Open-source Node.js CMS preps for 3.0 Alpha release

Our 100% open-source Node.js CMS is on the way to its next major release. An enhanced editor experience and even more back-end developer joy. See what’s new.

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Apostrophe 3.0 is preparing to reach a new milestone with an Alpha release expected for August 2020! After a year of active development, our 100% open-source Node.js CMS is on the way to its next major release. Our commitment to advancing the architecture as well as the user interface has resulted in a product that our team is proud of, and one that we think you and your team will love. An enhanced editor experience and even more back-end developer joy means there’s something for everyone to be excited about. See what’s new in 3.0. 

Not to Miss Updates

  • The latest JavaScript best practices on the front and back-end.
  • “Async/await” used everywhere, eliminating callbacks, var and older practices. 
  • A new module format with better code organization and structural clarity, for better maintainability. 
  • While it has always been an option with Apostrophe, headless is now a part of the core in 3.0, and document APIs are RESTful by default.
  • The admin UI rewritten entirely in Vue.js, complete with a component library.
  • Front-end JavaScript can be written in any framework you chose; React, Vue, Angular, Vanilla, jQuery. What works for you, works in Apostrophe. 
  • Integrated Storybook Library to manage our new Vue Admin Interface for testing and maintainability which makes building new features for your clients or contributing to Apostrophe a breeze.
  • Two words - Draft Mode.


  • More on Draft Mode - This is a key feature of the 2.x workflow module today, in Apostrophe 3 we have made it standard equipment. 

Technology Key Advancements

  • A Component Library for the Admin Interface, for creating new features and building onto Apostrophe. 
  • Custom modules can be made RESTful easily via the new module format.
  • Front-end page templates written with fast, lightweight Nunjucks 3.x. 
  • No more client-side JavaScript forced upon you by the CMS. Apostrophe's "lean frontend" library is less than 5K gzipped, and even that is optional!
  • Custom Notifications system, complete with non-blocking progress meters. Developers can send updates even in server-side code. 
  • Asynchronous components are supported in templates. For instance, code inside a template can now reach out to an API or database to fetch more data if desired. They are great for React or Vue SSR (Server Side Rendering) as well. Here's an example for an SEO-friendly server-side Twitter feed:
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User Interface Updates

  • Shortcuts are available to create new content directly from the Admin bar.
  • Improved filter UI within manager modals.
  • Collapsable and group-able 'Add Content' UI.
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  • Better use of screen real-estate, smaller, tighter design elements.
  • More 'in-context' or 'closer-to-context' editing experiences. 
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  • New rich-text experience implementing tiptap.
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  • First time log-in onboarding flow for new editors. 
  • Introducing a new Login experience. 
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  • Media Filters for Media Management
  • Figma UI Kit for Theming and Module Extensions
  • Redesigned New/Edit Modals, with secondary sidebar for Meta controls.
  • Improved and non-blocking Progress Meter and Notification System.
  • The addition of Confirmation and Warning Dialogues. 
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Preparing for Apostrophe 3

As with past upgrades of ApostropheCMS, content migration from earlier releases will be fully supported. Creating new modules is a lot friendlier and modules are now structured in a way that makes file and code organization much clearer. No matter how experienced a developer is, they will have a much better idea of how the code is being systematically arranged, which will greatly reduce friction and improve development output. The module converter assists with conversion of code to Apostrophe 3. While developer involvement is required to convert from previous versions, the pathway forward is clear. Need support? Find it here


Have no fear, Apostrophe 2 is still here

Apostrophe 2 will be fully supported through 2023, and if you are looking to start a new project right away, this is the best version to start with today. We too are building new projects and supporting dozens of clients on Apostrophe 2.x. 

The general patterns of front-end and back-end development you master with Apostrophe 2.x will translate easily to 3.x, and there will be a clear upgrade path for your existing projects. So don’t wait for the new release to build something amazing, start developing today. 


Open-source first, community focused

The Alpha release scheduled for later this year is a culmination of hard work by our ever growing team, and the contributing community. Apostrophe was built on a strong foundation of open-source tools and we could not have created it without that foundation. 

alex gilbert

Alex Gilbert

CEO and co-founder, Apostrophe

“Contributing back into this community by leading with open-source is critical to our business and also part of what helps us find joy in the work.”

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