Oct 15 2012
Oct 15

Almost a year ago, Module Monday featured the Views Datasource module, a tool for exposing custom XML and JSON feeds from a Drupal site. It's a great tool, but what if you need something a bit more... human-readable? A .doc file, or a spreadsheet for example? That's where the similarly-named but differently-focused Views Data Export module comes in.

Screenshot of administration screen

Views Data Export provides a custom View display type optimized for producing downloadable files in a variety of formats. Need a Microsoft Excel file with a list of the latest 100 posts on your site? Looking for a Microsoft Word .doc file that collects the text of the site's top-rated articles? No problem. The module supports XLS, DOC, TXT, CVS, and XML exports with format-appropriate configure options for each one. In addition, it uses Drupal's batch processing system when it's asked to generate extremely large export files, rather than timing out or giving out-of-memory errors.

Screenshot of resulting change to site

Whether you're putting together reports, giving users an easy way to download product data sheets, or conducting a quick, ad-hoc audit of your site's content, Views Data Export is a handy tool to have around. Its batch processing support makes it more reliable on large sites, and its support for a variety of "day to day" file formats means you'll spend less time juggling your data and more time making use of it.

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Feb 20 2012
Feb 20

Since version 2.0 of the Views module shipped back in 2008, site builders have been able to use its Exposed Filters feature to create slick user-filterable lists without writing a lick of code. Unfortunately, complex views with lots of exposed filters can easily become cluttered -- some filtering options only make sense when others are also selected, for example. Views Dependent Filters solves that problem, allowing to hide and show exposed filters based on other filters' values.

Screenshot of dependent field configuration

Configuring the module is a bit opaque: using it requires adding a "Global Dependent Filter" to your existing view, then positioning it between the two exposed filters whose behaviors should be linked. For example, you might add an exposed Content Type filter, then the Global Dependent Filter, then an second exposed filter that's only applicable to one of the content types. The Dependent Filter's configuration options will allow you to choose which values from the first filter should hide or show the second exposed filter.

Screenshot of resulting change to site

Once the filter has been set up, Views Dependent Filters does what it says on the tin. Exposed filters appear and disappear automatically, and your complex view gets simpler.

Developers familiar with Drupal's FormAPI and the new States system will recognize what's going on under the hood: the same tricks can be done in a custom module with careful use of hook_form_alter(). Using Views Dependent Filters, though, means that the visibility tweaks are an inherent part of the view, and can be exported and saved cleanly. If you're looking for a way to simplify complex, user-filterable views, check it out!

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About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web