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Drupal Features: an Efficient Tool for Drupal Developers

By Opensourcearticles Subscribe to RSS | July 17th 2012 | Views:

The Drupal programmers can use the already existing database by taking a backup of it, upload the whole repository and once this is done the Drupal programmers can restore the database. By adopting this method a Drupal Programmer can develop a website in no time.

Drupal developers start experiencing obstacles only when they start adding more complex and sophisticated features to the website they have built. The Drupal programmers have to test keenly before the changes are made in the live site and at the same time the Drupal developers have to create a time-to-time guide with the details on making the new feature live. And depending on the data involved the Drupal developer involved in the development can decide the time required for the live site to be in maintenance mode to have control over damage.

As the Drupal programmers have stored all the entities, content and configuration of a sie in a single database it becomes a task for them to make changes, alter already present objects and add new features. To handle Drupal constantly keeps updating its plug-ins which enhances the efficiency of the platform.

Feature Module

The features module is utilized by Drupal programmers to capture and manage features in Drupal. A certain use-case can be satisfied by a Drupal programmer by using a feature which is a collection Drupal entities.

Drupal developers can collect configurations regarding Drupal core and contributed modules. These collected features can be used by Drupal programmers by exporting them to the code module which can be installed in a similar way to installing any other module to the site. Drupal programmers can also use the User Interface provided by the module to manage all the features.

Advantages of Feature Module

• Configurations can be exported from various modules, including Views, Panels with CTools export API intergrated.

• From variables table using the Strongarm support Drupal developers can export configurations.

• The code can contain the configuration.

• Possibility to add custom code to each feature module created.

• Version control management of configurations.

• Much easier and quicker to deploy updated/new features.

These advantages have excited Drupal developers and Drupal programmers from all around the world and it has made developing Drupal sites into a an effortless task to a great extent.

Anomalous Behavior of the Module

Before developing a Drupal site, a Drupal developer has to understand the oddities that past Drupal programmers have faced and unless these differences are understood a Drupal developer cannot develop a properly working Drupal site.

The first oddity noticed was that the already enabled features were getting automatically updated without asking for permission from the Drupal developer or the site administrator. This can be tackled by frequently checking if new modules that are needed by the feature are uploaded properly.

Another surprising characteristic of this feature is that disabling a Feature might remove certain settings from the global options. When such an error happens it becomes a tedious task for the Drupal developers to first find out the bug in such a huge process. This can be tackled by testing individual modules after every time a feature is disabled.

Drupal programmers found yet another anomaly when Features which had only dependencies were not shown in the Features admin page. This has to be remembered by all Drupal Developers when coding a Drupal site as it will not be considered as an error when one of the used Features are not available in the admin page.

Multiple Ways of Using Features

Features are not the complete solution for inconsistencies in configurations and settings but it gives a better control to the Drupal programmers. There is more than one way of using Features and according to each Drupal developer’s vision it can be handled.

Opensourcearticles - About Author:
DCKAP with its extensive expertise has been at the forefront of offering services in Drupal development. We have experienced Drupal Developers and Drupal Programmers team with onsite and offsite support. Our expert team of Drupal developers provides end-to-end services in Web development.

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