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A Changing Web: How Businesses Succeed With Decoupled Drupal

What is the internet? It used to just be a collection of simple, static and often bulky webpages, but today, the internet is a highly sophisticated network of interconnected platforms that communicate in real time. All of us, regardless of age or nationality, are more likely to be connected to the internet and its vast array of content than ever before. Thanks to the rise of smartwatches, digital kiosks and countless other smart devices, websites are now just the starting point for digital experiences. 

The content that we’re consuming online is changing as well. Content today includes everything from the movies and TV shows we stream to biometric data from our fitness trackers to the latest memes shared on social media. These changes necessitate an adaptation by the organizations orchestrating digital experiences in how they deliver and manage content across channels.

The explosion of data, content and channels doesn’t have to be daunting though, thanks to the power of decoupled Drupal.

What is Decoupled Drupal?

 Decoupled Drupal means enabling other applications to consume content from Drupal. Content is no longer tied to presentation and can be delivered to any channel — not just a website. 

For example, beyond publishing an article to your website, you can use a decoupled approach to use one central content management system (CMS) to distribute the article through Facebook Instant Articles, feature the article on a digital display or include it within your mobile app. Below, we share real-world examples of brands using Drupal to power a variety of channels and platforms.

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 Drupal in Action

  • Princess Cruises: Drupal allowed Princess Cruises to take its [email protected] mobile application to the next level by creating a digital onboard ecosystem that provides personalized, real-time experiences to passengers. Princess Cruises was able to manage all of the data in one hub while sharing event schedules, itineraries and deck plans to every screen onboard the cruise ship, including passengers’ tablets, cell phones or laptops. 
  • MTA: New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) uses Drupal to make sure every commuter gets the right experience on the right device at the right time by extending the information from www.mta.info to digital displays in train stations. MTA uses the same content management system for its website to push content and data to the 1,800 digital signs in more than 400 stations across its system. Data is pulled from external feeds, pushed to Amazon IoT Services and displayed in real time on the countdown clocks. MTA relies on Drupal to ensure content updates are uniform across all platforms and passengers are better informed throughout their commutes.
  • Presto: Foxtel, one of the largest media companies in Australia, uses Drupal to create personalized experiences for customers of its video-on-demand service, Presto. With changing viewing habits and consumers accessing Presto from native mobile apps and the website, Presto needed to be able to combine custom content and content from other sources to feed content to any device users choose. Migrating to Drupal took only three months. Now, Presto can easily integrate content into the app and create landing pages on the fly in a matter of minutes to keep the service fresh and exciting, and customers enjoy a completely personalized experience based on their account settings and use.
  • Powdr: As one of North America’s largest ski resort operators, Powdr owns 18 ski resorts from California to Vermont and needed to manage digital properties for all of their resorts centrally while empowering each resort to communicate its unique identity. Powdr selected a decoupled Drupal architecture to power its flagship site as well as each of its resort sites. Each site uses Drupal as a content repository, which exposes content for consumption by its preferred JavaScript framework in the front end. This enables flexibility for each brand to customize its approach and leads to engaging customer experiences on any device or screen. 

As businesses continue to adapt to consumers’ needs and expectations from digital experiences, it’s no wonder that decoupled Drupal has become such a natural fit. After all, Drupal is renowned for its agility and scalability — two characteristics that go hand-in-hand with the needs for decoupling.

David Aponovich

David Aponovich

Sr. Director, Product Marketing Acquia, Inc.

David Aponovich is senior director of product marketing at Acquia, where he helps articulate the benefits of Acquia solutions including Acquia Journey, the company’s customer journey orchestration solution, and trends in digital experience.

Prior to joining Acquia, he was a senior analyst at Forrester Research, where he researched web content management and digital experience technology and consulted to Forrester’s global clients on their digital transformation initiatives. He also spent six years as web content management strategy consultant at agency Connective DX, and previously was marketing director at a WCM software vendor.