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We have found that craft (and twig mostly) combined with bootstrap make a great prototyping tool. We'd started up a number of projects that use templating and lots of fun twig stuff but no real need to anything in the database

right now we go through the entire craft install and setup a database anyways but curious if it would be possible to run just the templating part of craft without a database at all?

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Using Craft without a database isn't possible, you're probably best off doing things the way you are now (with a minimal Craft install).

At its core, Craft is built on two very powerful frameworks:

  • Twig
  • Yii

(There are other components as well, but these are the driving forces.)

You can, of course, just use Twig as a templating language for your prototyping. But that's all you'll have... a templating language.

You can't use Yii without a database, since the primary purpose of Yii is to act as a DAO (Data Access Object). Without a database, it's kinda useless.

My official recommendation: Create a "base installation" repo with a generic website, and have Craft completely installed. Then you can quickly clone that and work your prototyping magic!

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