I have written a custom field module and I would like to know how I can programmatically find out what the name of the field in the database.

E.g. someone installs my module, that installs a new fieldtype and widget. The user adds a new field to a content type and calls the field "test_field". How can the module provide the database name of the field ("test_field") to some function within the module?

Currently I am hard-coding the name of the field which works fine until a user decides to use another name. Then I am not able to do some database operations anymore.

  • 1
    How does a user add a new field? Somewhere in your module you should have a form submit handler, with a $form_state variable, there you should look at. How does Drupal know the names of the new added fields, think about it.
    – mchar
    Oct 24 '16 at 15:29
  • I've been going through the documentation for the form_state (api.drupal.org/api/drupal/includes!form.inc/function/…) and I was able to get things like the form_id from it, but not the machine_name of the field. Do you any other clues for me?
    – stopopol
    Nov 4 '16 at 8:57
  • Maybe I should also add that my costume function to access the database is triggered by a node_form_alter function
    – stopopol
    Nov 4 '16 at 13:13

OK. I ended up doing it a little differently:

In my field_widget_form function I added a hidden field. In this function it is possible to access the $field and therefore the name of the field using


So I saved that value to the hidden form. Then when I trigger a function within that form it is able to access that value. So in my different function that relies on the machine_name of the field I actually access the value of the form that is set when the widget form is built.

  • That's really good, you tried yourself to fix it, excellent! Just one thing, what if you have ten fields, will you create more ten hidden fields? Think about it.
    – mchar
    Nov 7 '16 at 19:01

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