Exploring Decoupled Drupal Through the Eyes of a Front‑End Themer
Let’s back up. Decoupled Drupal, or headless Drupal, is the practice of using Drupal to manage and centralize content, then making it available to use on your website and beyond, feeding into any number of applications or scopes like single-page applications, mobile applications, IOT apps, you name it! Drupal controls the content but this concept allows you to use a variety of technologies or frameworks to create the front-end experience
After reviewing my personal notes from sessions I attended at MidCamp, DrupalCon 2018, and BADCamp last year, I realized I had a lot of information, but I didn’t quite know where to start. I still felt lost and needed a nudge in the right direction. Then, I found three sources that have helped me pull the pieces together. I’ll cover these three pieces that are helping me gain a deeper understanding of decoupled Drupal.
First Piece: Recognizing the Divide
Second Piece: Understanding My Place in Drupal
Third Piece: Discovering a Guide to Decoupling
I believe I have found my guide by picking up the book Decoupled Drupal in Practice: Architect and Implement Decoupled Drupal Architectures Across the Stack by Preston So. While the first part of the book can be skipped for those already familiar with RESTful approaches and decoupled CMS architectures, I found Preston’s back-to-basics approach to be very helpful and it provided the context I needed. It allowed me to look at past projects and recognize how they were the beginnings of progressive decoupling. As I move further along in the book, I’m feeling more confident and finding my place in the decoupled conversation.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll continue progressing through the “Decoupled Drupal in Practice,” book. I’m seeing the pieces falling in place and I am confident that my guide, Preston So, will help me digest the terms and approaches. In addition to the book, I plan to attend the Decoupled CMS Summit as well as sessions from the Builder Track at DrupalCon 2019 in Seattle. I’m excited, energized, and feeling more confident as I continue to explore decoupled Drupal.
While it may seem easy to spot the benefits to our clients, it’s clear there needs to be a lot of thought in designing any centralized content system — especially as the applications that use the content can vary as widely as extolled by decoupled enthusiasts. “Create once, publish anywhere,” is a powerful mantra, and with the right planning and development work up front, this approach is poised to enable and empower your entire organization; freeing up resources, reducing duplicate effort, and allowing for freedom in quickly employing the latest, greatest technologies and frameworks.