I know that this has been asked several times with different variations, but I cannot seem to find an optimal solution, so here we go again:

I have a content type 'Parent' and a content type 'Child'. The relation between the two is one-to-many i.e. there is a field within the 'Parent' CT called 'children' which is of type 'Entity Reference' and allows for multiple values. Now, I want to create a view that will fetch 'Parent' nodes and for each resulting row I want to display the respective children nodes. Something like this:

    Parent 1
    - Child 1
    - Child 2
    Parent 2
    - Child 3
    - Child 4

Solutions I have found and explored so far:

1. Use a Relationship for the 'Child' nodes within the 'Parent' view

OK, I can now use the 'Child' node fields, but instead of having them grouped within the 'Parent' node row, I end up with one row per relationship and duplicate content

    Parent 1
    - Child 1
    Parent 1
    - Child 2

How should I remove the duplicate content?

1.1 Use a 'distinct' in query options. Naturally, it does not work, because distinct is applied to the whole row and since parent-child field tables are joined, each row IS actually distinct

1.2 Use aggregation. Again the desired result cannot be achieved, since by grouping by Parent nid I will only get the first Child node reference

1.3 Use module views_distinct. OK, this seems to do the job, but it breaks the pager and the results counter as processing is done after the respective view queries have been executed

2. Use a views_field_view, so that respective 'Child' nodes are fetched by a separate view (via Contexual filter) and embedded gracefully within the 'Parent' node row.

OK, this definitely does the job, and I get no duplicates since the child field tables no longer participate in the Parent view query, BUT:

  • it is not performance optimal
  • performance gets worse considering that my project has 30 different views (for different content types) that need to function similar to the 'Parent' view in this example
  • since I already have 30 "main" views, I would hate to create another 30 ones only to be used as field views for the "main" ones

3. Do the job manually: use a 'Global: Custom text' field, use the template "views-view-field--parents--nothing-1.tpl.php" and implement the whole logic there i.e. re-load the Parent node, get the Child node ids, load the Child nodes and print their desired fields. OK, this does the job too, BUT:

  • it is not exactly the "Drupal way" of coding against views
  • once again, there are performance issues since I bypass Drupal and load stuff on my own
  • once again, I will have to implement 30 template files named like "*nothing_1" for each of my views

So, my question is the following:

Is there a solution for this issue other than the ones that I mention here? If not, then which one should I choose and how to overcome its disadvantages?

1 Answer 1


You can fetch the 'Parent' nodes with their 'Children' nodes with the default functionality of views and without the use of Relationships, Aggregation or other modules.

The Steps Are:

  • Create a view of 'Parent' content type.
  • In the 'Fields' section add the field 'Content: Title' and the field 'Content: Children(Appears in: node:parent)'.
  • In the 'settings' of the 'Format' section select as 'Grouping field Nr.1' the 'Content: Title' field.
  • In the field 'Content: Children' select the display format that you want.
  • Finally 'Exclude' from display the 'Title' field.


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