August 26, 2014

We are big fans of the decoupled Drupal architecture that’s been making the rounds lately. We are already shipping major projects using this approach, so it’s always on the top of our minds. With DrupalCon Amsterdam approaching I thought I’d throw together this handy list of “headless” talks that I’m excited to see in October.

Decoupled Front-end and the Future

David Hwang offers an excellent overview of the decoupled landscape, highlighting both what we lose and what we gain from splitting our presentation layer off from Drupal’s excellent content storage model. Aimed at frontend types, this session is a great starting point if you’re looking to learn the basics of a decoupled website architecture.

Field API is dead. Long live Entity Field API!

Drupal 7 sports an awesome content modeling system that is about to get even better in Drupal 8. With a completely revamped (and renamed) Field API (along with excellent work on a built-in REST API), this session will demonstrate the power that Drupal 8 will have out of the box: new field types, a better system for “base fields” versus instances, integration with the filesystem-based configuration management system, and a completely pluggable system for widgets and field formatters.

A Decoupled Drupal with Silex

Decoupling isn’t just for node.js hipsters. This session from one of D8’s masterminds, Larry Garfield, will be a case-study featuring a PHP tool for building a decoupled frontend: Silex. We have used both node.js and Silex to create decoupled architectures and feel that both have their place. If your team isn’t ready to ramp up on node.js, but you still have a good case for a decoupled frontend, this is a great option to consider.

Building Modern Web Applications with Ember.js and Headless Drupal

The truly headless option: a client-side MVC app within the web browser. Mikkel Høgh will show the power of Ember.js, a full-stack MVC framework that handles everything from routing to templates in the browser. He will explain how to connect to both Drupal 7 (via Services module) and Drupal 8, using the new REST API. Finally, there will be some performance tips, specifically leveraging Drupal to warm Ember up for the fastest experience possible.

Introduction to Headless Drupal

Does all this talk of decoupled Drupal sound enticing? Would you like to get started with this kind of Drupal work?

Come join us at DrupalCon Amsterdam for a full-day training dedicated solely to creating decoupled frontends that use Drupal as a store of content. During the course you will learn how to:

  • Treat Drupal as a content API.
  • Write API endpoints so that a decoupled frontend can consume and create your Drupal content.
  • Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of Node.js as a consumer of Drupal content.

The framework of choice will be Express.js, and there will be comparisons to other options, such as Silex for PHP-based frontends.

Read about the training or Register for the training

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Matthew Grill
August 26, 2014

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Matthew Grill is an Engineer who enjoys JavaScript and solving large performance problems. He currently resides in sunny San Diego.