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Extend your Drupal 7 sites with custom modules, which allow you to create everything from admin interfaces to forms. Author Jon Peck describes how modules extend your base Drupal installation, then walks through how to write your own module with a practical example featuring geo-positioned alternative energy centers. The course also describes how to control access to site features, create new content types, build forms, understand data persistence, embrace coding standards, and much more.
This course is intended to provide a foundational knowledge of the Drupal infrastructure and API, providing context in a complex system. As such, there are a number of areas that can be explored further. Basic interactions with the Entity API were used to create a new content type. But what if a more lightweight and custom solution is necessary? The Entity API allows a developer to build a custom entity from the ground up without the overhead of nodes. To facilitate this, the entity project extends the core Entity API to reduce some of the complexities when creating new entity types.
There are a number of comprehensive examples and community managed documentation available through the project page of the extended Entity API. Throughout this course a simplified implementation of locations was built in order to demonstrate how to interact with various Drupal subsystems. While the wind farm content type provided stub location with geographic coordinates, this functionality can be extended much further and already has in the location module. While I demonstrated the potential for code reuse in a narrow context, the implementation of location-based services demonstrated was not intended to be a comprehensive solution.
To take the windfarm module to the next level, leverage the location API and take advantage of features such as full address support, geocoding and more. This course focused on functionality centric development within Drupal and with little exception did not cover theming and design. Drupal 7: Creating and Editing Custom Themes with Chaz Chumley here in the lynda.com online training library covers these design techniques in detail and provides context helpful for all Drupal developers, not just designers. Finally, if you use Drupal, consider getting involved with the Drupal community.
Drupal.org facilitates local user group meetings, conferences on regional, national and international scales, and much more. If there's a particular module that you use on a regular basis and you find an issue or an enhancement, submit an issue to the project homepage. By providing feedback, module developers can learn from your experience. Anyone can contribute patches to projects, which will be reviewed by the module maintainers and attributed to you if used. Check out drupal.org/contribute to find ways to get involved to the Drupal community.
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