Headless Drupal

Drupal as a Backend

Presented by   Chakrapani R & Gokul NK


Gokul N K

  • Graduated from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya (RVCE)
  • From Bangalore
  • Drupal Architect at Azri Solutions
  • Formerly a Java Developer @ Mindtree
  • Drupal since 2011
  • Lead Maintainer for Automatr Module
  • Cofounder of Aziteez
  • Bowling Addict

Chakrapani R

  • Graduated from IIIT-Hyderabad
  • From Bangalore
  • Drupal architect at Azri Solutions
  • Drupal since 2009
  • Author of Zoho D7 module
  • Core contributor
  • Led a team which contribed 50+ commits to core
  • Drupal Bangalore


  • Demystifying Headless Drupal
  • State of Headless in Drupal
  • Tools for building a Drupal Headless Site
  • Comparative Study of existing Modules
  • Let's Build a Drupal Backend
  • Installing Drupal Phonegap
  • Building our first Phonegap App
  • A case study of a live Website

What is Headless Drupal ?

  • Have you output xml or json from Drupsl?
  • Yes ? You have already used Headless!
  • It's a fancy term for Drupal as backend
  • With your choice of front end

Custom Frontend ?

  • Web App
  • Mobile App
  • Desktop App
  • Any system that feeds on API provided by Drupal


  • Decouples backend from front end
  • Used by many other stacks
  • It's been there from Drupal 6!

'Serving Pages' to 'Talking HTTP'

  • Making the shift from "serving pages" to "talking HTTP"
  • Drupal by default assumes that it only serves web pages
  • This has to change for Drupal to be truly headless

Available options in Drupal

  • Services
  • RestWS
  • Mean.IO
  • Restful


  • By far the easiest to setup and use
  • Widely used
  • Views integration (views_services)


  • Leverages entity API
  • Supports CRUD operations
  • Will be part of Drupal 8


  • If you are building your app on MEAN stack this is the module for you.
  • Helps you setup mean stack app in easy steps.
  • Mean shadow submodule helps you shadow drupal entities to the mean stack.
  • You can also use mean.io stack with other drupal headless options.

Restful Module

  • REST + HAL support.
  • Developer oriented module.
  • Developers can control what is exposed.
  • Installation profiles available with a complete backend and frontend setup to get you started.


Yes, We eat our own dog food!


Built on Mean stack + Headless Drupal

Sites built on HeadlessDrupal



Thank You!

Chakrapani R / Gokul NK