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Can we re-use Context Expression Target Groups for custom personalization?

I want to move "personalized" Component containers (Link Lists with metadata) to personalization at a Component Presentation (CP) level. Currently Component Templates render fields in Containers into wrapping "if/else" logic.

Alternative content model:

  • Component Presentations replace Containers
  • Regions (and Page template logic) organize CPs
  • Page metadata replaces Container metadata fields

Questions:

If using Context Engine Expressions could (should) I suggest re-using the same Application Data namespace as the Target Group extension? By default this is only available as read-only AppData that comes with SDL CMA integration). I see how this would work in Eric Huiza's post.

If not, would it be better to "template" regular (PnP) Target Groups, which are editable? Or should we use a different namespace and extend Target Groups?

Ideally I'd like the functional approach to also work with SDL Experience Manager, SDL Mobile, Contextual Image Delivery, and SDL Smart Target.

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We could re-use or otherwise manipulate AppData managed by Tridion or other SDL products with the same caveats as relying on undocumented features. Basically, if not explicitly made extensible per documentation or public APIs, any changes are not supported.

Considering implementation code you write is "not supported" (as in Support will help with issues with the product, but not your code's logic), the practical concerns are then:

  • How your code will handle data format or logic changes for Context Expressions stored in AppData on TargetGroups
  • Vice versa, the possibility a future upgrade will otherwise impact your extension.

For example, an upgrade may assume your Target Groups are Context Expression Target Groups and change them accordingly.

Personally, I'd suggest proceeding with the best fit for an implementation knowing the benefits and trade-offs. I'll submit an Idea for this as well.

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