I love the features the view provides in Drupal. Sortable tables, Filters, as well as ability to use external modules like views bulk export. My problem is that I want to display a separate database (Call this X), using views. What would be the best way to go about it?

To get around this problem in Drupal 6, I created a content type with all fields that were in Database X, then I created view for that content type by frontend. After that I used hook_pre_render_view() to push data from X to the view. Right now I want to achieve similar results in Drupal 8. I could use this same approach but it doesn't feel very Drupally. I was wondering if there is a better way to achieve this.

2 Answers 2


You can connect a external database inorderto let Drupal Know about it:

$databases['external']['default'] = array(
  'database' => 'custom_database',
  'username' => 'root',
  'password' => '',
  'prefix' => '',
  'host' => php_sapi_name() == 'cli' ? '' : 'localhost',
  'port' => '3306',
  'namespace' => 'Drupal\\Core\\Database\\Driver\\mysql',
  'driver' => 'mysql',

Then you can connect to that database:

* Switch to external db

* Get connection
$db = \Drupal\Core\Database\Database::getConnection();

Then do you stuff and don't footgrt to switch again to the standard database:

* Switch back

You can store your external database info into a content type programatically and the show in views.

  • Thank you, I am done with these steps. My biggest issue is what will be the best way to store external database into content type programatically, or if there is a way to bypass creation of content type and directly use views
    – Aves2432
    Apr 27, 2020 at 20:37
  • Here is a simple example: code$data = [ 'type' => 'my_content_type', 'title' => 'My new title', 'uid' => 1, 'field_my_field' => 'my field awesome value' ]; $node = Drupal::entityTypeManager() ->getStorage('node') ->create($data); $node->save();code
    – Alvaro dM
    Apr 27, 2020 at 21:27
  • Thank you I ended up following the same technique I used in Drupal 6
    – Aves2432
    Apr 29, 2020 at 15:22

You can by using the Views Database Connector module.

Views Database Connector is a powerful module that gives Views full access to external database tables found in the settings for your Drupal installation. With this module, you can setup a view around any table in any database configuration. This can be extremely useful to pull external data from a database to show to your users in a view.

See README.txt on how to use.

  • Thank you, module looks promising. I will keep it in mind when dealing with database and views in future. Right now, I just ended up doing the same thing I did in drupal 6
    – Aves2432
    Apr 29, 2020 at 15:24

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