IAA + Magnolia


IAA + Magnolia

Magnolia provides us with an efficient and scalable platform that allows us to release new functionalities and websites in short time. By serving different websites from the same backend, we achieved an efficient workflow. The ease-of-use and central administration allows editors, authors and translators to work directly in the CMS. Even during high visitor loads during the IAA trade fairs, performance was excellent.

The German automotive industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) represents over 600 companies that are working on the future of climate-neutral mobility with innovative solutions. The VDA stands for a sustainable climate and economic policy, for digitalization and for innovation.

This diversity is also reflected at the IAA MOBILITY and the IAA TRANSPORTATION, the world's most important platforms for mobility and transport, which the VDA organizes in annual rotation. Both trade shows address the major topics of the automotive industry and provide the perfect stage for presenting and discussing the most thrilling solutions.

The challenge

No possible consolidation of the tenants

Prior to the migration to Magnolia, the IAA MOBILITY and IAA TRANSPORTATION websites were operated with Typo3. In order to cope with large load peaks, which occurred especially during upcoming trade show dates and due to the strong integration of media content, a CDN was in use.

The grown architecture of the VDA prevented the consolidation of the websites and thus complicated the workflows of editors and developers. A new platform and a relaunch of the websites were to change this and meet the real needs of IAA visitors.

The goal of the project was to transfer all VDA websites to a common backend. This was to ensure uniform editing of editorial content and at the same time facilitate the reuse of content. The elements of the user interface were to be based on components that could be adapted to the design of the respective client without duplication. Component templates should also offer more flexibility in terms of design options.

The solution

The VDA team chose Magnolia DXP because it both follows the headless approach and provides a graphical interface for visual content editing. This is a unique selling proposition of Magnolia DXP, as it provides maximum frontend flexibility and at the same time a very high user-friendliness for editors.

The implementation is carried out by Magnolia Partner and digital transformation expert IBM iX.

Developers also get real freedom in their choice of tools thanks to Magnolia DXP: They can freely choose between different frontend frameworks and easily deliver content to different touchpoints. Magnolia also allows them to easily integrate external interfaces using low-code configuration for true composability.

Also key to working with Magnolia and IBM iX was the scalability and portability of the DXP through containerization. The platform thus offers rapid provisioning of new instances for testing purposes and equally high scalability as the number of visitors to the websites increases.

The VDA also benefits from Magnolia in the area of DevOps: The unified architecture means a reduced workload.

Orchestration in a Docker system environment

The VDA's system runs on Docker, with Docker Compose handling the orchestration of Docker containers. To distribute the load across the frontend containers, the solution relies on a load balancer. The requests from the frontend containers are then served via REST interface by the Magnolia containers within the Docker network.

Third-party systems integration

Thanks to the extensibility for which the Magnolia DXP was made, third-party systems of the VDA could be easily integrated and made available to editors. The services CookieBot and UserCentrics, for example, collect the consent of users and YouTube videos are integrated via API on the IAA MOBILITY and IAA TRANSPORTATION websites. The KeyCloak system was also integrated and is used to easily authenticate users. Solr was integrated for search and Matomo provides analytics data for all tenants.

The result

Magnolia creates real unification

The consolidation of a total of six VDA websites took place within Magnolia DXP. As a result, the VDA benefits from a unified management of its websites in multiple languages on a central platform. The advantage: working with Magnolia is particularly editor-friendly, as the DXP enables visual work and smooth workflows.

Magnolia's headless approach, in combination with the use of containers, also significantly simplifies administration and the setup of test instances. As a result, the VDA can work more efficiently and implement frontend features much faster. Simplifying processes now also makes it easier to onboard new developers.

With Magnolia, the VDA has opted for a truly modular platform that it can flexibly expand and customize to its individual needs. This provides the VDA with a future-proof architecture ready to meet all requirements.






Use case
Corporate Website

To the IAA websites
Platinum Partner Platinum Partner


With 17,000 experts in over 50 studios worldwide, IBM iX is one of the world's largest providers of digital experience services. As part of IBM Consulting, IBM's consulting and services unit, IBM iX is a consultancy, digital agency, design studio, and tech company all in one. At the intersection of strategy, design, and technology, the teams support organizations, companies, and brands in their digital transformation. In German-speaking countries, more than 1,200 employees design digital experiences that put people at the center.