Opinions & Insights
The Jamstack definition evolved
In the years that have past since 2015 when Matt Biilmann and Chris Bach coined the term "Jamstack", the web and the practices around building for the web have come a long way. Tools, services, and popular approaches have all progressed. This ceaseless march of progress is one of the things that makes web development so exciting.
To help us consider how Jamstack benefits from this evolving environment, while promoting the attributes which make it so popular, there have been efforts to bring the way Jamstack is described up to date, with a refined, clarified definition:
A refreshed Jamstack definition
Jamstack is an architectural approach that decouples the web experience layer from data and business logic, improving flexibility, scalability, performance, and maintainability.
Jamstack removes the need for business logic to dictate the web experience. It enables a composable architecture for the web where custom logic and 3rd party services are consumed through APIs.
The best practices for building with the Jamstack evolve alongside modern technologies.
For me, this last sentence is key. Jamstack is not a strict set of rules, and was never truly intended to be. It is important to acknowledge that the way we build sites and applications will iterate and improve. The "stack" of Jamstack sites will evolve over time as the tools available to us as web developers evolves, and we gain access to complementary technologies such as new serverless runtimes, automated CI/CD, and who-knows-what in the future.
At its core Jamstack has always been about decoupling the web experience layer from the business logic and escaping the monolithic architectures of old, of the possibilities of composable architectures, and finding ways to deliver web projects without taking on the logical burden of servers.
Describing Jamstack as an architectural approach with some key characteristics feels far more appropriate to me. And hopefully will age well as exciting new tools, services, and techniques arrive from around the web development industry.