# Directus Docs
These Docs will help you get up-and-running quickly, guide you through advanced features, and explain the core concepts that make Directus so unique.
This is the documentation for the new Directus 9 (opens new window) platform written in Node.js. If you are looking for the previous Directus 8 (opens new window) (PHP) docs, you can find them here (opens new window).
# What is Directus?
The platform can be used for an individual purpose, such as headless content management, or more broadly to democratize an entire organization's data (customers, inventory, business intelligence, projects, etc).
What's in a name?
"Directus" (duh REKT iss (opens new window)) is Latin for: laid straight, arranged in lines. The broadest goal of our platform is to present data in a simple, orderly, and intuitive way.
# Database Mirroring
What makes Directus so unique is that it dynamically generates custom API endpoints based on your SQL database's schema in real-time — something we call "Database Mirroring". Whether you install fresh or on top of an existing database, you always maintain end-to-end control over your actual database, including: tables, columns, datatypes, default values, indexes, relationships, etc.
Below is an overview to how Directus mirrors the database, and our non-technical naming convention.
- Project — A Database (also includes asset storage and the config file)
- Collection — A Database Table
- Fields — A Database Column
- Item — A Database Record/Row
- Relationships — A Database Relationship, including additional non-standard types
- Type — A Database Data Type, including additional non-standard types
- Users — A Directus User (App or API), not to be confused with a Database User
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of Database Mirroring is that you have direct access to your pure and unaltered data. That means you have the option to bypass the Directus middleware (API, SDK, App) and connect to your data with proper SQL queries. This effectively removes all bottlenecks, latency overhead, and proprietary access limitations.
# Modular & Extensible
What makes Directus so flexible is that it has been designed from the ground up with complete extensibility, helping avoid a feature ceiling. In addition to offering our software's codebase as open-source, we've included the following extension types in the platform's App and API.
- Modules — (App) The highest and broadest level of organization within the App
- Layouts — (App) How you browse, view or interact with a set of Items in a Collection
- Interfaces — (App) How you view or interact with a field and its value
- Displays — (App) A small inline preview of a field's value
- Panes — (App) A way to view dashboard data within the Insights Module
- Styles — (App) Whitelabeling through App Themes and CSS Overrides
- Endpoints — (API) Custom registered API endpoints
- Hooks — (API) Event and interval hooks for triggering custom logic
- Email Templates — (API) Custom structure and formatting for emails
# Core Principles
Directus is a simple solution for complex problems, with a data-first approach guided by the following core principles:
- Pure — There is no predefined model or proprietary rules for your schema, and all system settings are stored separately.
- Open — Our entire codebase is public and transparent, allowing for end-to-end audits. Nothing is obfuscated or black-boxed.
- Portable — Data is stored in your bespoke database and can be migrated/exported/backed-up at any time. Absolutely no vendor lock-in.
- Limitless — Create unlimited users, roles, languages, collections, and items. No arbitrary restrictions or paywall limitations.
- Extensible — Every aspect of the platform is modular, allowing you to adapt, customize, and infinitely extend the Core engine.
- Unopinionated — Choose your database (all SQL vendors), API (REST or GraphQL), and infra (self-hosted or Cloud).
# The Directus Ecosystem
# Open-Source Core
Our completely free and open-source (GPLv3) Open Data Platform. Directus includes our dynamic API engine (Node.js), the intuitive Admin App (Vue.js), this documentation (Markdown), and all dependencies.
Our documentation (opens new window) describes the most recent version of our platform. They are written in publicly managed markdown files so the community can help keep them clean and up-to-date. The docs are divided into the following sections:
- Getting Started — Novice oriented, for a platform intro and installation.
- Concepts — Learning oriented, for understanding the platform.
- Guides — Problem oriented, follow along with steps while working.
- Reference — Information oriented, look up info and specs while working.
- API Reference — Information oriented, look up API resources while working.
- Contributing — Contributor oriented — resources for working on Open-Source Core.
Specific version of the Docs ship with each install of Directus 9. They can be found within the Documentation module of the App.
# On-Demand Cloud
Our self-service platform (opens new window) for quick and affordable instances of Directus on a multitenant infrastructure. Each project includes automatic updates, automatic backups, .
# Enterprise Cloud
Our premium managed solution. Powered by dedicated hardware in your selected region, this service offers high-availability, custom limits, SSO, API white-labeling, uptime SLAs, and more. Contact our sales team (opens new window) to discuss pricing and options.
# Cloud Documentation
Cloud-Specific Docs (opens new window) include guides for managing projects within our Cloud Dashboard.
# Private Demos
Our On-Demand Cloud platform includes ability to create private demo instances (opens new window). Each demo runs the latest version of Directus, lasts for several hours, and is completely free, with no credit card required.
# System Status
The Status Page (opens new window) provides up-to-date information on our various systems, including current and historical incident details and our 30-day uptime percentage. From this site you can access the global status or your Cloud project's dedicated status page.
Our marketing site (opens new window) provides general information, resources, and team info for the project.
For the latest product info and sneak-peeks, be sure to follow us on Twitter (opens new window).
Our YouTube Channel (opens new window) has video tutorials, release updates, feature overviews, and more.
Join our growing community of 4,000+ developers on Discord (opens new window) and Slack (legacy). From community support to seeing where the platform is heading next, it's a great way to get involved.
# App Locales
Coming in 2021, the Directus Marketplace (opens new window) will offer a unified portal to extensions created by our Core Team and community contributors.