I have two entities: People and People Notes.

The People entity is in another database with the People Notes is in the local Drupal database.

Schema for People:


Schema for People Notes:

PeopleId (entityReference)
Signed (Boolean)

From a post I found here, I've created a custom action called Signed to execute a PHP script with the code below -

global $user;
$entity_notes_array = array();
$entity_notes_array['uid'] = $user->uid;
$entity_notes_array['field_people_reference']['value'][0] = 1; // Using 1 to test the reference 
$entity_notes_array['field_signed']['value'][0] = 1;
$entity_notes = entity_create('people_notes', $entity_notes_array);

I have a view created that uses the People table as its base and then I bring in the People_Notes table through an entity reference. The view also has a VBO that executes the Signed script.

Two questions:

1 - How do I save the entity People Notes? The script process with no error messages and it successfully returns with "Action Signed Petition saved", but when I got to see what was created the admin page does not list the new entity.

2 - How do I reference the PeopleId from the view?

Additional Information on People Notes

  * Implements hook_entity_info().

function people_notes_entity_info() {
    $info = array();

    $info['people_notes'] = array(
        'label' => t('People Notes'),
        'base table' => 'people_notes',
        'entity keys' => array(
            'id' => 'id',
            'label' => 'label',
        'label callback' => 'entity_class_label',
        'uri callback' => 'entity_class_uri',
        'entity class' => 'PeopleNotesEntity',
        'controller class' => 'PeopleNotesEntityController',
        'views controller class' => 'PeopleNotesViewsController',
        'admin ui' => array(
            'path' => 'admin/peoplenotes',
            'controller class' => 'PeopleNotesUIController',
            'menu wildcard' => '%notes',
            'file' => 'people_notes.admin.inc',
        'module' => 'people_notes',
        'access callback' => 'people_notes_access_callback',
        'fieldable' => TRUE,
        'bundles' => array(
            'people_notes' => array(
                'label' => t('People Notes'),
                'admin' => array(
                    'path' => 'admin/peoplenotes',
                    'access arguments' => array('admininster notes'),
        'view modes' => array(
            'full' => array(
                'label' => t('Full View'),
                'custom settings' => FALSE,
            'part' => array(
                'label' => t('Partial View'),
                'custom settings' => FALSE,
    return $info;

function people_notes_menu() {
    $items = array();
    $items['peoplenotesdemo'] = array(
        'title' => 'People Notes Demo Page',
        'page callback' => 'people_notes_demo_page',
        'access callback' => TRUE,
        'menu' => 'navigation',
    $items['notes/%notes'] = array(
        'title' => 'People Notes Entity Page',
        'title arguments' => array(1),
        'page callback' => 'people_notes_view_entity',
        'access arguments' => 'view notes',
        'page arguments' => array(1),
        'type' => MENU_CALLBACK,
    return $items;  

function people_notes_load($id) {
    $people_notes = entity_load('people_notes', array($id));
    return array_pop($people_notes);

function people_notes_save($people_notes) {
  return $people_notes->save();

function people_notes_demo_page() {
    $people_notes = entity_load('people_notes', array(1));

    return 'Hi Notes from Mark';

function people_notes_page_title($people_notes){
  return $people_notes->id;

/*function people_notes_view_entity($people_notes) {
    $people_notes_entity = entity_view('people_notes', array($people_notes->id => $people_notes));
    return 'Hello Mark';
function people_notes_view_entity($people_notes, $view_mode = 'full') {
    //drupal_set_title('(' . $people_notes->id . ')');
    $people_notes_entity = entity_view('people_notes', array($people_notes->id => $people_notes));
    return $people_notes_entity;

function people_notes_permission() {
    return array(
        'administer notes' => array(
            'title' => t('Administer Notes'),
        'view notes' => array(
            'title' => t('View Notes on a person'),

function people_notes_access_callback($op, $people_notes = NULL, $account = NULL) {
    if (($op == 'view' && user_access('view notes', $account)) || user_access('administer notes', $account)) {
        return TRUE;
    } else if ($user_access('administer notes', $account)) {
        return TRUE;
    return FALSE;

 * Controller classes are located in the includes direcotory
// ...

2 Answers 2


You will need to change the value to target_id. Entity references do not use value index

global $user;
$entity_notes_array = array();
$entity_notes_array['uid'] = $user->uid;
$entity_notes_array['field_people_reference'][LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['target_id'] = 1;
$entity_notes_array['field_signed'][LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'] = 1;
$entity_notes = entity_create('people_notes', $entity_notes_array);
  • Chad - thanks for the response. Neither worked however. I have added some additional information to make sure I'm setting up my entity correctly. Also, had a typo - entity_metadata_wrapper - you missed the 'a' in metadata. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 19:27
  • Can you execute the second set of code in devel using execute php code and create an entity? Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 19:45
  • Nope got the following error - EntityMetadataWrapperException: Entity property uid doesn't support writing. in EntityStructureWrapper->setProperty() (line 493 of /var/www/drupal7/sites/all/modules/contrib/entity/includes/entity.wrapper.inc). Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 20:07
  • What is your uid property? Is that your incremental value? If so then remove that as it should automatically generate the id for you Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 20:26
  • The code below creates an entity but not the attached fields global $user; $entity_notes_array = array(); $entity_notes_array['uid'] = $user->uid; $entity_notes_array['field_people_reference'] = 1; // Using 1 to test the reference $entity_notes_array['field_signed'] = 1; $entity_notes = entity_create('people_notes', $entity_notes_array); $entity_notes->save(); Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 20:26

Below is the final solution. Both questions have been answered. I finally figured out why the script was not firing. I was having the VBO on the entity (people_notes) and not the referenced entity (people). Because the people_notes was being created with the action there was nothing being passed to the action. Once I switched the VBO to people it fired successfully and created the people_notes entity.

Also @chadpeppers originally suggested entity_metadata_wrapper but that did not work due to not have a setter function defined for the uid field. I defined a setter function and then entity_metadatawrapper worked correctly.

global $user;
$entity_notes = entity_create('people_notes', array());
try {
    $wrapper = entity_metadata_wrapper('people_notes', $entity_notes);
       drupal_set_message(t('Signature Scrubbed!'));
       watchdog('Signed Petition', 'Signed Petition action fired!');
} catch (EntityMetadataWrapperException $exc) {
      'Signature Scrubbed Action',  
      'See '  . __FUNCTION__ . '() <pre>' .  $exc->getTraceAsString() . '</pre>', 

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