Acquia Headless Lightning

A flexible backend content repository and user environment with an API for data modeling and entry as well as content retrieval.

User Environment


Headless Lightning provides an intuitive, themable, web-based user interface for data modeling, content entry, and administration. It includes rich media handling, content workflows with scheduling, and a role-based permission system.

Common tasks are grouped together with relevant help text. Certain Drupal tasks that aren’t applicable when Drupal is used as a content repository are demoted in the interface to keep it as simple as possible.

Content Service and API

Headless Lightning uses the JSON API for your applications use to interact with the content stored in Headless Lightning. The API can also be used to modify configuration and data models. Using relationships, the API is capable of serving multiple related pieces of content in a single request.


OAuth2 Authentication and Authorization

Headless Lightning uses industry standard OAuth2 to authenticate via the API. Once authenticated, Headless Lightning uses Drupal’s native permission system for authorization to specific content and actions.

Compatible Updates

The components of Headless Lightning are constantly evolving. Headless Lightning provides an update path when new features are introduced, bugs are fixed, security patches are needed, or an underlying component makes an unexpected change.

Node.js Service

Use the Acquia Cloud Node.js service with Headless Lightning as a decoupled CMS — making Drupal the content repository, content creation, and update service while connecting Node.js with frontend presentation frameworks such as React, Angular, and Ember.

Continuous Delivery and Cloud Management

Acquia Cloud CD provides continuous integration and delivery devops tools for Node.js and Headless Lightning. Acquia Cloud makes it easy to provision applications and environments across development, staging, and production.

For more information:


GitHub for Acquia Headless Lightning

Headless CMS 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

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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