I am importing/updating nodes from a web service using node_save. One feature that I want to achieve is when the imported node is changed locally, it should not receive any further updates from the web service.

So, what I want to achieve is:

  • Detect when a node has been updated
  • If the update was carried out by a user submitting a form (as oppose to programmatically)
  • Then flag that this node should receive no further updates form the web service (I don't need any assistance with this part)

I wanted to use hook_node_update but I'm not sure how to tell whether the update was carried out by a user submitting a form.

Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


Create an additional field in the content type - for example update_source - and set the value programmatically.

If the user is editing the node on node/[nid]/edit page, set the value to UI and otherwise set it to programmatic.

You can do this with simple hook_form_alter() and URL checks to make sure the user is on node/[nid]/edit page. Something like this would work:

if (arg(0) == 'node' && arg(1) && arg(2) == 'edit') {
  // Your code
  • Thanks for your answer. I'm building a content synchronisation module, so there are many different content types that will be imported. Ideally, I would prefer not to have to add an additional field for each of them. Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 10:16
  • Then I suggest custom module which will save the flag value and nid in its own table. Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 12:11

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