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BrianHFASPS
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Skilled Sharer

Column names with spaces 'Name Name' or Name_x0020_Name? Seems interchangeable sometimes?

I am new to PowerApps and still learning. It seems sometimes the editor likes to column names with spaces to be entered as 'Student Last Name' and other times Student_x0020_Last_x0020_Name. Sometimes it autofills one and sometimes the other? Can anyone explain why?

 

Also as an add-on question why does autofill with commands properly space over but autofill with column names does an overwrite of following text? Drives me nuts when the autofill erases a bunch on line since I never know when it is going to do it.

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iAm_ManCat
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @BrianHFASPS & @PaulD1

 

Can't answer why it may be suddenly changing throughout the app (although My experience is that when you open and refresh an App it may enable some of the preview features, which Display Column Names is currently pushed into), however I think I can give some thoughts on the other parts.

 

I use SharePoint currently as a storage medium due to current company requirements, so I don't use the Search function as it's not delegable from SharePoint, So, I can't really know for sure what the backend of PowerApps does when dealing with these, but if we look at the documentation for these functions we can assume some kind of answer by making an educated guess:


FilterTableFormula1 [, Formula2, ... ] )

LookUpTableFormula [, ReductionFormula ] )

..So both of these functions are looking for a Formula, and my gut tells me that due to this, when searching by Display Name, a function will be able to discern the internal/static name from that.

 

  • I am also going to suggest here to never ever Ever use Display Name within your code - This is only a suggestion, but will save an infinite amount of potential issues that may arise should some person come along and decide that 'this column should have a more appropriate name' and then suddenly half of your apps no longer work and need to be republished/refreshed/etc. It's best practice to use a static name wherever possible 🙂

 

So, getting back to the topic at hand,
SearchTableSearchStringColumn1 [, Column2, ... ] )

Description: 

  • Column(s) - Required. The names of columns within Table to search. Columns to search must contain text. Column names must be strings and enclosed in double quotes. However, the column names must be static and cannot be calculated with a formula. If SearchString is found within the data of any of these columns as a partial match, the full record will be returned.

 

So we can see there that it outright states that column names must be static, so from the database side I would think it is only going to look for the internal/static name of the column, and they must be enclosed in double quotes.

 

So, I would think (going back to original question) that it would depend on whether you are using the Search function rather than Lookup/Filter as to whether it wants:

 

'Name Name' or Name_x0020_Name - which are usually interchangeable within Lookup()/Filter() due to it looking for a Formula (which I am Assuming can do intelligent lookups)

or

"Name_x0020_Name" - which will be looked for as an internal/static name by Search()

 

 

If either of you have any counter-examples of this where the preview feature is disabled please do share, as this whole reply is going on my assumptions on how PowerApps is viewing and dealing with internal/static/display names within these functions based on the documentation provided 🙂

 

Cheers,

@iAm_ManCat


@iAm_ManCat
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Please 'Mark as Solution' if someone's post answered your question and always 'Thumbs Up' the posts you like or that helped you!


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11 REPLIES 11
iAm_ManCat
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @BrianHFASPS

 

Are you using SharePoint as your storage medium by chance?

 

Regards,

@iAm_ManCat


@iAm_ManCat
My blog


Please 'Mark as Solution' if someone's post answered your question and always 'Thumbs Up' the posts you like or that helped you!


Thanks!
You and everyone else in the community make it the awesome and welcoming place it is, keep your questions coming and make sure to 'like' anything that makes you 'Appy
Sancho Harker, MVP



Are you using SharePoint as your storage medium by chance? 

I was and then rebuilt app with storage being in an Azure SQL instance.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @BrianHFASPS thanks for your post and sorry to hear you're experiencing these issues. 

 

@iAm_ManCat are you able to assist with the updated information provided? 

 

@Anonymous

PaulD1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Could this be related to the Preview feature 'Use column display names'?

I have noticed that the two naming conventions (spaces vs _x0020_) seem to be used inconsistently in some functions (SortByColumns springs to mind, but I'd need to check to be certain).

I had one app where it would accept one convention and work but then after a few edits would force me to change all the names to the other convention, but I haven't had that recently, so perhaps it was resolved.

It seems to work either way, it is just confusing sometimes where it seems to flip back and forth. Then the overwrite instead of insert on autofill is maddening. I do a lot of CTRL-Z or ESC to get back overwritten code.

One more addition to this I learned today. Search() will only accept "Student_x0020_Name" and not "Student Name" at least with SQL. It seems every other command with take with space but maybe since Search require "" instead of ''?

iAm_ManCat
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @BrianHFASPS & @PaulD1

 

Can't answer why it may be suddenly changing throughout the app (although My experience is that when you open and refresh an App it may enable some of the preview features, which Display Column Names is currently pushed into), however I think I can give some thoughts on the other parts.

 

I use SharePoint currently as a storage medium due to current company requirements, so I don't use the Search function as it's not delegable from SharePoint, So, I can't really know for sure what the backend of PowerApps does when dealing with these, but if we look at the documentation for these functions we can assume some kind of answer by making an educated guess:


FilterTableFormula1 [, Formula2, ... ] )

LookUpTableFormula [, ReductionFormula ] )

..So both of these functions are looking for a Formula, and my gut tells me that due to this, when searching by Display Name, a function will be able to discern the internal/static name from that.

 

  • I am also going to suggest here to never ever Ever use Display Name within your code - This is only a suggestion, but will save an infinite amount of potential issues that may arise should some person come along and decide that 'this column should have a more appropriate name' and then suddenly half of your apps no longer work and need to be republished/refreshed/etc. It's best practice to use a static name wherever possible 🙂

 

So, getting back to the topic at hand,
SearchTableSearchStringColumn1 [, Column2, ... ] )

Description: 

  • Column(s) - Required. The names of columns within Table to search. Columns to search must contain text. Column names must be strings and enclosed in double quotes. However, the column names must be static and cannot be calculated with a formula. If SearchString is found within the data of any of these columns as a partial match, the full record will be returned.

 

So we can see there that it outright states that column names must be static, so from the database side I would think it is only going to look for the internal/static name of the column, and they must be enclosed in double quotes.

 

So, I would think (going back to original question) that it would depend on whether you are using the Search function rather than Lookup/Filter as to whether it wants:

 

'Name Name' or Name_x0020_Name - which are usually interchangeable within Lookup()/Filter() due to it looking for a Formula (which I am Assuming can do intelligent lookups)

or

"Name_x0020_Name" - which will be looked for as an internal/static name by Search()

 

 

If either of you have any counter-examples of this where the preview feature is disabled please do share, as this whole reply is going on my assumptions on how PowerApps is viewing and dealing with internal/static/display names within these functions based on the documentation provided 🙂

 

Cheers,

@iAm_ManCat


@iAm_ManCat
My blog


Please 'Mark as Solution' if someone's post answered your question and always 'Thumbs Up' the posts you like or that helped you!


Thanks!
You and everyone else in the community make it the awesome and welcoming place it is, keep your questions coming and make sure to 'like' anything that makes you 'Appy
Sancho Harker, MVP


Anonymous
Not applicable

I'm rather new at PowerApps, so there could be other factors involved of which I am unaware. However, I've found that instead of Name_x0020_Name, I need to use Name_x0020_Name.Value to make this work. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

This is due to the fact that the column of interest is specified as Choice. When that happens, to get de value that a row displays in that column, you dont use

 

datasource."column'.Text

 

, but 

 

datasource."column'.Value

 

 

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