EVA and Display Suite = content control

EVA, short for entity views attachment, and Display Suite – like Wu Tang vs The Beatles – is a great combo for getting diverse information on a page.  If you just want to see what it looks like and how it works http://www.bioconnector.virginia.edu/galaxy.  For those of you who like the video style learning here you are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9uq2ZOZNVw

Use case: We have a content type “Experts” that we want to link to the content type “tools” that they are adept with.  Tools  chosen during registration will then show their profile on the page and on their profiles there will be a link to their tools.

Screenshot of the layout with the attached view

Screenshot of the layout with the attached view

What we built: If you’ve used views attach in D6  the EVA concept should be pretty straightforward and the views attach tutorial here covers it pretty well.  As the name suggests EVA takes the broad level entity API as the starting point.  This gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of where we can use the EVA module.  By using an entity reference on the “Expert” content type we are able to create a select list for the end user.

Some of the basic aspects of EVA

Some of the basic aspects of EVA

Could you do this with a node reference… sure – but entity references are so mo betta!

entity reference in the content structure

entity reference in the content structure

Ok so you’ve got the entity reference in place, and the EVA view built… now you want to drop that view stylishly on the the page…  and because the good folks at EVA did things so well all you need to do is install Display Suite and your work is almost done.  The nice thing now is that all you need is to pick a layout and viola… you got pretty music ;)   I realize this is all pretty 101ish stuff, and that is the good news.  There’s really not much more you need.

A few other handy modules that made things pretty: Sweaver.  Some folks can’t stand this module…  I happen to love it for the basics of getting spacing and font sizes correct. Gallery Formatter with the Lightbox2 plugin handled the gallery in the content type – also positioned thanks to Display Suite.

Display suite 101

Display suite 101

What the editing user sees: and the last thing to note is what the user sees when they’re adding experts in to the site:

All the end user needs to know

All the end user needs to know

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One Response to EVA and Display Suite = content control

  1. The EVA module was exactly what I needed to create a crew call management system in which Episodes can be assigned to Television shows, in which active episode appear beneath a Television Content type.

    Created a far superior User Experience and one of the many, *many* reasons to love Drupal.