I'm building a big website and I'm using entity_metadata_wrapper() in lots of places around the website.

I'm wondering how this will affect the website's speed and server resources.


2 Answers 2


Entity API does a lot of things, but most of them are cached.

For example, entity_metadata_wrapper() calls entity_get_info(), which uses the cache to retrieve the data. If the cache is empty, other functions are called:


Other modules may be involved through hooks:

drupal_alter('entity_info', $entity_info);

But note that no data is fetched from the database, this is because when you call entity_metadata_wrapper() you already have the entity loaded -it's a parameter to the function, indeed.

So if you are running critical or long processes such as importing data or running thousands of iterations inside a loop, you should better use entities directly. But even then, the cache should help a lot.

Look how Drupal looks without Entity API:

$field = '';
if (isset($entity->field_name[LANGUAGE_NONE]) 
    and isset($entity->field_name[LANGUAGE_NONE][0])) {
  $field = $entity->field_name[LANGUAGE_NONE][0]['value'];

It's ugly. This is why I use Entity API almost everywhere, and I haven't had any performance issues so far. For the benefits, I think it's worth using it.


The short answer is I'm not sure (I use it, but never benchmarked it). As a lighter alternative for getting and setting stuff see field_extract which I use a lot too.

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