I created a custom module which lists the last X nodes from a certain content type, with the following query:

SELECT n.title, r.teaser, r.timestamp
FROM node n
INNER JOIN node_revisions r ON r.vid = n.vid
INNER JOIN term_node tn ON tn.nid = n.nid
INNER JOIN term_data t ON t.tid = tn.tid
WHERE t.name= 'breaking_news'
AND n.status = 1

Then I do a node_load($nid) to check if there is a image and an audio file inside, for example

$mynode = node_load($queryresutl->nid);
if ($mynode->field_efe_audio[0]['filepath']) {  
  $audio = 'yep, has audio'; 

But I've read that node_load() could be a performance killer, so I wonder if this is true and if there's is an alternative to check fields in my module?

  • 1
    Did you try to directly query the field_data_field_efe_audio table using your nid as etid ? – silkAdmin Sep 19 '11 at 10:30
  • Do you mean, query the field_data_field_efe_audio table for each node ? I didn't. Should be better than node_load()? – atom Sep 19 '11 at 10:33
  • Yeah definitely, since node_load will query all field attached to your nodes. Other solution actually would be create a custom table that get updated on node creation/update/delete only if the current node contains an audio content, you can then just query that table. I think both solutions should be pretty much same performance, just a matter of organization – silkAdmin Sep 19 '11 at 10:38
  • To answer the question "is node_load slower" use the devel module -> Use the Devel module to analyze performance to test the different solutions. As "ram4nd" suggests, caching might be the real solution -> A beginner's guide to caching data in Drupal 7. – DeeZone Sep 19 '11 at 18:09
  • Thank you! let me check the link about devel module and performance analysis. Im already using cache in my custom module but in some sections I cant cache for a long time, just a few minutes – atom Sep 19 '11 at 19:03

First i would make sure that using node_load() does slower your script. If you are sure it really does you can either:

  • 1- Create an index_audio table with a nid and use_audio columns. You could update this table on node creation/update/delete. Then you can just query this table to make sure a specific node does have audio attached to it. I would use that solution only if i you have to intensively make such a check

  • 2- Directly query your field table with your nid as etid, in your instance : field_data_field_efe_audio table see if it returns FALSE or some actual data

  • Well I also need the image filepath so maybe solution 1 doesnt fit my needs, but #2 could be. The thing I trying to figure out is if 2 queries per node are better than one call to node_load! Thank you – atom Sep 19 '11 at 14:05
  • It will be faster as this you query less data from the DB.. Now is it worth the trouble ? I guess it probably depends on how complex is your node, and how intensively will this query run on your production site. – silkAdmin Sep 19 '11 at 15:03

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