Why it’s time for the Jamstack to shine – the technology perspective

Javascript, APIs and Markup (HTML) have been around for literally decades. So why the sudden wave of enthusiasm for Jamstack as an enterprise web development platform?

Andy Thompson pulling a funny face

By Andy Thompson, 2 minute read

JavaScript is everywhere

Whether it's Node.js servers, JavaScript in a browser, or the ubiquitous npm (node package manager) modules that span the full spectrum, JavaScript has become the lingua franca for developers. What started as a simple scripting language for adding interactivity to web pages in the 90s, is now the dominant programming language in digital.

The Cloud

Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft, have freed developers from the hassles of maintaining their own server infrastructure, or being tied to a single technology platform. Applications can be built to take advantage of any number of cloud technologies, from static hosting in high performance CDNs, to serverless functions and edge computing.

DevOps

Content Management systems were born to make the mundane task of updating a static website easier for non-technical users. The explosion of automated tools such as Jenkins, TeamCity, or Azure DevOps for building and deploying your website not just quickly and regularly, but continually in the case of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), has removed this barrier.

Everything as a Service

Industry-leading digital products are increasingly delivered "as a service" – available online via subscription – rather than requiring an outright purchase and installation on a server. Overwhelmingly, these SaaS products provide comprehensive APIs for advanced integration scenarios.

Content as a Service

One of the relatively recent additions to the "as a service" stable is cloud-based Headless CMS platforms, such as Kontent. Enabling rapid modelling and management of structured, omni-channel content, while also adding features to empower marketers, these Content as a Service (CaaS) platforms enable websites or apps to be built independently of traditional restrictions imposed by a CMS. Devs can then get back to building websites the way they were supposed to be built – with HTML and JavaScript!

Modern web app frameworks

Building a complex, interactive web experience in a browser from scratch using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript is no mean feat, and developers will tend toward using a framework that gives them a head start. In recent years, React and Vue.js have emerged as clear front-runners in terms of popularity and community support for websites. The introduction of Static Site Generators (SSG), such as Gatsby or Next.js for React, or Gridsome or Nuxt.js for Vue.js, have significantly lowered the bar for creating complex and high-performing web applications delivered on the Jamstack.

A modern Jamstack platform

APIs, JavaScript and Markup are nothing new. But an industry-wide move toward API-enabled cloud services, combined with the emergence of some amazing supporting technologies and tools, has made it possible to build a modern platform for enterprise development on the Jamstack. Assuming of course that you have access to a team of very smart people to pull it all together. πŸ˜‰

Want to know what developers think of the Jamstack?

The State of Jamstack 2020 is a report produced by Kentico Kontent in partnership with Luminary.

Download the report