Using Feeds Module to Import from Non-Drupal Web Applications

Session Category Site-Building Room 159 Audience Intermediate Time Slot Sat 3:00pm to 3:45pm (2/18/23)

Often when building a Drupal web application as a redesign of a non-Drupal site, there is a need to preserve, export and import the existing data, relationships within that data, as well as user accounts.   

The Feeds and Feeds Tamper module can be utilized, along with SQL query skills, to successfully accomplish this migration.  There are several concepts to keep in mind when using these tools in order for existing data model relationships to be preserved and migrated into the new Drupal site’s content model. There are some time saving strategies to help keep the new data within Drupal associated back to the original data model and values.

This session will provide lessons-learned from migrating various site data both from databases and flat files.  There are concepts to factor into the process, such as:

  • the order in which the content type datasets are imported,
  • preserving user id numbers (if desired),
  • preserving one-to-many or many-to-many relationships (entity references) from the source system into Drupal,
  • the value of preserving historic id values from the source system,
  • refreshing previously-loaded data to apply new fields or update existing data values
  • organization and source control of the feed import files 

For this session will include a live demonstration, using a small PHP web application and demo database (4 tables). Demonstration will show the data import into a Drupal 9 redesign of the PHP website.

About the Speaker

Ellen Jones


Kelso, TN

Ellen has been developing websites since the mid 1990s and creating applications in Drupal since 2015. Her software development career extends much further back into her high school years.

She has experience developing software in a wide range of environments including governmental, commercial, aerospace, educational and scientific organizations.

She received a B.S. degree in Computer Science and has utilized this degree and her strong analytical skills to gain experience in a wide realm of organizations, including NASA, The Weather Channel, and most recently, 8 years at the Alabama Supercomputer Authority. It was at ASA that she saw the opportunity to convert several existing PHP/MySQL web applications into Drupal. 

After this first experience, she was hooked on using the power of Drupal to create web applications that not only provided a good UX, but had the power of extending their functionality to make simple websites into multi-functional web applications.

Ellen is recent a graduate of the 12-week DrupalEasy “Drupal Career Online” course. She utilized this course to expand on her skills and strengthen areas she was not as experienced.

She has recently decided to pivot within her career to move out of a full-time corporate position and pursue independent work.

When not heads-down in web development, Ellen enjoys traveling with her dogs in her camper van, visiting family throughout the country, monthly “Bunco” parties with close friends, and enjoying life with her husband on their Tennessee hilltop home and land.

Florida DrupalCamp 2024

Florida DrupalCamp 2024 will be held February 23-25th in beautiful Orlando, Florida!!!

Join us for three days of trainings, sessions, and contributions. Stay tuned for more info. 

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