This articles describes how the Desk-Net module for Drupal exchanges data between the two systems.
For setting up the module and connecting Desk-Net and Drupal please refer to the post dedicated to the setup.
Desk-Net and Drupal can exchange data in both directions. The system in which the story originates will determine the direction of the data exchange:
- Planned stories: Data flows from Desk-Net to Drupal
- Breaking news and other non-planned stories: Data flows from Drupal to Desk-Net
Use Case 1: Planned stories originating in Desk-Net
These types of stories are typically planned and coordinated with Desk-Net.
Once a story has been entered in Desk-Net, most of the story's data is immediately transferred to Drupal. This immediate transfer can be restricted to certain status levels. If the story is not assigned to one of the triggering status levels no transfer will be initiated.
For example, you may want story data to transfer only after it reaches Draft status.
In Drupal the module automatically creates an article.
Now an editor can access the article, edit it and publish.
Use Case 2: Breaking news and other stories originating in Drupal
In some cases, you may need to publish an article without first planning in Desk-Net (e.g., breaking news).
When you publish these stories with Drupal, the module ensures they appear in your Desk-Net story lists. This way, your story lists are kept current no matter where the story originated.
Scope of data exchange
After data is transferred in either direction, certain types of data will be synchronized between the two systems. This means that future changes to either system will be reflected in the other.
The module synchronizes the following data:
- Story description
- Assigned user
About 1. Story Description
If the story originates in Desk-Net, the story description will be the default title in Drupal. Subsequent changes to either the title in Drupal or to the story description in Desk-Net will not sync.
However, a hard-coded version of the story description from Desk-Net is displayed on the article page in Drupal, ensuring the user always sees the current description.
If the story originated in Drupal its title is sent to Desk-Net as the story description.
About 2. Status
Status levels are instantly synced between Drupal and Desk-Net*.
Users typically use more status levels in Desk-Net than in Drupal (which uses only Published and Unpublished). For this reason, the module allows you to map multiple status levels on one side to just one on the other.
For example, stories in Proposal or Accepted status level in Desk-Net can both reflect as Unpublished in Drupal.
The Desk-Net status level is displayed further below on the article edit page in Drupal.
*You may define which status levels do NOT trigger a data export, which will prevent them from syncing.
About 3. Categories / Tags
As with status levels, you can match Desk-Net categories with Drupal tags.
Multiple categories in Desk-Net can be matched with a single tag in Drupal and vice versa.
About 4. Assigned User
Users are automatically matched based on their email addresses.
When a story assignment is passed from Desk-Net to Drupal, the module checks for a Drupal user with the same email. If the module finds a match, the article is assigned to that user.
Articles originating in Drupal and passing data to Desk-Net work the same way.
About 5. URLs
Desk-Net sends one URL to Drupal and receives two.
URL sent from Desk-Net to Drupal:
- URL to story in Desk-Net: Below the article body, the link "View in Desk-Net" below the story description takes the user straight to the story in Desk-Net.
Drupal URLs in Desk-Net:
- URL to article in Drupal: This link takes the user straight to the editing form of the article in Drupal.
- URL to article on the website powered by Drupal: This is the URL to the article on the Drupal-powered website.
The two Drupal URLs received by Desk-Net can be accessed in two places:
- Story lists: Hovering over a story entry opens a contextual layer. On the left part of the layer there are links to the article in Drupal and to the article on the Drupal-powered website.
- On the Detailed Entry form: Hovering over the platform name opens a contextual layer with the two links.
About 6. Content
Desk-Net users can enter text and upload media files to their assignments in Desk-Net.
This content is automatically transferred to Drupal.
Depending on the module settings, files are either sent
- Only to the Media Library in Drupal, or
- To both the article's body AND the Media Library.
Text is always sent straight to the article's body.
Content is not currently transferred in any way from Drupal to Desk-Net. However, this is planned for future versions of the module.
End of data exchange
The data transfer stops completely or partially as soon as one of the following conditions has been met:
- The article is in Published status in Drupal: In this case, Desk-Net no longer updates the article's body. I.e. it no longer adds text, picture files, etc.
- The story’s Desk-Net status level has been set to not trigger the export of data to Drupal.