FAQ / Technology and features

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Which tools and client libraries exist for integrating Contentful?

There's plenty of them. Naturally, we want to help you get started quickly, so there are tools and client libraries available for all the major platforms.

See also: Developer portalEcosystem

Does Contentful work with HTML and JavaScript?

Yes, and there are three ways to serve content in HTML.

1. Generating pages dynamically on the server

This is the classic approach taken by most CMSs to generate HTML4 websites. A browser requests a website and then a server-based system loads content from a database, creates an HTML page based on templates on the fly, and sends that HTML page back to the browser.

Exactly the same approach works with content from Contentful and our content infrastructure. You can use the server-side programming language and frameworks of your choice (PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, .NET, or even JavaScript with Node.js), together with your preferred templating system, to generate pages dynamically on each request.

Due to the high performance of our API and our world-wide CDN the page load times will still be very quick, no matter where your servers are.

2. Pre-generating static pages with a site generator

If you mostly serve static content then pre-generating all the HTML pages is the best approach to take. An example for this might be a landing page or a blog.

Again, you can use the programming and templating frameworks of your choice. An example in Ruby might be Middleman, which can easily be integrated with Contentful with the Contentful middleman extension. Every time content is updated every single page is pre-generated and then uploaded to a web server or a Content Delivery Network. This approach guarantees you the highest availability, the lowest page load times and the highest security.

3. Dynamically loading content into the browser with JavaScript

With Contentful you can build highly dynamic JavaScript-based applications in the framework of your choice (Backbone.js, Ember.js, Angular.js, jQuery) or even with pure JS and AJAX requests.

A very simple HTML page is sent to the browser initially, and only in a second step the content is loaded dynamically through AJAX. This approach gives you the most flexibility in working with content, as you could potentially display it on a Google Map or even render it in 3D through WebGL.

Which way you go depends highly on the requirements of your project. The approaches described above can also be combined.

Markdown Parser Recommendations By Language

Here is a list of recommended markdown parsers for your app or website:

Java: https://github.com/vsch/flexmark-java#-flexmark-java

JavaScript: https://github.com/chjj/marked

PHP: https://github.com/thephpleague/commonmark

Ruby: https://github.com/gettalong/kramdown

Python lib: https://github.com/Python-Markdown/markdown

.NET C#: https://code.google.com/p/markdownsharp/


GHMarkdown: https://github.com/OliverLetterer/GHMarkdownParser

CocoaMarkdown: https://github.com/indragiek/CocoaMarkdown

What platforms does Contentful support?

Contentful provides a powerful JSON API through which all your content is served.

You can load the content on any platform which supports the creation of HTTP requests and which can parse JSON. JSON is a lighter and faster alternative to XML and used in almost all modern web services. Any modern programming language has tools to parse JSON, which allows you to distribute your content to virtually any platform.

Examples of platforms and languages into which content can be loaded:


  • HTML4 websites

  • Interactive HTML5 sites or applications with JavaScript (Backbone.js, Ember.js, Angular.js, …)

Native mobile apps

  • Apple iOS

  • Android

  • Google Glass

  • Windows Phone

  • Blackberry

  • Java ME

  • Sencha Touch

  • Phonegap

  • Titanium Appcelerator

Desktop applications

  • Windows (all versions)

  • Apple Mac OS X

  • Linux

Any client or server-side programming environment

  • C

  • Java

  • .NET

  • Python

  • Ruby

  • PHP

  • Go

The platform does not need to support JavaScript, it only needs to be able to parse JSON. We are working on SDKs for many of the above platforms, which will make using your content even easier. You can also load the content out of Contentful and generate static documents out of it, such as printed documents or eBooks.

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