I would like to add a dynamic select field where options change from time to time. New options will be added along with old options in future. I know i can add form element using hook_form_alter and save values using node api in custom table created using install file of a module.

Is there any inbuilt mechanism where i can create a field and avoid dealing with schema and schema related queries ? My only concern is field should support dynamic options in future... Something like select field values will be pulled using a query.

PS: I hope above questions is not primarily opinion based. I believe many Drupalers might have faced above situation :-) Please do add a comment if form alter approach is the right one !

  • 1
    Can you explain more how the options will change? Could you perhaps do this with a hierarchical taxonomy? May 20, 2014 at 6:54
  • Options will be queried from a table.. More like dynamic options.. Let's say at a point of time A1, A2, A3 are the options.. Some other point of time it will be A1, A2, A3, A4 ...
    – Anil Sagar
    May 20, 2014 at 6:56
  • What is A1,A2,A3,A4? Are they taxonomy terms, nodes or just values? If they are not entities in Drupal it sounds like you need a settings page that holds available values and then through a hook_form_alter you could set the available options in your form element. May 20, 2014 at 7:08
  • They are just text values :-) Form alter is already in my list as i mentioned in my question.. I am looking for Out of the box solution where i don't need to deal with schema related operations like create/update/delete..
    – Anil Sagar
    May 20, 2014 at 7:08
  • Have a look at api.drupal.org/comment/23028#comment-23028 there a settings page is built where the values are saved in a variable_set(). These values can then be retrieved in variable_get() in your form_alter and set as #options for your form element. May 20, 2014 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


You can probably do that using the field API and setting an allowed_values_function for the list field.


 * Implements hook_form_alter
function MYMODULE_form_alter(&$form, &$form_state, $form_id){

  if ($form_id == 'field_ui_field_settings_form') {
    // Make the allowed_values_function editable as a textfield
    // Possible to inspect $form or $form_state to vary by field
    if(isset($form['field']['settings']['allowed_values_function'])) {
      $form['field']['settings']['allowed_values_function'] = array(
        '#type' => 'textfield',
        '#title' => t('Allowed value function'),
        '#description' => t('Returns an array of allowed values'),
        '#default_value' => $form['field']['settings']['allowed_values']['#field']['allowed_values_function']


The allowed_values_function then returns an array of values for the field.


 * Allowed values callback
function MYMODULE_custom_field_allowed_values($field){

    return drupal_map_assoc(array('A1','B1','C1'));
    return drupal_map_assoc(array('A2','B2','C2'));

  • Great !! Seems like allowed_values_function property should solve the issue.. Also found a relevant tutorial here
    – Anil Sagar
    May 20, 2014 at 9:35

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