Acquia (credit image/Pixabay/Anemone123)Acquia has launched an open source, headless starter kit within the company’s content management system, Acquia CMS. The new headless starter kit expands existing Acquia CMS offerings, which supports organisations to accelerate building traditional Drupal applications. The Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit gives developers the tools to speed time to market. Acquia says it reduces operational costs, and gain flexibility to launch new digital initiatives quickly. Acquia introduced the new kit to developers at its customer and partner event, Acquia Engage.

The company has many customers already who have built hybrid and headless Drupal applications to create innovative digital experiences. Headless and hybrid architecture makes it possible for organisations to deliver content to more than just a traditional web browser. With a headless CMS architecture, organisations can deliver content to digital signage, wearable devices, chatbots, mobile applications, kiosks, and more. The toolkit gives organisations the tools needed to build a modern headless or hybrid application up to 50% faster. Furthermore, having Drupal as the backend that supports one or more frontends. Existing Drupal users can also leverage the Headless Starter Kit to extend their existing Drupal application.

Managing content across channels remains a challenge

(Image credit/LinkedInDries Buytaert)
Dries Buytaert, co-founder and CTO at Acquia

Managing content across current and emerging channels and devices is a major challenge for many organisations,” said Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal and co-founder and CTO of Acquia. “As an accelerator for developing hybrid and headless applications, the Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit offers out-of-the-box optimisations. This will reduce time to market with new and innovative digital experiences. This flexibility makes it possible for developers to use the components of Acquia CMS and Drupal that they need most. The ultimate goal is getting the right content to the right user in the right channel at the right time.

To complement the Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit, Acquia has also released the Next.js Starter Kit to help accelerate the build of frontend applications that display content created in the headless CMS. With both the Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit and the Next.js Starter Kit, organisations are set up to support both the front and backend of their digital content experiences.

Headless and hybrid CMSes give organisations the freedom to use the newest frontend technology, while retaining their investment in their legacy systems and content backend,” said Marci Maddox, Research Vice President, Digital Experience Strategies, IDC. “This could be particularly attractive for commerce users, such as retailers, CPG companies, and others where brand managers require full control over the content that appears across multiple sites, or want the flexibility to change things such as site navigation or product categorization over time. The Acquia CMS headless starter kit can help organisations experience the benefits of a headless CMS; bringing together developers and content creators in a modern environment.”

Key features:

  • Specialised Headless Developer Role: Frontend developers have a dedicated role inside the CMS for accessing API docs and managing access for frontend applications connecting to the CMS.
  • Marketer-friendly Content Preview: Users can preview content through their Next.js application from inside the CMS.
  • Omni-channel Made Easy: Connect content to multiple frontends that communicate across multiple channels.
  • Robust API Dashboard: A dedicated dashboard for front-end developers to manage all headless integration aspects with the CMS.
  • Flexible Headless and Hybrid UI Modes: Users can operate in a pure headless mode or in hybrid mode where Drupal is still used to render a frontend.
  • Simplified Data Modeling: Revamped admin navigation brings all the data modelling controls under a single menu that makes sense in a purely headless CMS.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

A headless approach works well for enterprises that distribute shared content through multiple channels. Brands and retailers who want to provide content through multiple API endpoints and modern JavaScript frontends. Some may prefer a hybrid approach, which provides similar API access for developers. At the same time, supporting business users with low code and no code tools for application building. Acquia says its CMS is the only solution that provides the best of both worlds. Giving organisations the freedom to choose the right path for themselves.

Recently Acquia has announced major updates to its Acquia Code Studio, a full stack Drupal development platform. A part of Acquia Digital Experience Platform (DXP), Acquia Code Studio provides developers with the tools to plan, build, review, test, deploy, and measure their Drupal applications. The company suggests the updates will accelerate development, reduces risk, and improves code quality with automated DevOps tools. It looks like Acquia is fully embracing democratising technology and giving users enhanced freedoms of choice. This is a sensible approach to rapidly evolving technical stacks, and avoids companies being locked-in into increasingly legacy systems.


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