How JSON API Enhances Drupal Commerce & Other Enterprise Websites

Drupal is wildly popular – both as a CMS and an eCommerce platform. As demands for innovation in web development rise, developers are looking for more ways to attract users. An API-first approach gives developers immense scope for creating new features and enabling flexibility. Most Drupal Commerce developers use it as a front-end and back-end tool to create web solutions. So, an API can dramatically change the look and functionality of a web solution.

Today, more and more people visit websites from a mobile device than a desktop. Hence, your business website must be responsive to all kinds of devices and operating systems. That’s where APIs come into play. The developers of Drupal have identified the immense potential of APIs in web development.

Why APIs Are Important in Web Development 

An API is an agreement of request and response between the developer (vendor) and the user (client). APIs are used mainly for exchanging data. They connect the front end with the back end of a software solution. APIs also define the accessibility of resources associated with software development.

API-first web solutions enable flexibility in terms of interacting with different kinds of devices and systems. This means your business website can much more than just being a traditional website. API-first websites can easily embrace different channels. Drupal Commerce developers have advocated this approach for a long time now.

Integration of JSON API to Drupal 8 Core 

The idea of JSON: API became widely popular in the JavaScript community. JavaScript Object Notation, or JSON, is the most common data exchange format for web solutions. This API has replaced XML due to advantages like its lightweight nature. Besides, JSON is compatible with almost every modern programming language. So, whether it’s a website development or Drupal migration services, the API is always useful.

Advantages of Implementing JSON API to Drupal Websites

JSON: API allows programmers like Drupal Commerce developers to make their solution more versatile. They can decide how the API should interact with the web solution’s data model. In Drupal Commerce solutions, the API enables the creation of customized resource routes, among other benefits. Here’s a list of key advantages of using JSON API specifications.

1. Consistent Structure 

JSON is incredibly consistent in terms of its structural behavior. It helps front-end developers to make the designs and layout more attractive and responsive. Consistency goes a long way when it comes to developing Drupal Commerce solutions development.

2. Cross-platform compatibility 

JSON: API specifications are widely supported across platforms and operating systems. Besides, the API makes the implementation of client libraries easier. Since it’s compatible with virtually every programming language and web development framework, developers love this API.

3. Productive web development

Designing and developing an API is often a time-consuming and complex process. JSON provides you with a set of specifications to design API without any hassle. It makes the web development team more productive. Also, developers can focus on the creativity and flexibility of the solutions they build.

How JSON Improves Drupal Web Development

The JSON API specifications help developers in many ways. They simplify sophisticated technical processes and development pathways. Here’s how it changes your website.

No configuration needed

Once you implement the JSON specifications, it makes the resources accessible with relevant verbs, endpoints, and development fields. The API doesn’t allow any modification to the configurations. This makes the deployment of a web solution simpler and quicker.

“Relationships” object

With “relationships” objects, you get all the required information related to the development resource. The resource could be the author, image fields, entity references, etc. Developers usually need to make additional requests to get access to the information. But with JSON in place, you can add a request parameter “include” to specify the required fields.

Filtering resources 

You can apply filters to selectively retrieve the required resources. Theses resources can further be added using the “filter” parameter. Developers need to specify the field on which they want to do the comparison.

Paging, sorting, and more 

JSON also enables you to use paging. It’s a technique to divide the long listing of items into different pages. Developers can also use a “sort” parameter to specify the field and the sort direction.

Conclusion 

JSON API specifications change your Drupal website for better – both technically and aesthetically. In terms of functionality, it helps eCommerce websites with billing management, shipping, and various other areas. For business websites, the API specifications significantly improve flexibility and responsiveness across platforms. At Drupal India, we built a diverse range of enterprise-grade web solutions using the Drupal CMS. You can hire Drupal developers from us to build API-first and design rich websites.

FAQs

Q. What is a JSON API?

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is an encoding scheme that is designed to eliminate the need for an ad-hoc code for each application. It helps to communicate with servers in a defined way. JSON API module exposes an implementation for data stores and data structures, such as entity types, bundles, and fields, among others.

Q. Is JSON a REST API?

The REST architecture allows API providers to deliver data in multiple formats such as plain text, HTML, XML, YAML. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is an easy-to-parse and lightweight data-interchange format. It’s different from REST API.

Q. How much does it cost to build a Drupal website?

The costs of developing a Drupal website depend on several factors. Design complexity, development time, type of features, etc. play an important role in calculating the final cost. Drupal India delivers design-rich Drupal websites and eCommerce solutions at a competitive price.

How to Boost Your Website Ranking with Drupal SEO Modules?

You’ve built an engaging & brilliant website with the help of top-notch designer and offering latest services. But you aren’t getting desired traffic to your website. Before making customization on design with support of Drupal web developers and content review, consider that you may have made an amazing website, but missing the attention of search engines. But no need to worry Drupal SEO modules are available that can be easily integrated within the website to get higher Search Engine rankings.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is commonly used with online marketing, but very few people actually have knowledge about it. SEO is an approach to improve website ranking by optimizing its content, URL and Meta tags. However overdoing it will also penalize your website by search engines and ultimately cause lower rating. You can’t just dump keywords and expect good results.

Top Drupal SEO Modules for Website Optimization

There are several crucial parameters on which search engine ranking depends, from Meta tags to site theme. But the most important step to perform when launching your website is integrating Drupal SEO modules that can help with a higher ranking.

In several cases, you won’t have to touch the front-end of your website. With a simple customization and back-end administration, desired search engine results can be achieved to boost website traffic. In this blog post, we list the best Drupal SEO modules that every website must include.

1. Site verification

When building Drupal website, one of the important things need to be done is to verify your website. To verify your website it is important to ensure to search engines that your site is legitimate. A verified website always ranks much higher than an unverified one.
The important thing about this module is that it’s designed for both technical and non-technical users. In simple words, this module simplifies site verification process. Simply install the module, and get desired ranking results.

2. XML Sitemap

Once your site is verified, it is important to set up an XML sitemap. This process lists out your site’s URLs for search engines, thus making it easy to crawl the website. For example, you can submit the XML sitemap in Google Search Console this will help the Google to index the pages.

To initiate the process, you can use the XML sitemap module to start the sitemap generation. In addition, this module automatically submits to all the major search engines, like Ask, Google, Bing, or Yahoo. This help bots to automatically crawl and receive desired results for the website.

3. Google Analytics

Google is considered as the most popular search engine across the globe. Google generates over 5 billion searches on daily basis. With this in mind, a popular element for SEO practices will be Google Analytics, which gives in-depth insights and reports related to your website traffic from Google.

By installing the Google Analytics module, Drupal development services integrate it to get the web statistics tracking system. In addition to that multiple statistics features to your site are also added, including the AdSense support, Page not found (404) tracking, Site Search support, and many more. With these remarkable features, you’ll gain better insight regarding how to meet target audience needs.

4. SEO Checklist

When basic parameters are met, it’s time to build SEO-friendly web pages and content for your site. But, if you’re new to SEO, you will see how much there is to learn for website ranking. In addition, when working with large volume of content, having an additional hand is always beneficial.

The great news is that this Drupal SEO module offers just that. The module is not designed to improve your SEO but is equipped with the information to perform necessary website optimization. Plus, the feature to build SEO checklists can help to ensure you remain on task.

5. Metatag

Metadata, like Meta tags and Meta descriptions, help in further communication regarding what the content is about to the search engines. It is important to publish the content to add appropriate metadata to boost the chances of ranking for specific keywords. In several cases, the metadata is displayed like snippet present in the search results.

By installing the Metatag Drupal module, you can automate the content structure. In addition, this module provides the liberty to override the auto-generated Meta tags or Meta descriptions. This ultimately takes more hands-on approach to optimization as required.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are modules in Drupal?

A Drupal module is a collection of files having some functionality and is based on the PHP language. Because the module code executes within the website context, it can use all the functions and access all variables of Drupal core.

2. Is Drupal front end or backend?

Drupal is not just a frond end or backend. It is a CMS to manage your content with inbuilt template engine. Even Drupal can be used as service to store the content and use some front end tools for displaying content.

3. What is Drupal architecture?

Drupal is a free and open source CMS that allows organizing, managing and publishing the content and is built on the PHP based environments. Drupal CMS is highly flexible and robust that can be used to build large & complex sites.

4. What is SEO and how it works?

SEO also termed as search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing the website to drive organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engines. In order to perform this, search engines will scan, or crawl, multiple websites to understand what the site is all about.

Wrapping Up

At Drupal India, our team has offered customized Drupal development services. You can hire Drupal web developers for your business needs and we provide solution that capitalizes on the qualities that set your website apart. Whether you’d like to build a brand new Drupal site or extend your existing site with the right modules, we can help.

What’s New Changes Drupal 8.8 Update Brings?

A number of major changes have been introduced with Drupal 8.8 latest release. The update was released in December 2019 and before the release of Drupal 9, it is a great move by the Drupal community. The release mostly focused on improving the management that will help the Drupal 8 developer in building a secure & smooth enterprise website.

Let’s have a look at the features of Drupal 8.8

1. Media Embedding with WYSIWYG

This update is the much-awaited in this latest release. For website developers, this WYSIWYG integration is a decade long wait. The earlier poorly handled media embedding has become simpler for the content creators who wish to build and integrate the media embedding. Another benefit is that this feature comes with complete media management capabilities.

2. New Admin Theme

Claro is the latest Drupal admin theme with an improved look and better interface. On top of this update, the theme will bring a new refreshed design to Drupal 8. This UI change has been long in demand by the Drupal community. However, with the latest release, these requests are finally coming on board. The clean, concise and advanced look adds to the web accessibility feature.

3. JSON API Module

The Drupal 8.8.0 update empowered and fixed the below issues:

  • The include paths are now fixed for every resource in the resource collection.
  • The normalization of the resource is no more shared or leveraged.
  • The resourceTypeRepository computes ResourceType value objects on every demand.

This change is a big boost to the growing ecosystem of contributed modules and hence, the JSON: API can develop faster working and communication by removing the necessity for an ad-hoc code.

4. Complete Composer Support

The composer has helped Drupal 8 development to become more streamlined with the PHP standards. The bonding between the Composer and PHP had started to build more with the Drupal 8 release. Now, Drupal 8.8 comes with more Composer plugins.

  • Drupal-composer-scaffold

The new plugin will be in charge of automating the Drupal composer scaffolding in the right place. On top of that, this will offer a number of options for the setup approaches.

  • Drupal-vendor-hardening

This plugin task is to eliminate some of the useless folders that are present in the vendor directories like tests or documentation. This is an important process when the vendor folder is comprised of the doc root.

  • Drupal/recommended-project

This composer template helps in building the Drupal project structure which follows the suggestions presented in Drupal 8.8. These suggestions state that the vendor folder should be out of the doc root.

  • Drupal/legacy-project

This template is used to generate a Drupal project that follows the old structure. But using this will not be suggested for Drupal 8.8.0 and further.

5. Customized Browser Support

Websites can run properly with the modern browsers that support CSS and JavaScript. While some browsers are getting outdated with time. But with Drupal 8.8 release the browser policy has been changed.

It supports the latest release of browsers for both desktop and mobile browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
  • Safari for iOS

In addition to that the latest release is also supported by the desktop and mobile browsers:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox ESR
  • Chrome for iOS
  • Samsung Internet
  • Chrome for Android
  • UC Browser
  • Opera Mini

6. End of Life for jQuery UI

In the method of switching to JavaScript solutions, the Drupal core is eliminating jQuery UI which allowed the developers to add experience components within the code. This collection of widgets is being eliminated for now and will be completely removed in the upcoming Drupal 9. The modules and themes dependent on it will have to search for a replacement contributed to the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often does Drupal update?

Usually, Drupal releases updates on a monthly basis but when any security issue is observed an immediate release is also done. Make sure to enable the update status module and check for new releases every week.

2. Is Drupal front end or backend?

A Drupal developer is someone who codes in the PHP and other server-side languages. They code the custom modules, consume web services, automated tests, automate deployment, etc. They are also known as “backend Drupal developers”.

3. How long does it take to customize a Drupal website?

An enterprise-level website needs a lot of time to customize in comparison to the small websites. Overall the time required for the customization completely relies on the requirements and nature of changes required within the website.

4. What is Drupal 8 good for?

Drupal is the first choice of developers and business owners who need to build enterprise-level websites. It is a powerful CMS that is not only open-source but also offers high-level features to maintain the online branding image.

5. What features Drupal 8.8 offer to developers?

Drupal 8.8 offers multiple features that were missing in the earlier versions and were in huge demand for a decade.

  • Composer Support
  • Browser Support
  • JSON API Module
  • Claro Admin Theme
  • Media Embedment

Wrapping Up:

Drupal 8.8 update brings out a collection of features and quality of the life improvements that will definitely make the life of the site builders and content creators simpler. This release is an important release giving a clear indication for the arrival of Drupal 9. if you own a website or looking to build a website from scratch it is the perfect time to avail the services of this latest version. Drupal Development company can be consulted to build an engaging as well as secure enterprise website. They have all the resources to build, customize and migrate a Drupal website.