Over the last decade or so, content management systems have evolved from monolithic systems managed by IT to a set of services made available to developers through an API. The more modern approach separates the presentation layer on the front end from the management on the back end.
Today, Acquia, the company behind the open source Drupal project, announced its official entry into the headless CMS market, and not surprisingly it’s based on Drupal and open source. The company is calling this offering a “starter kit,” a way to take advantage of headless features as needed, says Jim Shaw, SVP and GM for Drupal at Acquia.
“If you come to Acquia and you’re starting a digital experience project, we normally offer you Acquia CMS as the starting point to start with Drupal. But now we’re also offering a headless kit inside of that, so that you can use headless features to move content through an API,” Shaw told TechCrunch.
He points out that while it is releasing the headless kit, the company sees this as part of a hybrid strategy that includes the full-blown Acquia CMS working together with the headless piece. “And for us this is less about having a dedicated headless product that only does headless. It’s about having those capabilities available from the platform that allows you to do hybrid as well as headless,” he said.
In fact, Shaw doesn’t see many customers going full-on headless. “I think it’s unlikely that people will go 100% headless, that they will have only headless use cases. I think what we see is people doing both, and as a result what we’re doing is we’re building these capabilities inside the Acquia platform,” he said.
In addition to the headless starter kit, the company is also introducing a kit for next.js, an open source web development framework, to help developers build a front end too. “[We’re also offering] a starter kit for next.js that primes the pump in terms of getting a next.js front end working with a headless back end,” he said.
He says some customers have been taking this approach on their own, and the company wanted to build something to make it easier to do this without building a full-blown product. “So that’s why we offering these are starter kits, not entire new product. They are layers inside, things that we have that then allow our customers — and hopefully new customers — to accelerate those headless projects on our platform and still have all the options available to them in terms of having a hybrid approach available as well.”
The two kits are being announced today at Acquia Engage, the company’s customer conference taking place in Miami this week. The kits will be available for download today.