Decoupled CMS | Acquia Developer Center

Decoupled CMS

A decoupled CMS architecture allows developers to utilize any technology to render the front-end experience in lieu of the theming and presentation layers that come with a coupled CMS out-of-the-box.

Developing decoupled, digital experience applications involves using front-end components and frameworks, decoupled CMS's and content services, standard APIs, and cloud and application services.

It also requires a DevOps culture.

Some of the key decoupled design points are the digital app reference platform, the decoupled CMS, and the structured content that is required to implement amazing experience apps.

Decoupled Drupal CMS

Drupal has been leading the way on decoupling. That's because with its flexible APIs and web services, Drupal can be the brain behind all of the systems -- to deliver content everywhere.

Here's a simple image that sums it up.

Acquia Chairman and CTO Dries Buytaert has been advocating for the development of decoupled Drupal for years: this includes fully decoupled and progressively decoupled options.

Acquia & Decoupled CMS Solutions

Get started on learning about Acquia’s decoupled CMS, below.

Decoupled Platform

Links to the key frameworks, API's, and services to get started building a decoupled site with Acquia.

Headless CMS

Learn about Acquia Headless Lightning, a flexible backend content repository and user environment with an API for data modeling and entry as well as content retrieval.

Node.js Runtime

The Acquia Cloud Node.js Application Service is a native runtime service for executing back-end (server-side) Javascript applications. This Node.js environment can be utilized to serve most of today’s popular JavaScript applications like GraphQL, React, Ember, and many more.


Acquia Lift lets you track customers' behavior throughout their buying journey — from anonymous visitor to loyal, repeat customer. Acquia Lift unifies customer content and profile data from multiple sources to deliver in-context, personalized experiences across any channel or device. This page features two important features for developers: Personalization and intelligence APIs and Connectors. It also gives you an overview of Lift's three main components: Experience Builder, Profile Manager, and Content Hub.

Acquia Decoupled Starter Kit for React

The Acquia Decoupled Starter Kit for React provides a complete working environment for demonstrating and prototyping front-end digital experience applications coded in standard Javascript, utilizing decoupled Drupal as a content service. This starter kit aims to provide technical guidance and insights for both Javascript and Drupal developers and is comprised of three separate applications: a Headless Lightning Drupal website; a React application; and a GraphQL application. Each of these applications work in tandem to illustrate patterned workflows when developing with each of the interconnected applications.

Decoupled Blogs

To kick off 2019 properly, the Experience Express is taking a break from Drupal and web development to consider an oft-forgotten component of new digital experiences in the conversational

As we witnessed in the previous installment of Experience Express, selecting a robust mechanism for authenticating incom

I've been interested for some time in this whole idea of decoupling Drupal and decoupled architectures: collecting links, ideas, videos, and anything that I considered useful.

Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of sharing insights and tutorials on decoupled Drupal, which was originally unknown territory

Perhaps the most critical component of any decoupled Drupal architecture is a robust authentication mechanism that protects data transmitted between a Drupal site and API consumers like JavaScript

Though there was no DrupalCon Europe this year, the European Drupal community stepped up and organized their own conference, Drupal Europe, in Darmstadt,

Acquia Engage 2018, which takes place November 7-9 in Austin, Texas, is a sprawling event, broadly focused on what organizations need to know to stay ahead

If you’re going to start a Drupal 8 project, and there are many reasons why this makes sense, you should start with

When Drupal 8.0 was released two and a half years ago, with a built-in REST API, it signaled the start of Drupal's evolution to an API-first platform.

In Lisbon, steep slopes and sweeping vistas towering over placid waters and crowded ports characterize the topography of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

With a uniquely diverse community of designers, developers, and everyone in between, Frontend United is one of the conferences I find I enjoy more and

Atop the Castle of Saint Barbara in Alicante, time sometimes seems to slow down, and words that once held grand meaning seem inadequate.

More and more organizations are using JavaScript frameworks to create visitor-facing experiences with Drupal as a backend, but Drupal's own administration interface has not yet embraced a modern Ja

When Phillies hats begin to dot the landscape and one of the most beautiful train stations in the country materializes around you, you know you're in Philadelphia, a city I can never seem to stop l

As the weather heated up last week in Nashville and the city's eponymous hot chicken incinerated tongues left and right, somethin

About the Decoupled Starter Kit

The Professional Services team at Acquia is thrilled to announce the first release of the Acquia Decoupled Starter Kit for React.

Perhaps the most critical piece of any decoupled CMS architecture is the API layer which exposes data in the back end for consumption by other applications.

With its flurry of sessions, events, concerts, and exhibitors, it's a wonder anyone gets any sleep at SXSW, the giant gathering of minds, auteurs, and performers in the capital of Texas.

If you have decided to decouple Drupal, after conducting due diligence with regard to assessing the

Every time I leave the Windy City, I feel something pulling me back. This time, it wasn't the gusts that whip around the skyscrapers towering over Lake Shore Drive.

Today, Acquia announced that it expanded

Perhaps the most fascinating single fact of the Cambrian explosion is that life on Earth diversified from largely unicellular organism

According to the Stack Overflow 2017 Developer Survey, the most loved development framework is React, and the most wanted is

At no point in the history of digital content has there ever been such a dizzying proliferation of devices in our lives, and experiences we encounter and consume.

Acquia Headless Lightning provides an API-first back-end content repository that allows for easy ingestion by front-end applications.

Developing single page applications? Mobile applications? Signage applications? You are developing digital applications, not websites.

The press release went out this morning with the headline,

Decoupled applications are increasing in popularity as brand experiences continue to move beyond the traditional website.

This is part one of a four part series on Acquia Cloud Site Factory and Acquia Lift.

Progressive decoupling, a concept outlined last year in Dries Buytaert’s first post about decoupled Drupal, is a compelling approach