One Entity per module?

3 replies [Last post]
Last seen: 10 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: 2011-02-28

Hello Chris,

I know you haven't started covering the use of Entities in you videos yet but i need to ask this question. Currently, I started building fairly complex module for Drupal 7 and I know that leveraging Entities is going to be essential for this project.

I was looking at one of the DrupalCon 2011 sessions that talked about writing modules for optimal performance. The presenters said that separating the parts of a large application into too many modules is going to make Drupal slower and that you should keep it to as less modules as possible.

When i started setting up the file structure for my application I realized i'm going to need to create at least 4 Entities. Usually you name your entity according to your module's name. But what if i have 4 entities specified in 1 module. The problem is that naming conventions start getting complicated.

My question is...

Is it possible / good practice to create multiple entities in 1 module?
...or should we specify 1 entity per module?

I'd appreciate any suggestions

Chris Shattuck
Last seen: 10 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 2009-08-16
This is a great question, my

This is a great question, my apologies for the delayed response. I plan on covering Entities before too long and will definitely explore this in the videos. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear if anyone has had experience with this as well.


Last seen: 10 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: 2011-02-28
Multiple entities can be specified in one module

I have seen some applications that are built with entities and multiple modules that work together (such as Commerce). Usually they define 1 entity per module.

I started writing a module and I can confirm that it is possible to specify multiple entities within one module.

Usually you see a "monkey.module" specify a "monkey entity" (for example). But what if a want to have a "animals.module" and specify different species (e. g. monkey, elephant, tiger, fish ...) as entities. It would look something like this.

 * Implements hook_entity_info().

function animals_entity_info() {
  return array(
    'monkey' => array(
      'label' => t('Monkey Entity'),
      'controller class' => 'MonkeyController',
      'base table' => 'monkey',
      'entity keys' => array(
        'id' => 'mid',
      'label callback' => 'monkey_label',
      'uri callback' => 'monkey_uri',
    'elephant' => array(
      'label' => t('Elephant Entity'),
      'controller class' => 'ElephantController',
      'base table' => 'elephant',
      'entity keys' => array(
        'id' => 'eid',
      'label callback' => 'elephant_label',
      'uri callback' => 'elephant_uri',
    // and you keep following this array structure to define the rest of the animal entities...

Jeje, this is just an example. The module i'm writing doesn't have anything to do with animals. I have to say that working with the Entity API and Entity module is really awesome. I'm looking forward to see those Entity videos. The cool thing is that most of the techniques we have learned through the Drupal 7 Core Concepts videos can be used for designing modules that make heavy use of Entities.

Chris Shattuck
Last seen: 10 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 2009-08-16
Awesome, obrignoni, thank you

Awesome, obrignoni, thank you for posting that! Glad to hear you're looking forward to the Entity API videos too. :)


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