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Drupal's database layer has undergone a major overhaul in Drupal 7 to take advantage of new and powerful features in PHP 5. The new system includes over a dozen new features, from a query builder in core to support for Master/slave replication. As with most major overhauls, however, that means API changes. This session will cover the challenges of database abstraction, Drupal's approach, and how to fully leverage the new system in your own code and sites.


Larry Garfield

Drupal 7 will feature a newly rewritten database layer providing improved database abstraction, portability, and scalability features. This session will cover the thinking and architecture behind the new layer, with an eye toward understanding how it fits into the larger scheme of high-performance Drupal sites. There will be some discussion of code, as well as words of advice for others looking to revamp one of Drupal's core systems.

There will be some code in this session, but you should not need to be a hard-core coder to follow it.


  • Database abstraction: Why it's hard and even an unsolvable problem.
  • The old Drupal approach, and why it's not good.
  • The new Drupal approach, and why it's awesome.
  • Leveraging the database on your own deployments.
  • Request for feedback on some of the more big-iron-targeted parts of the new feature set.
  • Recommendations for other core developers on how to (not) revamp Drupal subsystems.


After attending this session, you should have a good idea of ways to leverage the new, modernized database system for your own sites as well as how to go about making major changes to Drupal's infrastructure.


Knowing the basics of SQL servers before attending would be a good idea, for context.