I'm trying to update my field's data tables structure manually via phpmyadmin as I cannot modify it via the fields settings page since i have data in them. The thing is, where do I update the "fields settings" to encompass these table structure changes?

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    In field_config. I would never recommend doing this - can you elaborate on why? – Chris Rockwell Jul 22 '13 at 18:31
  • i need to update a a Date field to encompass "recurring" dates. Since i have data in that field already, the UI does not let me change that field setting. – Patoshi パトシ Jul 22 '13 at 20:30

Base field data is in field_config, and instance data is in field_config_instance. Rather than modifying them manually, though, you can always use the API:

$field = field_info_field('field_name');
$field['key'] = $new_value;

Or for an instance

$instance = field_info_instance('node', 'field_name', 'article');
$instance['key'] = $new_value;

Using the API will clear the appropriate caches, and it's just a better idea than editing the data manually.

Either way, make sure to backup the database first in case something goes horribly wrong :)

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  • Direct SQL alteration also means that hook_field_update_field() doesn't fire. That may or may not cause problems. – mpdonadio Jul 22 '13 at 18:35
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    Oh, and a module can forbid alteration even if you use the API, and having data is a potential case for denial. – mpdonadio Jul 22 '13 at 18:38
  • whats the difference from field_config and field_config_instance tables? – Patoshi パトシ Jul 22 '13 at 20:31
  • also if i used the API's how would i know what they KEY that corresponds to the field setting i want to change? Here's a snapshot of what I found for the field_config table: img818.imageshack.us/img818/8804/e1yu.png ... it seems that the field settings is stored in the DATA column which cannot modify since its binary data? – Patoshi パトシ Jul 22 '13 at 20:55
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    field_config has the base field data (field name, type, cardinality, etc) and field_config_instance has the per-bundle settings (e.g. the specific settings for a field attached to a certain content type). The data column contains a serialised php string, which is why it's not recommended to edit the data directly. Using the info functions you can get the field/instance data, use dpm() or similar to inspect it, change some values just like you would a normal array, then use the update function to persist the changes – Clive Jul 22 '13 at 21:06

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