Note: The maintainers of FeedAPI launched a successor project of feedAPI: Feeds.
FeedAPI is an extensible and configurable alternative to Drupal's core aggregator.
While virtually anything that needs to be parsed and downloaded to a Drupal web site could be done with FeedAPI, its most common configuration is RSS (Atom) aggregation to nodes.
In this configuration, FeedAPI will parse RSS feeds and turns the items within those "aggregated" RSS feeds into nodes. This opens up a plethora of new features that the Drupal core Aggregator Module's lightweight items cannot offer.
By turning RSS items into full-blown nodes, FeedAPI makes it possible for users to comment and/or vote on them, for example. These nodes can be extended with CCK or other modules to include image, video or dates fields -- and the FeedAPI Element Mapper module can then parse feed-item content directly into those fields. With Views, sitebuilders can have near-total control over the sorting and display of these RSS items, as opposed to the one-size-fits all approach that Aggregator offers.
In Drupal 5, FeedAPI also includes a "lightweight item" option. This option is modeled after the core aggregator. Feed items are aggregated to flat database records. The advantage over core aggregator here is to have FeedAPI's flexibility (to use for example a tailored Simple XML parser) while still running on a fast lightweight storage engine.
To get all this magic to work you'll need the following modules:
- FeedAPI does the heavy lifting of parsing the RSS-feed and providing an API for other modules.
- FeedAPI can use two different XML parsers: SimplePie (external library, RSS/Atom/RDF support, runs on PHP4/5, robust) and Common Syndication parser (SimpleXML based, RSS/Atom/RDF support, built into PHP5, less robust, faster).
- Feed Element Mapper will allow you to map individual parts of each RSS-item to either a taxonomy or a CCK-field. (optional)
- CCK and some of its fields can be used. Currently there are mappers for EM-Fields (movie and image), Date and ImageField/FileField available or in progress. (optional)
- Drupal's core Taxonomy module can be used to categorize the RSS items automatically as the are imported. (optional)
- Views is needed to provide an easy listing of all items pulled in from a given feed. (optional)
This feature is only available in Drupal 5.
To set up lightweight items, install the FeedAPI Aggregator module and activate the FeedAPI Aggregator processor on your content type configuration page.