You are here

Progressive Decoupling: A case study with PRI

This site is for archival purposes only. 

Find out what is happening with the Twin Cities Drupal User Group at

Friday, 11:15am - 12:15pm
Site Building
Front-end Design & Development
Project Management
Experience Level: 
Session Length: 
60 minutes

Progressive Decoupling: A case study with PRI

In 2015, Dries published a blog post titled “The Future of Decoupled Drupal”. In this post, he outlines several ways to approach “decoupling”, a fancy word that refers to the process of migrating from a monolithic CMS to an API-driven, distributed architecture. One of the concepts Dries outlined in this post is “progressive decoupling”, or moving certain components or pages of a site towards an API-driven architecture, one piece at a time. Since this post was published, there has been a lot of buzz within the Drupal community about this new concept.

Public Radio International (PRI) has been running on a Drupal 7 site for just about 5 years now. As their organizational needs have grown, they began approaching the idea of migrating to an API-driven architecture to support new and upcoming technical requirements. Four Kitchens has been working with the PRI team for a few months now to iteratively pull parts of the site out of the Drupal frontend and into a modern JavaScript system, powered by PRI’s new API. See our new decoupled homepage at

In this session, we’ll be talking through the following points:
Scenarios in which progressive decoupling is an appropriate path.

PRI’s organizational goals and technical requirements that necessitated a progressively decoupled approach.
Detailed architectural overview of the mechanisms PRI and Four Kitchens successfully built to support this approach.
Tools we built during this initiative that you can use to save time when you decide migrate from a CMS monolith to a distributed architecture.

Challenges we faced during the project, and how we overcame them.

Learning Objectives & Outcomes: 

This is a case study on PRI's experience in progressive decoupling a Drupal 7 editorial news site. Learn our objectives and the challenges we faced.