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Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)

From: Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

Video: Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)

In the Drupal Essential Training course from lynda.com, we learned how to add content to a site using Drupal's two basic Content types, that is, Story and Page. We also saw how to enable the other three that are included with Drupal's core download: Forums, Posts, and Blogs. But one of Drupal's big advantage is that it let's you create your own Content types with as many fields as you like, in any order you like, and with certain display features that will help present your information better. In this video, we'll show you how to do that using a Module called Content Construction Kit, or it's almost always called and as we'll call it throughout the course, CCK. But first let's review what CCK is.

Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)

In the Drupal Essential Training course from lynda.com, we learned how to add content to a site using Drupal's two basic Content types, that is, Story and Page. We also saw how to enable the other three that are included with Drupal's core download: Forums, Posts, and Blogs. But one of Drupal's big advantage is that it let's you create your own Content types with as many fields as you like, in any order you like, and with certain display features that will help present your information better. In this video, we'll show you how to do that using a Module called Content Construction Kit, or it's almost always called and as we'll call it throughout the course, CCK. But first let's review what CCK is.

If you create a Content type without CCK, you're pretty much stuck with the two fields that Drupal provides, that is the Title and the Body, along with any fields made available by contributed Modules. By adding CCK, you can create Content types with multiple arbitrary custom fields. These Content types are the templates from which you create nodes and the nodes contain the actual data for your site. I know that's a bit confusing right now, but it will become clear as we do it over the next few videos. Here's an example though. You might create a Content type called Person that includes separate fields for first names, last names, birth dates, and so on.

In fact, this is part of the example, we'll use throughout the course. Then to add a person to your Drupal site, you would click on the Create Content link and then you would select the Person Content type that you just created. That will bring up a new screen where you fill in a form based on that template you created when you created the Person template form. When you fill in that form, you'll have your new node and it will have information in all of those fields that you specified: first name, last name, and so forth. So you have gone beyond that simple Title and Body paradigm. If you were then to add any new fields to that Content type after you have added some data, all nodes that you already created of that type will have simply blank spaces in them for the new fields.

You could fill in those fields later if you like. However, if you delete any fields in a Content type, you'll also delete all of the information in every node of that Content type. CCK is important to Drupal. It's so useful that it's become the second most popular Drupal Module, second only to the other Module we'll be examining in detail in this course, Views. If you would like to see those statistics, you can see them at drupal.org/project/usage. Both the CCK and the Views Modules were introduced in 2005 and they really changed the way that Drupal is used. Both of them are included as part of Acquia Drupal which is a commercially supported version of Drupal that's available from acquia.com.

When Drupal 7 comes out, which will be either in late 2009 or early 2010, CCK's functions will be built into the core download so you won't need to install the Module separately. I expect it will work almost exactly the same though, so the instructions you get in this video should work just fine with very little modification. Keep an eye on upcoming videos from lynda.com and my website at tomgeller.com for help when that happens. But assuming you are working with Drupal 6 as I am, you will first have to download and install the Module. As with all Modules, you'll find it at drupal.org/project/, followed by the name of the project, in this case, CCK.

We're going to go and download and install the CCK Module. To do so go to drupal.org/project/cck. Scroll down a little bit. And then download the most recent version for your version of Drupal. In our case, since we're using 6, we'll download this one. Save that. It comes down very quickly. Go back to the Finder. Double-click on it to open it up. Now uncompressed as the CCK folder, I'll go to where I have Drupal installed, which in my case is in the Sites folder, in lynda. Go to the sites folder, to All. And I've already created a folder here called modules. If you haven't done this, you'll have to do that as well. Open that up, and then just drop that folder in. And you can close these windows if you like.

Now I'll go back to my site. All the Modules in CCK are contained in this section up at the top labeled CCK, and there are quite a few of them. We'll talk about many of them as we go along, but for right now we're only going to turn on two: Content and Text. The Content one is necessary to use CCK. It's basically the core part of CCK. Text let's you create the fields that contain simple text information. We'll then scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save configuration. And there, CCK is installed. That's the basic theory behind the Content Construction Kit and how to install it.

Now let's move on and actually create a Content type with some custom fields. Once that's done, we'll have everything we need to eventually start manipulating how these fields are presented on your Drupal site.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data
Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

50 video lessons · 11275 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Reviewing requirements
      3m 35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      3m 11s
    4. Touring examples of data visualization
      4m 58s
  2. 27m 56s
    1. Planning data structure
      8m 26s
    2. Importing and manipulating data
      6m 40s
    3. Looking at Drupal's database
      6m 13s
    4. Deciding whether to store personal data as nodes or users
      6m 37s
  3. 1h 13m
    1. Understanding the Content Construction Kit (CCK)
      4m 57s
    2. Creating new content types with CCK
      7m 26s
    3. Hiding the Body field
      2m 46s
    4. Reflecting CCK field data in the Title field
      7m 28s
    5. Managing CCK field placement
      7m 34s
    6. Exploring CCK's other features
      8m 22s
    7. Using other CCK field types
      3m 25s
    8. Adding date information as a CCK field
      8m 43s
    9. Including images as CCK fields
      10m 23s
    10. Connecting content to existing nodes
      5m 58s
    11. Using taxonomies to categorize and group data
      5m 59s
  4. 53m 54s
    1. Understanding why views are useful
      6m 12s
    2. Using SimpleViews to create basic content views
      5m 49s
    3. Diving into the Views interface
      11m 16s
    4. Adding fields to a view
      7m 12s
    5. Understanding iconic controls in the Views interface
      7m 15s
    6. Surveying the Sort, Filter, and Field options in Views
      5m 40s
    7. Adding view displays as pages, blocks, and RSS feeds
      10m 30s
  5. 43m 34s
    1. Overriding default settings on view displays
      8m 56s
    2. Attaching more information to views
      10m 57s
    3. Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
      9m 20s
    4. Surveying other basic display settings in Views
      11m 3s
    5. Altering a view's appearance through CSS
      3m 18s
  6. 55m 8s
    1. Importing, exporting, and cloning views
      6m 9s
    2. Controlling access to views
      7m 19s
    3. Learning from built-in views
      5m 52s
    4. Creating views that aren't based on nodes
      10m 6s
    5. Extending views with arguments
      10m 17s
    6. Extending views with relationships
      7m 2s
    7. Going further with relationships
      8m 23s
  7. 46m 40s
    1. Understanding geographic data
      4m 26s
    2. Setting up the Location module
      16m 20s
    3. Entering geographic data with the Location module
      10m 10s
    4. Displaying basic maps with the GMap module
      6m 43s
    5. Integrating the GMap module with Views
      9m 1s
  8. 54m 21s
    1. Exporting data in tabular form
      11m 25s
    2. Planning with the calendar modules
      11m 31s
    3. Using the Charts module and Google Charts
      7m 11s
    4. Graphing data with Open Flash Chart
      4m 50s
    5. Making important data pop out with tag clouds
      7m 46s
    6. Putting it all together in an attractive package
      11m 38s
  9. 36s
    1. Conclusion
      36s

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