Empowering Drupal 8 Content Editors with EVA: Attach All the Displays!

Code

Entity Views Attachment, or EVA, is a Drupal module that allows you to attach view displays to entities of your choosing. We used it recently on a project and loved it. You know it’s good because it has a no-nonsense name and an even better acronym. (Plus, the maintainers have taken full advantage of the acronym and placed a spaceman on the project page. Nice!)

 

 

Since the now-ubiquitous Paragraphs module provides the “paragraph” entity type, I figured these two will make good dancing partners.

Getting them to tango is simple enough. You create a paragraph bundle, target that bundle in the settings on an EVA view display, then arrange the view in the paragraph’s display settings. Voila – your view display shows up wherever you add this paragraph!

By attaching a view display to a paragraph entity and enabling that paragraph on a node’s paragraph reference field, you give your content editors the ability to place a view wherever they want within their page content. Better still, they can contextualize what they are doing since this all happens in the edit form where the rest of the node content lives. As far as I can tell, no other approach in the Drupal ecosystem (I’m looking at you Blocks and Panels) makes adding views to content this easy for your editors.

Case Study

The concept is pretty straightforward, but with a little cleverness it allows you to build some complex page elements. Let’s walk through an example. Consider the following design:

 

 

This mockup represents Sectionnodes and lists of Subpage nodes that reference them. In addition, the buttons links should point to the parent Section node. With a little elbow grease, we can build a system to output this with our friends EVA and Paragraphs.

Here’s how I’m breaking this down conceptually:

 

We have three things to build:

  1. A create a container paragraph bundle

  2. A child paragraph bundle with a Section entity reference field

  3. An EVA of subpages to attach to the child paragraph bundle

Building the Subpage EVA

As I mentioned before, Subpage nodes will reference Section nodes. With this in mind, we can build the EVA that lists subpages and expects a section node ID to contextually filter to subpages that reference that node.

Building the Section paragraph type

Next, we’ll create the Section paragraph type that will handle each grouping of a section node with its related subpages. The Section paragraph will have one field, an entity reference field limited to Section nodes, that gives us all the data we need from our section.

We’ll attach our EVA to this paragraph type and configure it to pass the referenced node’s ID as the contextual filter using tokens in the EVA settings. You will need to install the Token module to do this. Go to /admin/help/token to see all available tokens once installed. You need to grab the node ID through your entity reference field, so your token argument should look something like this:

[paragraph:field_node_reference:entity:nid]

We pass that token to our contextual filter, and we can tell our view to use that argument to create a link to the section node for our “View All Subpages” link. To do this, we’ll add a global text area to the view footer and check the “Use replacement tokens from the first row” checkbox. Then we’ll write some HTML to create a link. It’ll look something like this:

<a href="/node/{{ raw_arguments.nid }}">View all Subpages</a>

Building the Section List paragraph type

Lastly, we’ll create theSection List paragraph type. This only really needs a paragraph reference field that only allows the user to add Section paragraphs, but I also added a title field that will act as a header for the whole list.

Tip: Install Fences module to control your field’s wrapper markup. I used this here to wrap the title in <h2> tags.

We’re finished!

Now that everything is built, we can allow users to select the Section List paragraph type in a paragraph reference field of our choosing. A user adds aSection List, then adds Sections via the entity reference. It looks like this in the node edit form:

 

Do you have any cool ways you use the EVA module in your builds? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

John Kaeser
John Kaeser

Front-end Developer

John joined the Zivtech team in May 2014 as a Quality Assurance Intern and has since worked his way into a Front End Developer position. In his spare time he mostly finds himself engaging in miscellaneous nerdery or pursuing his not-yet-dead dream of becoming a rockstar. John received his bachelor’s degree in Media Studies & Production from Temple University in 2015.

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