Oct 18, 2019

API-first content is king in the developer world

Bill Gates once said that content is king. In the developer world, that crown belongs to API-first content.

The rapid growth of API-first content management reveals how software micronization is reinventing even the most fundamental parts of the web—text, images, and assets—to be developer-friendly.

Headless content management systems are ushering in this new era of developer-driven content management. A headless CMS is a cloud-based service that stores content. Developers make API calls to a headless CMS and pull that content into their apps.

API-based content can be integrated into any app on any device, so developers can easily access and reuse content. Marketing teams can then update content without disrupting developers’ code. It’s a win-win.

Developers are flocking to these new headless content management systems.

Strapi, an open-source Node.js headless content management system, has amassed roughly 500,000 downloads. More than 250 developers contribute to the project. Last week, the company raised $4M in venture funding.

Strapi is not alone. Contentful, an API-first CMS, raised nearly $80M. Even WordPress—a stalwart of monolithic tooling—is pivoting some of its platform into a headless CMS.

Today, developers are turning to microservices and APIs, like Strapi, to accelerate development. Last week, when I talked about Kong and its API platform, I described this trend as software micronization:

Rather than inextricably welding together all parts of an app, developers weave together modular code, services, and functionality. These tools operate according to different timelines, release schedules, and objectives.

While Kong helps developers build and manage APIs, Strapi standardizes an API-based service for a particular developer need. Both, however, point to the growing trend of micronization and the rapid rise of microservices-first architecture.

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