Have CONTENT_TYPE_NAME with field_counter that the user can set when editing a node. If a user edits and updates that field I want all other nodes that have this field set (to an equal or higher value) to increment their values by 1. I am overriding hook_entity_presave for this purpose.

As you can see in the following code I am getting all nodes of the same content type using entityQuery exluding the node that was about to be saved. For all the nodes found I am getting the entity and incrementing the field value by 1 and setting the field value and saving the node.

    function MY_MODULE_entity_presave(EntityInterface $entity){ 
      if ($entity->getEntityType()->id() == 'node') {
        $changed_field = array(
        $nid = $entity->id();
        foreach($changed_field as $field ){
          $value = $entity->{$field}->value;
          if(isset($value) && $value !=""){

    function MY_MODULE_change_field_value($field,$value,$xeid){  
      $query = \Drupal::entityQuery('node')
        ->condition('status', 1)
        ->condition('type', 'CONTENT_TYPE_NAME')
        ->condition('nid', $xeid,"<>")

      $nids = $query->execute();

      foreach ($nids as $nid) {
        $node = \Drupal\node\Entity\Node::load($nid);
        //$node = \Drupal::entityTypeManager()->getStorage("node")->load($nid);
        $old_value = $node->{$field}->value;
        $node->{$field}->value = $old_value;

This code works with but has a problem. All nodes updated programmatically will call entity_presave again and cause an infinite loop.

I did not find a way to update field value without calling node->save() if there is a way please let me know (I know there was a way in drupal 7 field_attach_update which is deprecated as of 8.0.x I think)

Is there a way to call node->save() which does not call hook_entity_presave ?

or alternativelly what checks can I do in the hook_entity_presave to know if the field was just updated programmatically and not from user edit ?

  • Check this drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/211083/… Mar 8, 2017 at 11:36
  • This post does not answer my question really. My problem is not saving the presaved node without node->save but other nodes that I get on the fly ... please read the question thoroughly.
    – GiorgosK
    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:40
  • 1
    Then don't use Node::load() and instead query the field_counter DB table directly.
    – No Sssweat
    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:56
  • Sounds good !! any pointer will be helpful ...
    – GiorgosK
    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:59
  • There is no supported API to do this, interacting with the tables directly might break in future versions
    – Berdir
    Mar 8, 2017 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


I think I have found a simple solution

add revision message with UNIQUE string before saving the node

    $node->revision_log->value = "AUTOMATED-UPDATE ". $field." incremented to ".$old_value ;

check on the hook_entity_presave that the revision was not AUTOMATED by checking in the log for our UNIQUE string

    if ($entity->getEntityType()->id() == 'node') {
        $log = $entity->revision_log->value;
        if( substr( $log, 0, 16 ) === "AUTOMATED-UPDATE" )
  • Yes, any kind of flag that prevents a recursion should work, can be on the node, or you could also set a static/global variable.
    – Berdir
    Mar 10, 2017 at 14:26
  • I figured this way I have the added benefit that anyone looking at the revision log later on will know why/how this UPDATE was done
    – GiorgosK
    Mar 10, 2017 at 14:28
  • Sure that makes sense, but make sure you actually save it as a new revision then with setNewRevision(TRUE), otherwise you'll replace the existing revision log message.
    – Berdir
    Mar 10, 2017 at 14:31

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