API-First Drupal and the Future of the CMS

Is the future of content management decoupled? Centralization around a single source of content has never been more important as marketers aim to reach a growing array of channels and touchpoints.

API-First Drupal and the Future of the CMS

New tools known as headless CMSes providing content as a service are challenging the monolithic architecture that has long characterized CMSes like Drupal. What role do Drupal and traditional CMSes play in an increasingly API-first playing field and fragmented future?

New architectural techniques such as JavaScript isomorphism and server-side prerendering illustrate the urgency of this question, while new approaches for querying data that aim to replace strictly RESTful architectures assign the CMS a primarily content-focused role. With the recent turn toward API-first approaches, what the future holds for longstanding CMSes like Drupal has never been a more pressing, or more intriguing, concern.

This tech talk will examine the role that Drupal and other CMSes occupy amidst a rapidly changing universe. Topics will include:

  • Impacts on markup, performance, security, and the relationship between the front end and back end against the backdrop of decoupled Drupal and the headless CMS
  • Imagining the API-first future and what this means for Drupal
  • Web services: REST, JSON API, and GraphQL
  • The benefits of SDKs such as Waterwheel

Watch the recorded webinar



Preston So, Acquia

Preston So

Director of Research and Innovation Acquia

Preston So has been a web developer and designer since 2001, a creative professional since 2004, and a Drupal developer since 2007. As Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia, Preston leads Acquia Labs and new open-source and research initiatives. Previously, he managed the Entertainment Weekly website, led its development team at Time Inc., co-founded the Southern Colorado Drupal User Group (est. 2008), and operated an award-winning web and print design studio. Preston has presented at conferences on four continents and in multiple languages about diverse topics such as decoupled Drupal, responsive design, front-end development, and user experience. Most recently, Preston presented the keynotes at DrupalCamp Connecticut 2016 and, in Portuguese, at DrupalCamp Campinas 2016 in Brazil.

"Working at Acquia allows me to contribute back to an open source community I love deeply," he said.