Apps out of the bag: Discover Contentful’s new app development tools

Illustrated image of a person working with the new app building tools created by Contentful
October 5, 2021


At Contentful, we love building things.

The only thing that brings our team more joy than making cool stuff is sharing the final product with you (and the rest of the world) — which is why today is so exciting for us. We’re pleased to announce the release of some great new features that will streamline how you build apps within Contentful. These developments will also make it easier to share what you’ve built with our community, your colleagues or clients.

We know you’re probably eager to try out these new features so we’ll jump right into what they are and how they’ll help you and your team. We’ll also cover a number of other recent releases in case they flew under the radar — we think they’re app-solutely brilliant!

New features and releases

CMA adapter: Access new endpoints from the start

Our Content Management API (CMA) is the heart of what makes Contentful, well, Contentful. In addition to making sure that it’s always running smoothly, we often add new endpoints to allow our customers to do even more with their content programmatically. Recent releases for the CMA include adding new endpoints for releases and the reference view.

Until now, the space CMA endpoints were also included in the App SDK, which caused confusion and delayed feature availability within the App Framework. Offering the same functionality in two places — the App SDK and client library — really gummed up the works.

To eliminate this confusion and let developers get their hands on new API endpoints faster than before, we’ve reworked how the CMA integrates with apps. The final product is our CMA adapter, which brings the latest features from the CMA client library into your apps immediately. You can now use a single source of truth, the CMA client library, to interact with your space, entries and content.

Did we mention the adapter streamlines development and documentation across content operations? Because it does that too!

App sharing capabilities: Make your work accessible

We all know that sharing is caring — which Contentful now supports with our newest app sharing feature. Through app sharing, you can take an app you’ve created in one space and introduce it in another space or organization. The process is easy — all you have to do is toggle the app sharing button in the new sharing tab of your app’s settings. Then you copy and paste the install link, or even use the code to embed an install button.

If you really love what you’ve created, you might decide to share your app within the developer community. Again, it’s as simple as sharing the install link. When someone installs your app (or you install it in another space or organization), updates are pushed automatically. This feature ensures users have the best experience — and version of the app — at all times.

Apps don’t have to be shared with the whole world, just the people you want to see them. For example, Contentful partners can now create a portfolio of apps that they only share with their clients, helping them to get started even faster and keeping them up to date.

Unique app icons: Build your branding

Iconic — it’s a term all brands aspire to. While you and your team lay the foundation for success that will earn you that tagline, we’ll offer a smaller (but still exciting) way for your brand and app to get noticed — new app icons. You can now set the icon that’s attached to your app within Contentful. Attaching icons to your apps lays the foundation for brand recognition from day one. Previously, the apps you and your team so lovingly built were represented by the same jigsaw puzzle piece — now there’s the freedom to be creative. We can’t wait to see what our community does with this small but mighty update.

Apps icons also let teams working with multiple custom apps find what they’re looking for faster. Sorry Bono, but with distinctive icons, developers and other team members can quickly spot and select the app they need in the apps tab of the Contentful web app. 

Previous (but still exciting) releases

These features are far from the only improvements we’ve made for app builders. Here’s a slew of other app-ealing updates. 

Illustrated icon of a diamond

App hosting 

We took the hassle out of hosting your app — now you don’t have to identify, fund or onboard external hosting solutions for apps, you can just get us to do it. You don’t even have to say please or thank you! You can upload your app using the CLI or through our interface. As an added bonus, if you run into an issue there’s always the option to roll things back.

Extensibility in Compose + Launch

Compose + Launch were built to enhance productivity and user experiences for editorial teams. Continuing these efforts, we’ve added new extensibility features. We included a sidebar extensibility location to both apps so content creators and editors can introduce marketplace and custom apps into their workflows. I know what you’re thinking — apps within apps? With Contentful, there’s no limit to our love for apps. These updates make it easier for content creators and editors to do all their work in a single environment, for example, broadening support for translation apps in Compose. In Launch, there’s now also the option to open full-page apps. 

Increased app allowances

Previously, organizations and environments at the Team or Premium levels could create 10 apps and install 10 apps in each environment. We’ve raised app allowances, so organizations on these tiers can create up to 250 apps and each environment can have up to 50 apps installed.

This helps all Contentful users on your team by enabling them to access the apps they need to work efficiently. It allows apps that support development, QA and content workflows to coexist without compromising one another. It also allows multiple apps that serve the same purpose to be used within the same environment. If two teams within your organization — say marketing and customer success — prefer different translation providers, it’s no longer an either-or situation. You can implement them both!

Connect and share with our builder community

We hope our newest tools and features improve how you and your team build your next original, exciting app with Contentful.

To see what others are building or to share your app with ease (thanks to some of the new features we shared) join our Community Slack group today. 

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