I am using the References module to create a User Reference programmatically. However, when I use the field that is created, there is no listing of the users to choose from. The User Reference works when I create a field from the UI.

I first create the field as follows in my hook_install function:

    $field = array(
        'field_name' => 'vendor_user_reference',
        'type' => 'user_reference',
        'cardinality' => 1,
        'entity_types' => array('commerce_product'),
        'translatable' => FALSE,
        'locked' => TRUE,

I then call when the product type is created the following code

$instance = field_info_instance('commerce_product', 'vendor_user_reference', $product_type['type']);

if (empty($instance)) {
    $new_instance = array(
            'field_name' => 'vendor_user_reference',
            'entity_type' => 'commerce_product',
            'bundle' => $product_type['type'],

            'label' => t('Vendor User Reference'),
            'required' => TRUE,
            'settings' => array(),
            'widget' => array(
                'type' => 'user_reference_autocomplete',
                'weight' => -10,
                'settings' => array(
                        'autocomplete_match' => 'contains',
                        'size' => 20,
                        'autocomplete_path' => 'user_reference/autocomplete',
                ), //end setting array
            ), //end widget array   
            'display' => array(),

This creates the field on the entity/bundle, but when I try to use it from the UI, there are no user listings. This is the case if I use select list or autocomplete.

What am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


Programmatically create user reference field

I have found the solution to having the user reference field populate the user option list programmatically. You need to initialize the referenceable_status settings when defining the user reference field. See my answer in the Question above.

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