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Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Change to linked SharePoint List breaks PowerApps UI - Cannot Edit/Save app

I managed to completely break PowerApps.  I cannot edit/save my application after making a single change to the linked SharePoint Online list.  


I had a request to change a Yes/No field to a Choice field (e.g. Yes, No, Unknown).  I started by editing the existing working SharePoint Online list item and changed it's type (big mistake).  When I went into the PowerApp application to make changes to the linked field and DataSource everything was wonky.  The application cannot be edited/saved so cannot be fixed.  You cannot change a SharePoint list item back to a Boolean from a Choice and it's too late anyway as I attempted to delete it and recreate an identically named field back as a Boolean which also did not work.


I need to find a way to edit the source files on this or find some way to recreate the Boolean item in SharePoint so I can at least open/edit/delete the old linked fields before making the change.


It is worth noting that the UI is completely hosed for PowerApps at this point for this app.  I cannot delete controls but I can delete the DataSource, but of course...cannot save the app so it fixes nothing.  Also, all of the Control Groups that I'd created now are displayed improperly.  I've included an image that shows the control group "Read_Parameters" and it's associated members on the left (displayed properly) and then on the right is what I see in the broken app (items do not appear to be a part of the group).  They're still a part of the group as the item on the left was copy/pasted to a new app from the broken one, but they aren't displayed properly.


So it looks like this doesn't just break the application, but it breaks the entire PowerApps UI.


Any ideas?  Export and edit the source JSON to remove the DataSource and re-import?

Community Support
Community Support

Hi @jhall,


The only way I could think of to fix this, it that you delete the old Choice column, and create a new Yes or No column. Then in the exsiting Form in the app, uncheck the data card of old Choice column to delete it. Then add the Yes or No column data card.




Community Support Team _ Mona Li
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

I actually resolved this as you stated the day after I posted this.  By deleting the changed field in SharePoint and re-creating an identically named field that was a Yes/No value, that allowed the app again to be accessed so the changes could be made.


Worth noting, this column had been renamed in SharePoint from the original name.  Therefore, re-creating the column required naming it the old name first vs. the one that was visible.


This really could be a problem for folks who were not the creator of the SharePoint list itself.  Not to mention that a change to SharePoint values could break a PowerApp to the point where a Business Analyst would think that it had been corrupted somehow.



Does this mean that if someone was to edit the name of a column, it will not dynamically change the PowerApp?

Is this a new feature, as in the past I have never had any issues with this?


Talking from experience, I have a SharePoint list at the moment with multiple different columns.

After reviewing it with my superior, I was advised to change the name of a few columns to better present the information.

I went into the List Settings and changed a few of the columns, and found that when I opened the PowerApp afterwards, the fields within the application which required either a Choice, Yes / No or a lookup fields were corrupted and displayed the following message "The Data Source supplied to the function is invalid".


Is there any way that this issue can be resolved, or the data fields can be dynamic to the columns within the SharePoint list, as otherwise it means having to delete and rebuild the whole application, which would be very tedious and time consuming?


Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

@CWilkinson wrote:

Does this mean that if someone was to edit the name of a column, it will not dynamically change the PowerApp?

That is correct.  Or at least was correct at the time of my posting.  I have not recently tested it.  In fact, you are lucky if you were able to open the application and edit/save at all because in my case I was unable to make any lasting changes once this happened.


I had hoped that I could do a refresh on the data source and that would rework things.  


In my case, I had to rename the columns back to original just to be able to edit/save.

Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Sorry, I didn't note that you'd just renamed a column.  In THAT specific scenario, nothing should break.

However, the original column name is used in all references within the App.  There is no way to force the change because SharePoint itself actually doesn't really rename the column under the hood.  It creates a high-level reference to the "new name" while retaining the old name under the hood as well. 

All PowerApps references continue to point to the original name and will work indefinitely as far as I know.


Thanks for your reply.


For some reason, once I had changed the names of some columns within the SharePoint list, it has not updated the PowerApp, do I have to manually redirect the data source for all the fields within the PowerApp?



Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

My prior experience (and things change) was that no alteration of the app was required post name change.  The references continued to point at older names, but they all worked.  Trying to point at the new names in fact did not work.  To be very specific, in my case I had some column names that included spaces.  Later, I removed them.

The trouble I ran into is when I changed TYPES (not names) of columns (boolean -> choice).  That's when everything completely blew up.
Let me try a test here w/ a small app and see if the results are as I described.
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Well, looks like Microsoft did fix things here.  This is the scenario I just tried:


  1. Created a new SharePoint list w/ 3 single row text fields
    • Title
    • First Field
    • secondField
  2. I renamed the fields (before creating my app)
    • Title (no change)
    • firstField
    • Second Field
  3. Created a blank phone app and connected it to the SharePoint List I created
    • The app created connections to the current name (step 2) w/ no reference to the original name (this is different from earlier in 2018).
  4. Closed app
  5. Edited SharePoint column names to be:
    • Title (no change)
    • First Field1
    • secondField1
  6. Opened app in Edit mode
    • All names referenced in the Text field were correct
      • ThisItem.Title
      • ThisItem.'First Field1'
      • ThisItem.secondField1

So for current SharePoint items created new, it appears this works as intended.  Field names are updated and everything replicates to PowerApps automatically as it should.


HOWEVER, I will note that this is for a NEW LIST. 


My prior experience was that SharePoint retained the original name as some kind of pointer.  PowerApps also used ESCAPED values vs. putting the names in quotes (e.g. .First%20Field vs. .'First Field').  It could be that legacy lists (still SharePoint Online but created earlier) could contain some remainder from this prior state.

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