Customize Tripal

Tripal provides pages for a variety of content types from Chado. These include organism pages, feature pages, stock pages, analysis pages, etc.  There are several ways in which a page created by Tripal can be customized.  Each Tripal page consists of two primary sections, a table of contents sidebar and a content section where panes are displayed.  As a user clicks the links in the sidebar the pane is replaced with the appropriate content.   You have freedom to alter existing panes, add new panes or to add external links to the sidebar.  The following describes several options for performing these tasks:

To create custom panes for data in Chado:

  1. Edit a pane's corresponding template file.  You should do this if you want to change the way an existing pane looks, such as the type and quanity of data presented. 
  2. Create a new template file for adding a new custom.  This can be done in one of two ways:
    • ​​Create a new module where all of your customizations are held.  This is the perferred method if you plan to create custom pages and novel functionality that is specific only to your site and which, perhaps, would never be shared with anyone else.  
    • Create new template files and place them in your theme directory.   You can use Drupal hooks inside of your theme's template.php file to integrate your new templates.

Any of the above changes requires knowledge of PHP and familiarity with the Tripal API and the Tripal Developers Handbook (a section of this Guide).

To add content that is not biologically oriented (and hence not in Chado):

  1. Use Drupal fields to add a simple external link to the Table of Content sidebar
  2. Use Drupal fields to add a new pane (with a link in the sidebar).

This is probably the easiest way to add new content to Tripal pages. However Drupal fields do no integrate with data in Chado.  Therefore, if you need to creaet custom panes that includes data from Chado you'll need to try one of the methods above.

Other Customizations

It is also possible to create custom search pages as well as add additional tables to Chado for data that may not be easily housed using existing tables.  The following sections provide details needed to perform any of these customizations.