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September 01, 2010

Overall Approach to Data in Tables with Drupal

This should be considered a first pass as the verdict is definitely still out.

I've spent the last couple of days figuring out how to store datasets in tables with Drupal in a manner that is (somewhat) consistent with my overall approach.

Here is an example page that accomplishes this with mock-data:

http://informationmanager.eeb.lsa.umich.edu/beta/node/8021

Here are the key modules I'm using:

Data module - to manage the tables and expose them to Views.
Views - obviously
CCK - obviously
Schema - Data module dependency
CTools - Data Module dependency
Feeds - Recommended by Data module for creating tables and importing data which are then managed via the Data module
Views Bonus Pack - allows CSV/XLS export of views
ViewField - Create a CCK ViewField that embeds a specified view into a node
Panels - for the arrangement

The workflow for this is roughly as follows:
1. Create table/import data
2. Add CSV/XLS feeds to data table view
3. Add data table view to the appropriate DataSet node.

I'm not completely happy with this approach because I use the ViewField module to essentially relate a Data Table View to a Node (i.e., DataSet) whereas I feel the Data module should be able to accomplish this itself. The Data module does have a Relate to Node function but I haven't figured out how to leverage this and the module documentation is atrocious. Overall, the Data module appears immature but promising.

Posted by kkwaiser at September 1, 2010 10:15 AM

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