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Building a Document Catalogue using Views and Control Records

The two fundamental building blocks for constructing a practical, dynamic and maintainable Document Catalogue in Drupal are Views and Control Records. By Views we mean instances of tables generated by the Drupal View module. The Control Records we refer to are created from a custom content page (appropriately named Record), which acts as a template, allowing us to achive the following achieve objectives:

  1. Meet our organisation's Document and Quality Management standards for document and record control.
  2. Provide a consistent document object for populating any number of linked Document Catalogues, in a consistent , managable and scaleable format.

There are other clever Drupal modules and methods we employ to make this ongoing project a fascinating exercise.


The additional modules we use to build our control records and catalogue are Quicktabs and Link. Quicktabs allowed us to partition all the control record fields into a single line in the Catalogue, and the Link module faciltated an easy method for connecting the Catalogue entries to both the internal document page as well as a document file where it exists.

The basic principles being applied are that an organisation determines:

Which standards and information needs to be included in the control record, then encapsulates those into the Record template. Taxonomy terms can be used to control fiield values, and the record can be expanded as additional requirements are determined.

All Records and Documents that require both Control and Tracking are identified and each matched with a Control Record. The Control Record stays with the associated Record or Document throughout its life-cycle (from planning, Draft, Production, Reviews and eventual archive). Even if the document is transformed in format, page or file type, or changes ownership or department, the Document record and it's ongoing Control and Tracking remains an easy execise.

Catalogues are also "Documents" that require their own control record. Documents can be tagged to identify one or several Catalogues that the should appear in.

The Master Catalogue, at the top of the Catalogue hierarchy, is special in that it should only contain Catalogues as entries.

Here is a sample Record page used in the WebTeam Catalogue to identify a Main Menu site document.


In our QualityHelp DCS, we have included the following fields in our Control Record, although these may modified to suit the standards and other requirements for any company.

Whilst there are a few steps that need to be followed to construct each of the catalogues, they are easy to maintain and populate once established. The additional beauty of the Views and Quicktab modules is that instances can be cloned to build new Catalogue.

Whilst still being populated and tested, readers may explore the concepts discussed by selecting the Catalogue item under Documents menu, or click on the following link:

Master Catalogue


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