Introduction to the structure of Drupal 7

Categories Blog, Drupal

Today we will focus on making a basic introduction to the structure of Drupal to understand how content and different elements are structured initial form. Later we will go deeper into each of the elements for a better understanding. Drupal is well structured with different areas, different content and different structures but getting an extraordinary flexibility in all structures. More to the point, a basic list of the different elements of Drupal are as follows:

  • Nodes, content types and fields: Nodes are groups of content, entities, usually all have a title, content or body node, author, creation and modification date, etc. Although by fields (fields in Drupal 7 module Drupal 6 that in this version is built into the kernel) we can extend the data that this node can hold with, for example, labels, files, menu entries, categories of taxonomy, if comments are enabled or not, and any other fields you want to create. Each specific group of fields is called “content type”. For example, a typical page will have a title, a body of the page, a menu entry and little else. However, a blog like this has a title, entry body, summary, comments, author, creation date, labels … We can set mandatory or optional fields, multiple fields, etc.
  • Menus: The menus are used to create lists of links to different pages. Normally all pages have a main menu, which leads to the different sections of the web, but we can also create custom menus that can be placed in any area of Drupal by blocks.
  • Blocks: they are content units, boxes with HTML code inside. May actually contain anything and is the way that Drupal structure most of the information distributed when the page. Each page depending on your template is divided into different areas, usually header, left column, content, right column and footer, but can vary depending on the template used. The blocks can be placed in each of these areas to be visible on the page.
  • Taxonomies: are kind of categories, it is a way of organizing our classifying content. Taxonomies fixed function both to create content categories to create categories on the fly, in other CMS known as TAGS (labels). So with the same data structure we can solve two problems at once so totally unified.
  • Views: The views is another powerful tool in version 7 of Drupal comes as a module, the module views . This module allows you to create lists of different types of nodes and filter by criteria you want. These listings can modify them to look the way we want, getting a lot of flexibility of content, since it is not limited to lists of one kind of “nodes”, but we can use views to any node simultaneously.
  • Panels: Panels divide the contents of a web page in different areas, so that we can introduce a block or contained in each of these panels. It’s a good way to create and maintain current and dynamic pages.
  • Users and profiles: Drupal handles all users equally and each of them gives you a profile page. This profile page can include many fields as if it were nodes. We could put a map of geolocation, a description or bio user, using taxonomies, etc.

Although these features can be extended with modules, we can say that some of these components are provided by modules, but they are so widespread that are taken for granted and will be integrated into the core in future versions of Drupal.