Using One Datastore for Content Across Many Sites and Apps (JSON feed to Drupal Module)


Suppose you have a data that you wish to have available and editable on multiple sites and on smart phone apps? Consuming RESTful JSON web services around a central datastore is one solution. This is the solution that we decided on for our staff bios and lists for the over 150 Drupal websites that make up the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center. 

A single staff member can be a member of multiple organizations within the Academic Health Center including schools, laboratories, centers, and hospitals. Rather than have a separate local store of the bio information on each site, we created a system for storing bio information in a central datastore. Now one update can serve all the places that the bio need to be updated. 

The bio information is accessible via a RESTful JSON feed consumed by a Drupal module installed on each site that renders the data according to a template themed for it.  The JSON feeds can also be used to populate a phone app directory and to share data with organizations such as University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Heath Services, which also employ some of the same staff members.

This session will go over the basic architecture of constructing such a system and go into specifics on the construction of the Drupal modules that consume the JSON web services and display the bios.

Session Track

Site Building

Experience Level


Drupal Version