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I have two channels: Program Areas and Stories. They need to be related in certain ways and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do that.

  • There are 10 Program Area entries
  • There are unlimited Story entries, which the user should be able to browse by category, and the 10 categories correspond to the 10 Program Area entries
  • On every Program Area entry, a few related Story entries should be listed. For example, the 2 most recent.
  • The Program Area pages themselves cannot simply be categories, but full-blown entries, with many fields including Matrix fields.

So I seem to have two options:

  1. Create a relationship between Program Areas + Stories. Problem: when the client creates a new Program Area entry, s/he will be confronted with a long list of Stories by title, with no regard to category. If there are 1,000 Stories, the client will have to remember which of those correspond to the new Program Area entry they are creating. There's no way to limit the relationship to a single category ON A PER-ENTRY BASIS. Am I wrong about this?
  2. Other option: create a set of categories with the same names as the Program Area entries, and assign them to both the Program Area entries and the Stories entries. Each category will have only a single Program Area entry assigned to it (and many Story entries). If the client wants to create a new Program Area entry, s/he will have to start be creating a new category, etc.

These seem to be my two options, and neither seems particularly elegant. Is there another way to do this--perhaps a relationships plug-in that allows me to pull, not individual related entries (like Playa and now native EE), but categories of entries? Thanks.

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Unless there's an editorial reason not to do so, you also could allow each Program Area to be assigned to a Story. In other words, in the Story entry, the author would choose from among the 10 Program Areas (rather than choosing Stories in the Program Area entries).

Then on the Program Area pages, you'd do the Reverse Related Entries* look-up for stories, and, e.g., limit it to two by entry date.

(* I think in the current Relationships field parlance, the Stories would be the parents of the Program Areas.)


I'm working on a similar order of relationships right now, where the issue is that I need full entries rather than categories--but I want those full entries to be used a lot like categories. There really is an absence of a perfect model for this kind of thing in EE--or in any of the major CMS, that I'm aware of.

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  • Jay, thanks, I hadn't though of that! – MDLG Sep 18 '13 at 22:21

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