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Helper I
Helper I

Best Practice data source handling and other preset variables

Hello all,


My app is connected to 2 Sharepoint lists. The lists need to be updated quarterly, and shall not be overwritten due to compliance reasons. My question is, what is best practice to update the data sources to a different name (e.g. from FY19_Q3_Data to FY19_Q4_Data). Ideally, I would like to update the sources only in one place and not in multiple objects throughout the app. 


Related, I would also like to set some initial global variables (e.g. for colors) that don't need to be updated, but I thought it could follow a similar concept as handling the data source nomenclature.


What are your experiences and what approaches have worked best for you?




Super User III
Super User III


For your 1st question: I'm unclear about your situation with the SharePoint Lists.  To me it sounds like right now your app is connected to 2 SharePoint Lists and later you want your app to be connected to 2 completely different SharePoint Lists.  If this is your desire then I will say "do not try to do this."  PowerApps cannot store a datasource reference within a variable and therefore the code cannot simply be updated in one place.  You will have to update your code in all places manually which introduces the possibility of breakage.


To meet your compliance requirements requires some creativity.  If we cannot keep changing the SharePoint lists for a PowerApps then what do we do instead?  Simple, we create lists belonging only to the PowerApp whose name remains the same.  Then we use Microsoft Automate to schedule a export of the data from the App's datasource to the Compliance datasource on some regular schedule.  For help with building a Workflow you can check out the MS Automate Community


As per your 2nd question: here's an idea of how you could set a global variable in your app's OnStart property.


    \\Control Type 1
    ctrl1_Color: Black,
    ctrl1_FontSize: 16,
    ctrl1_Fill:  White,
    ctrl1_Border: 1,

    \\Control Type 2
    ctrl2_Color: Blue, 
    ctrl2_FontSize  10,
    ctrl2_Fill:  White,
    ctrl2_Border: 1,


Calling the variable would work like this.




Please note these are just my opinions and don't represent any "best practices."  They are just my way of doing things.


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Super User
Super User


For Q1: you may be able to set a global variable using a DropDown to set the different data sources. However, I think these data sources would need to have the exact same schemas ie same column headings & same column types for this to work.

You could then select "FY19 Q3" from your drop down then OnChange = If( Dropdown1.Selected.Value = "FY19 Q3", Set(varData, 'FY19_Q3_Data'), etc.


This may work, don't know as I've never tried it. Agree with @mdevaney this wouldn't be 'best practice'. Best practice would be to just filter your quarterly data inside your app.


For Q2: have you looked at 'Components'? This is a short video by Mr Dang about getting started with Components


I'm yet to start using Components in my apps but will be in the not to distant future because of their cross-app usability.

I think the automated update with Power Automate would be the right way to do it. I'm having a hard time to find relevant posts online though. If you have any leads to replace entire Sharepoint lists from an Excel file, it would be very appreciated.




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