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

Former 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 Former Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia, Preston lead 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. 

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