Node.js and Acquia Cloud

Acquia Cloud logo + logo-nodejs-sm.png

Acquia Cloud is the leading cloud platform service for developing, delivering, and managing Drupal, Node.js, and decoupled Drupal applications. Node.js is an open source server-side environment (runtime) for JavaScript network applications. Acquia Cloud Enterprise customers can leverage both the Acquia platform and Node.js to create unique digital experiences that better leverage the best in JavaScript talent.

With Node.js in Acquia Cloud, you have a powerful set of tools to enhance your decoupled Drupal applications, and you can also create standalone Node.js applications that share data with Drupal.

What do Node.js applications in Acquia Cloud provide?

  • Server-Side rendering of front-end templates written in AngularJS, React, and Ember, or other front-end frameworks.
  • Create powerful, flexible proxy layers between clients and Drupal, for enhanced security and performance
  • Enhance your decoupled Drupal applications with improved speed, SEO, and proxying capabilities
  • WebSockets support for performant, low-overhead, two-way data transfer to clients
  • Run stand-alone Node.js apps for real time communications like chat servers, for analyzing statistics or analytics, or anything else
  • Access to thousands of Node.js modules, through NPM

Decoupled Drupal support

Using a Node.js application can bring beneficial enhancements to a decoupled Drupal architecture.

Acquia Cloud Node.js applications can use Node.js as a standalone product, or can use Drupal as a CMS/business layer — making Drupal your database, content creation, and update center, while connecting Node.js with the presentation frameworks. This leverages Node.js frameworks with decoupled Drupal architecture, exposing Drupal’s content and business-logic backend through APIs and using a front-end framework to build the user interface and presentation layer. Decoupled Drupal apps combine modern user interface responsiveness and power with Drupal’s unique content and logic features.

Traditionally, decoupled applications are hampered by a number of significant drawbacks, including the following:

  • Slow initial page load - A page skeleton must load and then activate the front-end components to fetch content and render it, causing a perceived slow first-page load time.
  • SEO unfriendly - If page content is fetched and assembled in the browser, it is not available to search engines and other bots. Rich link previews like Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on, may not work.
  • Security concerns - Your Drupal API is exposed to the public internet, which means you may want to allow connections only from whitelisted addresses.

Node.js can help you address these issues by using server side rendering to deliver an initial page straight to the browser, both decreasing perceived load time and increasing readability by search engines. Wrapping your Drupal APIs in Node.js means that they are exposed only to Node.js, and not the world.

Getting started with Node.js applications

Node.js application can be added to Acquia Cloud Enterprise subscriptions for an additional cost. Contact your account manager to learn about adding Node.js to your subscription. For more information about Node.js applications and environments in Acquia Cloud, see our Getting Started guide.

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