I'm suprised that it is so hard to update an option value in a certain group using our API.

I have been writing scripts as follows:

  1. get option group id where option group name = X (save as OptionGroupIDX)
  2. get option value id where option value name = Y and option group id = OptionGroupIDX =(save as OptionValueIDY)
  3. update OptionValueIDY title to Z

I'd like to be able to write scripts that look more like:

  1. update the option value X in option group Y to value Z

The real world shell script I'm using at the minute is as follows:

OPTION_GROUP_ID=`drush cvapi OptionGroup.getvalue return=id name=from_email_address`
OPTION_VALUE_ID=`drush cvapi OptionValue.getvalue return=id option_group_id=$OPTION_GROUP_ID`
drush cvapi OptionValue.create id=$OPTION_VALUE_ID label='"Fixed" <[email protected]>'

Anyone able to help me get it closer to a one liner? Would be awesome if so because patterns like this seem to come up a fair amount when I'm working with the API. Would chaining help here?

2 Answers 2


In Civi 4.6+, you can use pseudoconstants instead of IDs in many places - including for option_group_id. Civi 4.7 expands the number of places you can use it.

So you can get this down to 2 lines by replacing the first two with:

OPTION_VALUE_ID=`drush cvapi OptionValue.getvalue return=id option_group_id=from_email_address`.

Here's the trick: If the API Explorer allows you to select the value from a select list, that means that pseudoconstant substitution is available on that field.

Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to get this down to one API call. create requires an ID; you're just not going to get the ID without a get call.

EDIT: It MAY be possible to get this down to one line! See "options.match" and "options.match-mandatory" on this page.


Looks like a case for API chaining. This or something like it should work:

drush cvapi OptionValue.getvalue return=id option_group_id=from_email_address \
    api.OptionValue.create={label:'"Fixed" <[email protected]>'}

Unfortunately, API chaining via drush does not appear to work. Thanks to @noah-miller for pointing that out. I tried chaining via cli.php and that doesn't appear to work either. It seems not to register the api.Entity.action parameter at all (which makes me optimistic it is not a difficult fix).

Jon's suggestion could be combined with what you already have to put it on one line, though the readability of this code is questionable:

drush cvapi OptionValue.create id=`drush cvapi OptionValue.getvalue \
    return=id option_group_id=from_email_address` label='"Fixed" <[email protected]>'

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