API-first initiative

Mateu AguilΓ³ Bosch
Drupal.org: e0ipso

Senior Developer
Lullabot logo

No Mateu today πŸ˜₯

Wim Leers
Drupal.org: Wim Leers

Principal Software Engineer, OCTO
Acquia logo

What we'll cover

  • Vision
  • Goals
  • Roadmap
  • Ecosystem
  • Outstanding challenges
  • Open discussion

Quick questionnaire! πŸ“

  • Who has worked on decoupled Drupal projects?
    • If yes,
      • >1 year ago? >6 months ago? <6 months ago/now?
      • was it critical to the overall project?
    • If no, would you like to in the future?
  • Did you use
    • Core's REST module? and the contrib REST UI module?
      • Did it noticeably improve in the past year?
    • JSON API?
    • GraphQL?
    • RELAXed Web Services/CouchDB?
    • A combination?


I believe that it is important to have first-class web services in Drupal out of the box in order to enable top-notch APIs and continue our evolution to become API-first.
β€” Dries Buytaert

An unparallelled API-first platform

All data available:

  • RESTfully
    • in any format (JSON, HAL+JSON …)
    • in multiple flavors ("HTTP purist", jsonapi.org …)
  • non-RESTfully
    • via GraphQL
    • via CouchDB protocol, for replication & syncing

… using any authentication mechanism (Cookie, Basic Auth, OAuth 2.0)

People want need this!

We talked about this a lot:


Must have
  • Make D8 REST usable βœ…
  • Make D8 REST best-in-class πŸ‹οΈπŸ‹οΈ
  • Excellent docs via OpenAPI πŸ‹οΈπŸ‹οΈ
Should have
  • JSON API βœ…
  • GraphQL πŸ‹οΈπŸ‹οΈ
  • Workflows: UUID and revision
Could have
  • OAuth 2.0 support πŸ‹οΈ
  • CouchDB support πŸ‹οΈπŸ‹οΈ

Goals (6 months ago)

Must have
  • Make D8 REST usable βœ…
  • Make D8 REST best-in-class πŸ‹οΈ
  • Excellent docs via OpenAPI πŸ‹οΈ
Should have
  • JSON API πŸ‹
  • GraphQL
  • Workflows: UUID and revision
Could have
  • OAuth 2.0 support
  • CouchDB support πŸ‹οΈ


  • Multiple formats
  • Non-entity REST resources
  • Very configurable
JSON API β†’ stable 8.3 contrib β†’ mature 8.4 contrib β†’ core 8.5
  • Opinionated spec β‡’ better tooling, less bikeshedding
  • Collection support β‡’ custom REST export views
  • Not configurable: any entity that Entity Access allows
GraphQL β†’ stable 8.4 contrib
Great for UI components to fetch only necessary data!
Excellent docs via OpenAPI β†’ stable 8.4 contrib
Starting is too painful β‡’ docs with interactive examples


Current focus

REST API β†’ best in class
Missing: translations, modifying config, file uploads.
Much is blocked on subsystems in Drupal 8.
JSON API β†’ mature 8.4 contrib β†’ core 8.5
Missing: comprehensive test coverage, plus the above.
GraphQL β†’ stable 8.4 contrib
Missing: sites using it, to stabilize + smaller scope.
Excellent docs via OpenAPI
6 mo ago: competition (rest_api_doc, Schemata, Docson, OpenAPI)
Now: standardizing on OpenAPI!
Help wanted 😹

Acquia logo is hiringΒ β€”Β talk to me!


Wim Leers
Initiative coordinator (esp. REST + Serialization + JSON API)
JSON API coordinator + OAuth 2.0
REST + Serialization + JSON API
OpenAPI coordinator + REST + Serialization
Serialization maintainer + REST





Contenta β€” contentacms.org
Productivity boost for Decoupled Drupalists
(Keeps Drupalisms + provides example apps!)
Reservoir β€” github.com/acquia/reservoir
Empower non-Drupalists
(Simplicity first: only 7 concepts!)

Outstanding challenges

Image styles
for responsive images
Improve DX further
entity validation error responses, field aliasing …
let Drupal core functionality consume HTTP APIs
API versioning

Open discussion

You are too quiet…

How much of this should we have in Drupal core?

What are the best places to start dogfooding this?

What features are you excited about? Why?

What authentication providers should we add?

Do we support decoupled admin interfaces?