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Building a CMS-Powered Browser App in 2 Minutes

Tony Spiro's avatar

Tony Spiro

December 29, 2015

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In this short tutorial I'll show you how easy it is to add a CMS to a simple browser app using the Cosmic API.   It will literally take you 2 minutes to build.  Our app will consist of just 3 files:

1. index.html
2. app.js
2. package.json

Let's get started shall we?  In your terminal of choice run the following commands:

mkdir easy-browser-example
cd easy-browser-example
npm install cosmicjs
npm install browserify -g

Now let's build our index.html file.  Run the following command in your terminal:

vim index.html

Add the following to our index.html file:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <title>Cosmic Easy Browser Example</title>
</head>
<body>
  <h1 id="title">If you see this, something isn't working...</h1>
  <div id="content"></div>
  <div id="metafields"></div>
  <script src="app.browser.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

We could just as easily use jQuery and Ajax to render our content, but for this example we will use the official Cosmic Node.js package. Now create a file called app.js:

vim app.js

And add the following to app.js:

// app.js
var Cosmic = require('cosmicjs')
const bucket = { slug: 'easy-browser-example' }
const object = { slug: 'home' }
Cosmic.getObject({ bucket }, object, (err, res) => { var object = res.object
  document.getElementById('title').innerHTML = object.title
  document.getElementById('content').innerHTML = object.content
  document.getElementById('metafields').innerHTML = '<pre>' + JSON.stringify(object.metafields, null, 2) + '</pre>'
})

Notice that in our app.js file we are returning content from the Cosmic API, and then attaching our content to the DOM elements at "title","content" and "metafields".

Next we'll add a package.json file that will allow us to add some simple scripts to "browserify" our app.js file:

vim package.json

Add the following to a new file titled package.json:

{
  "name": "easy-browser-example",
  "main": "app.js",
  "scripts": {
    "browserify": "browserify app.js -o app.browser.js"
  }
}

Now let's run our our scripts to bundle our code into the browser.  Run the following script which will bundle the new file to app.browser.js:

npm run browserify

Now view the index.html file in your browser and you will see that the content from our example bucket "easy-browser-example" can be seen and the metafields data is rendered to a string to show you what data is available.  Taking this a step further, you can see how powerful this can be if you add React or Angular into the mix.

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial.  If you have not already, you can sign up for a Cosmic account, and begin playing with this example using content from your own bucket.  Thanks and happy building!