only works in combination with the path property, which should contain the relative path to the component.
  • Renamed <ManageContentButton> to <CmsEditButton> and exported it so it can be used by apps. This component is now more generic so it can also be used to generate edit buttons in the CMS for site menus.
  • Moved <CmsMenu> component out of SDK and into the example apps.

Version 0.3.0

Added extra checks so that <div> elements needed for CMS preview are only inserted in preview mode.

Version 0.2.0

This version includes significant changes. Please make sure to update your components using the upgrade steps further down.

  • Changed cmsUrls property to support different live and preview URLs.
  • Changed urlPath property to request property which no longer takes URL-path as string, but an object with hostname and URL-path. This property should be passed to <CmsPage>.
  • Changed helper method getApiUrl() to take request property as parameter instead of urlPath.
  • Changed helper method parseAndRewriteLinks() to take an extra parameter: preview.
  • Changed helper method getImageUrl() to take an extra parameter: preview.

Upgrade steps:

  • Modify cmsUrls property to include URLs for live and preview using the properties live and preview respectively. Please note that the cms prefix has been removed from all URL properties. So cmsHostname has become hostname. Preview URLs are optional. For example:
    const cmsUrls = {
      live: {
      preview: {


  • Pass current request details through request property to <CmsPage>. This was previously done through the urlPath property. The request property should be an object that contains the hostname and path as properties hostname and path respectively. For example:
    const request = { hostname: window.location.hostname, path: window.location.path };
    <CmsPage componentDefinitions={componentDefinitions} request={request}>


  • Update usage of getApiUrl to pass request property (see previous bullet) instead of URL-path.
  • Update usage of helper methods getImageUrl() and parseAndRewriteLinks() to include the preview parameter. Components rendered by <RenderCmsComponent> have the preview value passed as prop this.props.preview.
Did you find this page helpful?
How could this documentation serve you better?
On this page
    Did you find this page helpful?
    How could this documentation serve you better?