Features (my cheatsheet)

The Features module is great. I think. Sometimes it seems too good to be true… usually it just is good though.

One can build a site in one’s local Drupal installation, and then piece by piece export its definition to a feature module that can be put under version control and deployed to other sites in one fell swoop. Start with:

drush fe --version-set=7.x-0.1 --destination=sites/all/modules/custom/featurename featurename components

where featurename is the new module’s name and components is the first thing to export (usually a content type). From then, the destination can be left out, and the components definition is also pretty flexible at making it quicker to select which components to export (naming contentions, such as common prefixes, help with this). So, as the site progresses, export new components to the feature:

drush fe --version-increment featurename components

If a component that’s already been exported needs to be changed, just change it and then update the feature with:

drush fu --version-increment featurename

That’s about all there is to the construction phase. Stick the sites/all/modules/custom/featurename directory into a VCS. Then it’s deployment time…


Check the featurename module out to the staging site (in the custom directory still, just for clarity’s sake) and enable the module:

drush en featurename

That only needs to be done the first time; subsequent updates are just cycles of updating the code and reverting the feature (a note on the slightly-confusing terminology of Features: one reverts (fr) the site, or updates (fu) the code).

$ git pull origin master
$ drush fr featurename