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Database vs Block vs Plugin


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I have a database (no categories) set up to display records as articles. It's added to a page to make a simple directory of sorts and I'm happy with that for now.

I'd like to be able to mark certain records as Featured and promote them to display on the front page, *exactly as they do on the records-as-articles* page. 

This seems like an obvious choice for a feed plugin and it *almost* works except that it appears that feed plugins use the listing group template. I get errors if I try to use a different template group such as normal featured article template. I'm at a loss as to how to create a "listing" template that works as the 'records-as-articles' templates do, with the record image and content field particularly. 

I thought maybe a database block could be made to work, but since I'm already using the database on a Page elsewhere it's not available to use in a block. 

Is there a ready-made approach I'm missing? 

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Thank you for confirmation. I'll keep my eye out for feed code snippets I could use or repurpose. I often find bits that seem like they would work  but I think I'm missing necessary context. 

I know more documentation is coming and I look forward to learning and having examples where I can find them. I'm usually certain my questions have been answered already and it's mostly a matter of finding that topic (and recognizing the answer). :)

<section class='ipsType_normal ipsType_richText ipsType_break ipsSpacer_both' data-ipsTruncate data-ipsTruncate-size='7 lines' data-ipsTruncate-type='remove'>
		{{if $record->record_image}}
		<div class="cCmsRecord_image">
			<img class="ipsImage" src="{file="$record->record_image" extension="cms_Records"}">


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