A decoupled-ready platform enables teams to extend content to things like digital signage, kiosks, mobile … really, the sky’s the limit. This application architecture is nothing new; Acquia CTO and Founder Dries Buytaert has been writing about this for at least two years. And we’ve been working with clients, such as Princess Cruises and Powdr, to build decoupled experiences and applications for their customers.
Why is decoupled Drupal becoming so popular? We see a number of benefits both from our customers’ perspective as well as from our partners. The primary use case for decoupled relates to when our customers need a single source of truth for content that supports multiple applications.
Drupal’s API-first architecture makes this work very well with some real benefits for developers.
First, if you have a relational content model, Drupal provides a robust CMS to serve as a repository for your applications. Content authoring and management occurs in Drupal and can be served to one or many applications. The API-first architecture of Drupal 8 provides a robust repository for serving this use case.
Second, if your development team is working in a differentiated development methodology where frontend and backend development teams are working simultaneously, this architecture model makes it easy for teams to map the content model to the API. For the nontechnical, this means teams can divide and conquer to deliver applications faster.
Why Node.js and Drupal are a great match
To meet our customers’ needs, Acquia took the step of adding the Node.js application service to our cloud because the runtime enables faster rendering and better SEO performance.
But, there is a lot more to the marriage of these technologies that benefits developers. For example, rather than simply adding the container, Acquia fully integrated Node.js with Drupal allowing teams to focus on building great apps.
For teams, a combination of community-based projects and Acquia’s platform enable projects to start faster.
There are a multiple available distributions well suited to decoupled applications including: Contenta and Acquia-sponsored distributions headless Lightening and Reservoir. If none of those meet your needs, Drupal 8's API-first design leaves the ability to create your own, custom distribution.