This question can be too ambiguous but i think many new drupal users face this difficulty like me.

There are many blogs which says that Drupal is a CMF and we can use it for making Web Application rather then using it like Wordpress for articles and pages.

For the sake of example lets say i have to make a task management system with a specific Application style UI and features. If i would have to make it by custom programming i would be making tables for tasks, users, task_attachments, clients and so on and will make relations accordingy.

My question is how we can do all this stuff in Drupal? Nodes are for content and i would not go for nodes to achieve this. The other thing is Entity but How one can properly utilize Entities. If i have to list all tasks for a specific user, If a user want to update a status of his task or attach some file, If its a team and other team members should also be allowd to post updates on tasks. These are the common application scenarios that we usually make in this kind of application.

If someone provide a brief workflow then it would be a great effort for helping beginners like me to use Drupal as a developer rather than doing a data entry job by installing modules and copying content , images.

There is a good example erpal.info but its too advanced for me at this level to jump into it. but a mini erpal would be great.

Thanks Alot.


Your questions are somewhat vague but I'll provide some examples:

  1. For instance I have a site that from a CSV file allows certain visitors emailed access keys to access a Webform and its tracked via a custom Node that has an embedded field collection and this relationship + status is tracked via a Relation. I use the Migrate module to add or update allowed visitor information from the CSV.

I use the Webform API, EntityFieldQuery's and drupal hooks to do my webapp business logic. Drupal core and contrib modules provide additional APIs. I use Views Send for bulk emailing.

  1. I have another form site for class reviews for a campus. I use Migrate to pull $form structure info from a 3rd party survey database and then use a custom drupal entity and the drupal Form API to build a custom form from remote data. The remote database has a custom schema for say: Question, Options, Question position in Form, Form ID, etc ... it gets converted into a drupal $form array with some simple PHP in a Migration class. Again I use Relation to track what the student has completed between a uid and a nid. I use the drupal authorization mechanisms such as authmaps to integrate our local LDAP server.

  2. On another site students should fill out like 10 content types after login. I use hook_menu_alter and a cookie to assure a student has Opted-In daily to EULA's for uploaded content. Then I use the core Form API to link 10 node edit forms on submission from 1 to another. Creating a kind of workflow for the student.

There are numerous times where knowing the Drupal contributed modules that help you create business logic, such as: Rules, Triggers, Rules Link, Maestro and WorkBench all help you create types of business logic.

Modules like References, Relation, Field Collection, Paragraphs let you create "embedded relationships". Mix and match as you need.

... I got tired of linking contrib modules :P

  • Nice Examples. So the relation works the same as we make relations in databases by foreign keys ? – user38296 Nov 11 '14 at 9:59
  • not exactly. if a table has a FK in a legacy application using the Relation module you'd make a Relation (entity) to describe it. No FKs are added to the User or Node tables for example. It's a developer module, you may like EntityReference better. – tenken Nov 11 '14 at 22:09

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