Acquia Releases Accelerator for Open Source, Headless Drupal CMS

Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit speeds time to market by shortening Drupal application build times by up to 50%

Digital experience company Acquia announced 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 empower organizations to accelerate the build of traditional Drupal applications. The Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit gives developers the tools to speed time to market, reduce 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.

Acquia 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 organizations to deliver content to more than just a traditional web browser. With a headless CMS architecture, organizations can deliver content to digital signage, wearable devices, chatbots, mobile applications, kiosks, and more. The Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit gives organizations the tools they need to build a modern headless or hybrid application up to 50% faster, with Drupal as the backend that powers one or more frontends. Existing Drupal users can also leverage the Headless Starter Kit to extend their existing Drupal application.

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“Managing content across current and emerging channels and devices is a major challenge for many organizations”

“Managing content across current and emerging channels and devices is a major challenge for many organizations,” 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 optimizations to 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—with the ultimate goal of getting the right content to the right user in the right channel at the right time.”

A headless approach works well for organizations that want to provide content through multiple API endpoints and modern JavaScript frontends. Others may prefer a hybrid approach, which provides similar API access for developers, while empowering business users with low-code and no-code tools for application building. Acquia CMS is the only solution that provides the best of both worlds, giving organizations the freedom to choose the right path for them.

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To complement the Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit, Acquia has also released a 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, organizations are set up to support both the front and backend of their digital content experiences.

“Headless and hybrid CMSes give organizations 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 organizations experience the benefits of a headless CMS; bringing together developers and content creators in a modern environment.”

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Key features of the Acquia CMS Headless Starter Kit include:

  • Specialized 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 frontend 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 modeling controls under a single menu that makes sense in a purely headless CMS.
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