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Headless Drupal and Node.js: Easily Build JavaScript Apps on Top of Drupal!

Headless Drupal and Node.js: Easily Build JavaScript Apps on Top of Drupal!

by Adrian Ababei on Oct 03 2017

Remember when websites used to be the only type of content distribution channels? Hardly, right? For it's been “ages” since we got to “deliver” content alongside entire “constellations” of digital channels: digital signage, kiosks, mobile... And so, this proliferation has made managing all these access channels increasingly challenging. But the Acquia team came up with a solution: they've added Node.js support to their Acquia Cloud.

That's right, now Acqua Cloud, the one providing a cloud-based interface for Drupal developers to use, incorporates Application services for Node.js

This means that:

 

  • your development team can leverage the now fully-decoupled Drupal platform using it as a robust apps repository
  • … in order to distribute content across an entire “network” of new digital channels (without the need of a replatform, just by simply leveraging Drupal 8's in-built capabilities and API-first architecture)
  • … by using lightning-fast Node.js for scripting, for building interactive app-like digital user experiences

     

Headless Drupal and Node.js: Let Their Powers Combine!

… and help you build real-time, network JavaScript apps alongside your robust, scalable Drupal CMS faster than ever.

They're equally popular for building enterprise-specific digital experiences, they're both open source technologies. And now each one of them is a valuable integration of the Acquia Cloud.

Teamed up, they enable you to build and to run your JavaScript apps on top of Drupal.

 

Drupal

 

  • brings in its impressive scalability as a CMS; it turns into that robust shared repository that you'll need for all your future apps
  • is already “turbocharged” with multiple decoupled apps: headless Lightening, Reservoir, Contenta etc.
  • if none of the pre-built distributions suits your needs, Drupal 8's content-first architecture empowers you to build your own custom one!

     

Node.js

 

  • a blazing fast JavaScript framework enabling you to build scalable network JS apps supporting a wide range of front-end frameworks (Angular.js, Meteor.js, Ember.js, Backbone.js)

     

* “Why JavaScript?”, you might wonder. Because it's designed with usability in mind!

With their powers combined, headless Drupal and Node.js:

 

  • enable your development team to easily build decoupled apps with lightweight JavaScript front-end design and to extend them across an “ecosystem” of access channels
  • … all while leveraging Drupal's content management services (which is robust enough to support your “cluster” of real-time, responsive Node.js apps)

     

It's your users that will benefit from this “data and content marriage” in the end: they'll enjoy some interactive digital experiences.

 

Content and Data Under the Same roof: What's In It for You?

For this new way of interacting with your Drupal CMS (exposed as a set of content services now), while leaving the scripting part to Node.js, does translate into key benefits for you and your team:

 

  • Toronto developers within your team get to leverage the advantage of a “single” database, a shared source of content supporting an entire “network” of apps (content and data under the same roof!)

     
  • they gain access to various parts of your CMS (content management, search, security) available to them as a set of APIs now when headless Drupal and Node.js join forces

     
  • developers no longer need to build a Drupal site first and then to separately handle a server for the Node.js app's functionality: the two different environments working in parallel, one for data and one for content, merge into one single development track 

     
  • your development team(s) get to “fully exploit” this new architecture model, by easily mapping the content model to the API, and thus to speed up the whole data-driven apps development process!

     

Overall: you get to leverage Drupal's robustness as a CMS-repository for all your apps! It's there that all the content management and content authoring happens and it's from there that content gets distributed to your entire maze of real-time apps, to the whole network of distribution channels.

The more complex your data-driven app infrastructure gets, the more powerful your repository has to be!

Luckily, managing content and, moreover, scaling itself to an increasing overload of content are Drupal's “specialties”! 

And this is how headless Drupal and Node.js, with their powers combined in Aqua Cloud, will help your development team create decoupled application experiences across multiple digital channels!

How about putting this “happy marriage” of data and content to a test now?

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