Drupal 9

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Drupal 9: Entity Bundle Classes

2nd January 2022 - 21 minutes read time

Drupal 9.3.0 came with a new feature called entity bundle classes. This allows more control of entity bundles within Drupal and provides a number of benefits over the previous mechanism of using hooks to control everything.

Drupal makes extensive use of entities to manage content and configuration. User details, pages of content and taxonomy terms just a few of the things that are represented in a Drupal site as content entities. Different types of similar configuration are called configuration entities, which would include things like text format settings or even date formats.

Content entities are normally fieldable, and in the case of content types and taxonomy terms Drupal allows users to generate their own variants. These different variants of entities are called bundles. Entities define the types of objects found in a Drupal site, bundles represent the different sub-types of these entities.

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Drupal 9: Using And Adding oEmbed Providers

12th December 2021 - 12 minutes read time

Drupal has had the ability to use oEmbed in core since version 8.6.0. It was included along with the other media changes that went into core in that version. 

I have used some of the Drupal core oEmbed functionality to include YouTube videos into content, but I've never dug deeper to see what else I could do with it. Although Drupal comes with Vimeo and YouTube services available there are many more services to include, you just need to enable them.

In this article I will show what oEmbed is, how to use it out of the box, and then how to add more services to your system.

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Drupal 9: Removing The Summary From The Body Field

21st November 2021 - 21 minutes read time

I'm not a fan of the summary option on body fields in Drupal. I've never really got on with how users interact with it or the content is produces.

The field type I'm talking about is called "Text (formatted, long, with summary)" and it appears as an add-on summary field to a normal content editor area. It comes as standard on Drupal installs and appears on all body fields. The field type has it's uses, but I often find that the content it produces is unpredictable and doesn't have a great editing experience. I have even written articles in the past about swapping the summary field to a fully fledged wysiwyg area for Drupal 7, which worked on the project I implemented it on.

Let's look at the body summary field in Drupal and see why I have a few problems with it.

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Drupal 9: Loading All Routes From A Module

17th October 2021 - 14 minutes read time

When creating Drupal modules I like to keep the hard coded components to a minimum. This helps when changing parts of the module in the future as hard coded links and other elements will require manual intervention and slow down maintenance. Sometimes, though, this isn't an option as you just need to have a few routes in your *.routing.yml file that point to controllers or forms within your module.

I had a situation today where I was looking to load all of the routes that are contained in a module. I could then construct a page of links that would handily point to different parts of the module or feed those links into a sitemap. This meant that I wouldn't need to hard code this list into a controller, I just needed to load all the routes and print that list out instead. Especially handy if I ever added or removed a route as that would mean that list would update without me having to do it manually.

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Drupal 9: Stubbing API Modules For Fun And Profit

22nd August 2021 - 21 minutes read time

If you've been building websites sites for a while you will realise that no site lives in isolation. Almost every site you build integrates with some form of API, and this is especially the case for the more enterprise sites where data is often synchronised back to a CRM system or similar. Drupal's hook and service architecture means that you can easily build integration points to that API to pull in data.

Pulling in data from an API into a Drupal site means installing an off the shelf module or creating a custom module to provide the integration. What route you go for depends on the integration, but for enterprise sites the API is quite often very custom to the business. I have even seen APIs being built at the same time as the site that it needs to integrate with, which is especially the case for startups and new businesses.

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Drupal 9: An Introduction To Services And Dependency Injection

15th August 2021 - 23 minutes read time

Drupal 8 and 9 are built upon services, with many parts of the system available through dependency injection, so it's important to understand the concepts. Services are a way to wrap objects and use dependency injection to produce a common interface. They are powerful and are used all over Drupal to do pretty much everything.

They can, however, be a little difficult for newcomers to the system to understand, especially if they are coming from Drupal 7 or other non-object oriented systems. When you look at some Drupal source code you are likely to see objects being created out of apparent thin air. It's a little hard to know where they come from if you aren't used to the how they work.

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Drupal 9: Selecting Machine Names For Content Entities And Fields

1st August 2021 - 26 minutes read time

Naming things is hard[citation needed] and there are a lot of things that you can name when configuring a Drupal site. Picking the right machine names for the different parts of Drupal can make your life easy in the long run. Changing labels is simply a case of tweaking the label in the interface, or through configuration updates. The issue is that once you decide on a machine name for something in Drupal it's pretty much set in stone forever.

The machine names you pick are often used in database tables, paths, interface elements and pretty much anywhere it is used. Changing entity or field machine names at a later date is difficult and can mean writing complex code or using migrations to achieve.

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Drupal 9: Configuring Drupal To Be An Identity Provider With SimpleSAMLphp

25th July 2021 - 15 minutes read time

I have previously talked about configuring a Drupal site to authenticate against a remote SimpleSAMLphp install, but as Drupal is an excellent user management system I wanted to turn it around and use Drupal as the identity provider. This means that Drupal would allow users to log into other systems using their Drupal username and password by leveraging the power of SimpleSAMLphp.

This can be accomplished by wrapping the Drupal site and SimpleSAMLphp together along with a couple of modules to power the communication between the two systems.

The same terms apply as I described in the previous post, but to reiterate their meaning in this context I will go over them again.

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Drupal 9: Configuring Drupal To Authenticate Against A Remote SimpleSAMLphp Identity Provider

18th July 2021 - 20 minutes read time

I have previously talked about installing SimpleSAMLphp using composer, so the next step is setting up the system to actually provide authentication against a SimpleSAMLphp system. As I spend a lot of time using Drupal I wanted to set up the authentication with Drupal and SimpleSAMLphp in order to see how things worked.

First, let's define a couple of terms that are important to this setup.

SP - Service Provider - This is the system that users are trying to log into, which in this setup is Drupal. The Drupal site is providing a 'service' and as such users want to authenticate with it. Service providers will generally create a local user to track the user within the site, although that's not always the case.

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Drupal 9: Creating A GET Form

4th July 2021 - 15 minutes read time

I've been building Drupal forms for a number of years so I'm quite familiar with to putting together a Drupal form using the FormBase class and the form API. When I attempted to create a GET form this week I realised that there is actually quite a bit to think about. All forms are build using GET requests, it's the submission that I am specifically talking about. By default, forms in Drupal use POST requests to submit their data, and although it is possible to convert a form to use GET to submit data, it isn't well documented.

There are a couple of GET forms already available in Drupal. If you look at the Views filter form or the Search form they both process submissions through a GET request. These forms tend to use a combination of a form, a hook and a controller to manage their rendering and results. What I wanted was an example of a GET form that was more self contained inside a Drupal form object.