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Kraftwagen Itemnames

Kraftwagen Itemnames is a Drupal module that allows developers to assign string identifiers to items in the database that have numeric primary key. The API provides a way to ensure that items exist, a way to remove items and a way to load the items.


The package contains some modules. A brief overview over their purpose and relation.

  • kw_itemnames The main module that provides the public API to ensure, remove and load items. Furthermore it provides an API for other modules to register types of items, like nodes or menu links.
  • kw_itemnames_entity Type implementation for all entities. Core entities are node, comment, user, taxonomy_term and taxonomy_vocabulary. This module depends on the Entity API for the CRUD operations on entities.
  • kw_itemnames_deletion_prevention (To be added) Implements logic to prevent deletion of named items of supported types. There will at least be support for nodes.


Ensuring and removing

Using the API items can be created and updated (kw_itemnames_ensure) and deleted if they still exist (kw_itemnames_remove). Although these operations are primarily intended to be ran from Kraftwagen Manifests, they can be ran from anywhere.

The code example below shows how to create or update an item. It assumes that both kw_itemnames and kw_itemnames_entity are enabled.

    'title' => 'Welcome!', 
    'type' => 'page', 
    'language' => LANGUAGE_NONE,
    'body' => array(
      LANGUAGE_NONE => array(array(
        'value' => '<p>Welcome to my site!</p>',
        'format' => 'filtered_html',

When this code is ran for the first time, it will create a new language neutral node of type Page with the specified title and body text. The second time, it will update the existing node. At this update, it will only change the title. The kw_itemnames_ensure function accepts two arrays of properties. The first is called required properties and the second default properties. The required properties will be set on update, while the default properties will only be used at initial creation. If somehow the node is deleted, running this function will recreate the node.

When you once had an item ensured, and you want it to be removed, you can run something like the code below.


Get ID and loading

When you have ensured an item, you usually do that because you want to use that item somewhere. In that case you can call kw_itemnames_item_id to get the ID of an item, or kw_itemnames_load to get the loaded item.

You can for example do this in a manifest.

variable_set('site_frontpage', 'node/' . kw_itemnames_item_id('node', 'homepage'));


Drupal module to assign string names to items that are saved with numeric primary keys







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