I have created a D8 custom field that extends FieldBaseItem. It is already in use storing data.

How do I get the schema updated in the database, for an existing field?

What I've done:

I have added a new column by adding to propertyDefinitions and schema() accordingly.

Here's an example schema. Let's say I just added the admin column.

   * {@inheritdoc}
  public static function schema(FieldStorageDefinitionInterface $field_definition) {
    $schema = [
      'columns' => [
        'state' => [
          'type' => 'varchar',
          'length' => 2
        'admin' => [
          'type' => 'int',
          'size' => 'tiny'

I've found posts on how to do this in hook_update_N in D7, but it's unclear how to do this in D8.


In fact, like it's a custom field type, your change in the schema can be detected and applied if you launch the drush command drush entity-updates (or drush entup).

All tables which implement this field (like node__field_my_field_type or paragraph__field_my_field_type) will be updated. So you don't need to use an hook_update to update the schema of all these tables.

The big problem with this command is many errors are silent and sometimes, the command don't return errors but the schema hasn't been updated and still proposed by the command to be updated.


The update hooks are essentially the same as Drupal 7, but it's recommended to use the DB Connection object with the addField() method.

The update hook to add a column might look like this:

$spec = array(
 'type' => 'varchar',
 'description' => "New Col",
 'length' => 20,
 'not null' => FALSE,
$schema = Database::getConnection()->schema();
$schema->addField('mytable1', 'newcol', $spec);

Full documentation can be found here: https://www.drupal.org/docs/8/api/update-api/updating-database-schema-andor-data-in-drupal-8

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