Custom module development: an introduction to Drupal tools for PHP development

Some guidance about the Drupal tools and environment considerations when developing in PHP, to help when writing custom modules to extend your Developer Portal functionality.

The following sections provide an overview of the key automation tools and environment considerations for PHP development in the Developer Portal. For a complete list of Drupal tools, see Development tools overview on, however, note that you are not permitted to access the shell inside the Developer Portal containers.
  • You are not permitted to include any IBM® API Connect modules within any custom modules that you create. Also, directly editing any API Connect themes, modules, included modules, or Drupal core on the file system is not permitted or supported, as edited versions of these files are overwritten when a fix pack or iFix is installed.
  • All custom development is your responsibility. Although the use of custom modules and themes is supported, IBM API Connect do not provide support in their development or modification.

Devel, Devel Generate Kint, and Webprofiler development modules

The Devel, Devel Generate Kint, and Webprofiler modules are all packaged within the Devel module. These modules provide the following development support:
  • Devel - Helper functions for Drupal developers.
  • Devel Generate Kint - Accelerate development of your site or module by quickly generating nodes, comments, terms, users, and more.
  • Kint - Pretty print of variables with kint($my_var).
  • Webprofiler - Port of the Symfony WebProfiler Bundle as a Drupal module.
For more information, see Devel module on, and Devel on

Admin Toolbar module

The Admin Toolbar module improves the default Drupal Toolbar by transforming it into a drop-down menu, providing fast access to the administration pages. It also adds extra links to the Drupal icon on the admin toolbar to development tools such as flush all caches, run cron, and run updates.

For more information, see Admin toolbar module on

Examples for developers project

The Examples for Developers project aims to provide high-quality, well-documented API examples for a broad range of Drupal core functionality.

The project contains many modules that illustrate best practices for implementing Drupal core APIs. For example there are examples for Block, Cache, Config and Content Entity, Cron, Database API, Email, Events, Form API, Field, Field Permission, File, Hooks, Javascript, Node Type, Page, Pager, PHPUnit, Plugin Type, Queue, Simple Test, Stream Wrapper, Table Sort, Testing, and Tour.

For more information, see Examples for developers project on

Coding standards

The Drupal Coding Standards apply to code within Drupal and its contributed modules. For more information, see Coding standards on