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I'm working on a site I inherited that has a functioning hook_views_data_alter() implementation. I can see things in the Views editor that it has added. However, I cannot figure out how on earth to get that function to be called again so I can change the data. I am running xdebug with a breakpoint in the function body, and nothing I do, from editing a view, to adding a relationship, to clearing the cache or rebuilding the registry, trips that breakpoint. Not even putting module_invoke_all('views_data_alter'); in index.php. What do I need to do to get Drupal to run that hook again?

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    Do you have caching enabled for this view (under advanced tab)? In which module/template does this hooks_views_data_alter function reside? – longboardnode May 26 '16 at 2:40
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    Those hooks implementations are normally put in a MYMODULE.views.inc file; module_invoke_all('views_data_alter'); doesn't do anything because the file containing the hook needs to be first loaded. – kiamlaluno May 26 '16 at 7:13
  • @longboardnode: No, no caching on the view. Yes, the hooks are in my custom module's .views.inc file, and I know that file is being read (xdebug tells me that)... I just can't figure out what action I need to do for the functions to actually be executed. Weird! – John Alexander May 26 '16 at 16:06
  • @longboardnode, no dice with _views_fetch_data_build(). I also emptied those two tables; no luck there either. One really important question is, what front-end action would ordinarily cause those functions to execute? If all were working right, what URL would I have to hit to invoke them? Maybe I'm just not doing the right action. – John Alexander May 27 '16 at 0:57
  • @JohnAlexander actually I just deleted my comment because I think Kiamlaluno's comment is more accurate. How is your views.inc file loaded? – longboardnode May 27 '16 at 0:58
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In case anyone else is making the same mistake I was, here's the answer.

  1. First of all, hook_views_data() will not ever, ever be called if you put it in yourmodule.module. It has to be in yourmodule.views.inc.
  2. You should probably implement hook_views_api() to tell Drupal where your yourmodule.views.inc file resides. Do so like this:

function yourmodule_views_api($module = NULL, $api = NULL) { return array( 'api' => '3.0', 'path' => drupal_get_path('module', 'yourmodule') . '/includes/views', ); }

This tells Drupal that yourmodule.views.inc can be found at /yourmodule/includes/views/yourmodule.views.inc. If you don't use hook_views_api(), put the .inc file in the same folder as your .module file.

Once you have this set up, yourmodule_views_data() will be called when you clear the caches.

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    The Draggableviews module contains an example of hook_views_data_alter being called within a .module file. The breakpoint can be tripped when rebuilding the cache through the UI. Clearing it through drush, as I was doing, executed the code but didn't trip the breakpoint (with my xdebug setup anyhow). – manafire May 6 at 14:23

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