Displaying external data on the fly with Views and CTools

Let's imagine that you have data from somewhere outside your Drupal website, and you would like to use this data inside your site, and that you can access that data through a web service (with an API). The Feeds module offers a solution for importing external content. But when we are dealing with a huge amount of data, and/or presenting up-to-date information is crucial, this approach might be inefficient because refetching large data sets is a time and CPU consuming task.

In this session, I would like to show how you can present external data in Drupal without actually storing it. The goal is, as always, to utilize standard Drupal tools -- and therefore I am presenting a solution based on Views and CTools. You will learn the concept of how to implement a Views query backend to create listings for your external content, and how to create the necessary CTools plugins (arguments, contexts, content types) to build the individual content pages through the power of Page Manager.

Drupal Developer Days 2012