Field Tools as a replacement for Features

Posted on: 2016-04-04 12:28:56

One of my new favorite modules recently has been Field Tools. What I love about it is that it presents you with the ability to export all of the fields on a particular bundle (or even just a single field).

Then, you can just use field_create_field or field_create_instance in a little loop.

Take for example (in a module's .install file):

<code lang="php"> function mymodule_install() { $fields = mymodule_get_some_fields();

foreach ($fields as $name => $field) { field_create_field($field['field']); field_create_instance($field['instance']); } }

Then, inside of mymodule_get_some_fields() you just put the output of Field Tool's export:

function mymodule_get_some_fields() {
  $fields = array();
  // Start export.
  $fields['field_name'] = array(
    'field' => array(...),
    'instance' => array(...),
  $fields['another_field_name'] = array(
    'field' => array(...),
    'instance' => array(...),
  // End export.
  return $fields;

See, the magic is that the $fields export includes two sub-arrays: 'field' and 'instance'. That's what then powers the ability to just run it through the foreach above and it create your bases and your instances.

A couple of caveats:

But for most cases, this is way simpler than using Features and having to bring it in as a dependency.