I can't find any resources explaining how to use the update() method of a .upd file in module development. All the tutorials gloss over it saying things like;

"we don't need this right now, so we just return TRUE"

I do need it - I'd like to add another action into the database without having to reinstall my module, can anybody point me in the right direction please?

3 Answers 3


@naboovallay said it all really, but seeing as I had exactly the code you wanted already open, I figured I'd paste it...

function update($current = '') {
    if ($current == '' OR $current == $this->version)
        return FALSE;

    if (preg_replace("/[^0-9\.]/", '', $current) < '1.1.0') {
        //###   Create ACTion IDs for the relevant functions   ###
        $formActions = array(
        foreach ($formActions as $method) {
            $data = array(
                'class' => $this->class,
                'method' => $method
            $this->EE->db->insert('actions', $data);
        }//###   End of foreach

    return TRUE;
}//###   End of update function

Most add-on developers store the version details in a config file in root of the module, so that can be easily read in by the construct...

//###   PHP5 Constructor   ###
function __construct() {
    require PATH_THIRD.'seo/config.php';

    $this->EE =& get_instance();
    $this->version = $config['version'];

...hence the version number of the build we can compare to.


$config = array(
    'name'              => "SEO",
    "class"             => "Seo",
    "version"           => "1.1.0",
    'nsm_addon_updater' => array('versions_xml' => 'http://peteralewis.com/releases/seo/feed')

First you need to get the version of your add-on so know if you should run any update functions or not. Replace the "ENTER_YOUR_CURRENT_VERSION_HERE" with the current version of your add-on. You could do this like this:

public function update($current = '')
    // Is the current version (from database) lower then the version for your current add-on?
        // Do something to update to version X.X.X
    return TRUE;

Then you could just keep adding these IF-statements for all version updates. This approach is pretty basic, if you an add-on with multiple version and releases here and there you should make this functions a little better with loading new version updates from flat files or something better. Let's say a user wants to update 3 version in a row, then you want all the updates to run after each other. Then you need a better loop code to execute all updates.

Also when you are done you need the function to return TRUE.


There is a version_compare function that can help simplify version comparison conditionals. See this example in the documentation.

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