The Evolution Of Jamstack

The Evolution Of Jamstack

Web-oriented databases, frameworks like Nuxt and Next.js, and even frameworkless approaches are evolving the Jamstack, but the core principles are more powerful than ever. Jamstack hit the mainstream, and we saw millions of developers and major brands like Unilever, Nike, and PayPal embrace the architecture. Vital initiatives like the Covid Tracking Project were able to scale from 0 to 2 million API requests on the Jamstack. Frameworks like Nuxt became commercial businesses, and we celebrated large public companies like Microsoft and Cloudflare as they launched early Jamstack offerings.

Web-oriented databases, frameworks like Nuxt and Next.js, and even frameworkless approaches are evolving the Jamstack, but the core principles are more powerful than ever.

It’s been five years since I first presented the idea of the Jamstack architecture at SmashingConf in San Francisco 2016, a talk inspired by many conversations with colleagues and friends in the industry. At that point, the idea of fundamentally decoupling the front-end web layer from the back-end business logic layer was only an early trend, and not yet a named architectural approach.

Matt Biilmann on stage at SmashingConf SF 2016

The New Front-end Stack. Javascript, APIs and Markup. A presentation from 2016 by Matt Biilmann. Watch on Vimeo

Static site generators were emerging as a real option for building larger content-driven sites, but the whole ecosystem around them was nascent, and the main generators were pure open-source tools with no commercial presence. Single Page Applications were the basis of some large-scale web apps, like Gmail, but the typical approach to building them was still backend-centric.

Fast forward to 2020, Jamstack hit the mainstream, and we saw millions of developers and major brands like UnileverNike, and PayPal embrace the architecture. Vital initiatives like the Covid Tracking Project were able to scale from 0 to 2 million API requests on the Jamstack. Frameworks like Nuxt became commercial businesses, and we celebrated large public companies like Microsoft and Cloudflare as they launched early Jamstack offerings.

As the commercial space has heated up and the developer community has grown, there’s also been more noise, and we’re even starting to test the boundaries of Jamstack’s best practices. It feels like the right time to both revisit the original vision some of us had five years ago, and look ahead at what the changes in the technological landscape will mean for the future of the Jamstack architecture and the web.

Let’s start out by quickly revisiting the core principles that have made the architecture prove popular.

jamstack nuxt next web-development

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