The Drupal CMS is a powerful platform for building websites and often the need arises to import data into your CMS in bulk such as product data, or company listings, etc.  For this, the Drupal Feeds module is a great tool.  But what if you need to get your data OUT of Drupal?  Luckily there’s the Views Data Export module which provides an easy way to export existing data out of Drupal and into some common file formats.

Use Case

Our client had imported some data into a distributor database that we had built as part of their website.  The initial data was imported using the Feeds module but then over time, the client had made edits and changes to the data using the Drupal admin interface.  In the weeks leading up to the site’s launch, the client asked whether we could provide the data back to them in a spreadsheet so that they could easily assess whether they had the correct data, and be able to make any modifications, and then re-import it.  The Views Data Export module was the perfect tool for the job.

How to Use it

First, download the module from here and install into your Drupal site.

Next, create a “View” containing the content types and fields for the data that you would like to export.  For example, in our case we wanted to export a database of distributors and the related field data such as name, address, phone, website, etc. When the module is installed, a new tab will appear within the admin area for Views called “Data Export” and it’s here where you can select the fields to be exported and the various settings to be used:


Choose your content fields, and the sort options, and the output type (.CSV, JSON, .TXT, etc.) and then set the path (e.g. ‘/storeexport‘ in this case) for running the export, and then save your view.

Then, to run your export, you can simply invoke the site via a url set in the path such as http://[yoursite URL]/storeexport (this happened to be the path that we defined in our example)  and your browser will either display or prompt to download the file that was exported.

Although there are several methods available for exports, we found the Views Data Export module to be a simple to use and fast way to get data out of a Drupal CMS installation.