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December 09, 2010

A new module to expose external tables to Views?

I really need a module that exposes data in external tables to Views. Unfortunately, of the two existing options one is one its way out and the other has poor issue-response statistics - I repeat, poor, poor, poor issue-response statistics - no documentation - I repeat, no, no documentation - and is a bit convoluted. Do you sense frustration?!

This has led me to imagine a module that adds a new View type, call it External Table, with configuration options on the Views interface whereby users can specify an external table by name. This module would then pass the table fields (column headers) to Views which could be added to a view of the table. Honestly, I would stop there at first and later build in filters that could be applied to values within a column, passing of arguments, and other bells and whistles.

This philosophy differs from that of other modules in a few ways. Specifically, it is 1) 100% dependent on the Views module, 2) highly focused in its mission, 3) completely integrated into the Views module configuration interface (i.e., no extra admin configuration options).

How to do this? Here are a few posts that may be relevant:

The Views Developers Group has taken up this subject.

Apparently, the "Displaying the Forecast section" of this tutorial is helpful.

Webchick recommends the code uploaded in this comment.

Someone wishing for similar functionality within Drupal 7.

This patch may contain parts of a solution but note a TW dependency: Enable views to handle external tables properly, allowing for joins across tables in different mysql databases

Posted by kkwaiser at December 9, 2010 08:56 AM

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