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MechEng2013
Advocate II
Advocate II

Combo Box Selected Items - Lookup Field Issues

Hi again PowerApps Community! I've been pulling what's left of my hair out over this one.

 

I have a combo box in a form lookup field, where I have set the DefaultSelectedItems to:

If(IsBlank(ThisItem.Auditor), Filter(Choices([@'CI Logs'].cr2c7_Auditor), Username = "loganm"), ThisItem.Auditor)

 

'Auditor' is the lookup column which pulls records from a table of User information, where i need to pull the 'Email' address from that table.

 

On the submission of the form (button press), I want to gather the record from the combo box, using:

Set(varCIauditor, Concat(cb_CIauditor.SelectedItems, Email, "; "));

 

I then use the email address as part of an automated email system through outlook.com connector.

'Outlook.com'.SendEmailV2(
varCIauditor, // "To" Field

 

This works, if I manually clear out the default selection from the combo box, and then manually select a *different* user. If I manually clear & re-select the default user, it still does not work! By "Not Working", I mean that the variable is showing as either BLANK, or just empty string.

 

I have tried moving the '.Email' from the variable definition point to the Email connector To: field, that didn't make a difference either.

 

Is this possible or is this just an unfortunate bug in the PowerApps system? Thanks!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

@MechEng2013 

 

I think I know what the issue is for you here.

 

When you use a Dataverse Lookup column as the actual record for DefaultSelectedItems (or as the Default property of the Parent, if it says Parent.Default), you will only get a Record with a 2 column schema in response,

one column is the Primary Column (e.g. Name), and the  out of the box Dataverse GUID (Primary Key) as the record. 

 

NameGUID
Johnsome-guid

 

For example, your Primary Column in Dataverse might be 'Name'. That's all you get here.

For this reason, "Email" won't be present when you try to use this particular Record.

 

That's why it might also be happening only when it is the default Combo Box value, and not when it is changed - perhaps the DefaultSelectedItems (or a parent Default) is actually using a Dataverse lookup column directly, rather than the underlying data source. If so, only these two columns, Name and GUID will be present.

 

So you might visually see the Combo Box populating the value, because the primary column Name will be present - but in fact, Email, is not present - nor are any other columns you may be expecting. So it looks like it should work since there is a value shown in the Combo Box.

However, any other column besides Name isn't there, so in fact, it is not working as expected.

 

You need to actually get the whole Record from the underlying Table (data source) based on the Primary Key (GUID) field that is in the dataverse lookup column, like this

 

//pseudocode
//'Primary Key' will usually show up the same as the name of the Table in Power Apps, it is actually the out of the box primary key (GUID) of the Dataverse table.

LookUp(ActualUnderlyingDataSource,myRecordFromDataverseLookupColumn.'Primary Key' = 'Primary Key').Email

//ActualUnderlyingDataSource is the actual data source that your Dataverse lookup column was pointing to.

 

After that, your issue should be resolved, as you can access the Email column, and any other columns from the underlying data source.

 

By default, the Dataverse lookup field itself will only have the primary column (such as Name), and the primary key (GUID), of the record, but it will have nothing else that is from the actual Table itself. You need to explicitly LookUp the record from the underlying Table, using the primary key (GUID) to match it up with the actual underlying record form the actual underlying Table.

 

Wherever else you might be doing this in your app, make sure to do that explicit lookup as well, then you should be able to resolve the issues you are having.

 

See if it helps @MechEng2013 

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8

@MechEng2013 

You mention about "default selection" of a ComboBox and that it only works when you manually select from the ComboBox, but not if you leave the "default selection" alone. So that means you sometimes want to use the "default selection" from the ComboBox, is that right?

 

Your issue here seems similar to something mentioned by @v-xida-msft in this thread:
ComboBox default selected items from a collection doesn't work 

 I think you have some misunderstanding with the DefaultSelectedItems property of the ComboBox control.

 

The DefaultSelectedItems property of the ComboBox control is used to set a Default value within the ComboBox control. But the Default value just be displayed within the ComBoBox, rather than select corresponding values from the ComboBox available options and display it.

 

In other words, the Default value just be used as a Display value within the ComboBox, which would not be recognized that you selected corresponding values from the ComboBox available options.



So you said as follows:


@MechEng2013 wrote:

By "Not Working", I mean that the variable is showing as either BLANK, or just empty string.

If that is the case that it shows Blank or empty string, why don't you try this: check if it is an empty string, if so, then use DefaultSelectedItems instead of SelectedItems - something like the following (the below is not tested, you should adjust the below to make sense for you if needed):

//pseudocode
With
(
    {cbsi:cb_CIauditor.SelectedItems,cbsd:cb_CIauditor.DefaultSelectedItems},
   ,If
    (
        IsBlank(cbsi)
       ,Set(varCIauditor, Concat(cbsd, Email, "; "))
       ,Set(varCIauditor, Concat(cbsi, Email, "; "))
    );
)

 

In the version above, Set is repeated twice, which may not be the best.

It may be better to put the If inside the Set, or actually, even to put the If inside the Concat for that matter, to avoid repetition of the same things twice so the version below is probably better than the version above  (the below is also not tested, you should adjust the below to make sense for you if needed):

//pseudocode
With
(
    {cbsi:cb_CIauditor.SelectedItems,cbsd:cb_CIauditor.DefaultSelectedItems},
   ,Set
    (
         varCIauditor
        ,Concat
         (
           If(IsBlank(cbsi),cbsd,cbsi)
          ,Email
          , "; "
         )
    );
)​

 

One thing you may wonder is, if it's an empty string, or it's "BLANK" - is that really the same thing? Why do I just use IsBlank function, and not also check specifically for an empty string "" as well just in case?

Well, @v-xida-msft also happened to mention in this thread: IsBlank(), IsEmpty(), or = " " ?  that:

the "" (empty string) is not equal to Blank

I remember it worked like that too, and that may have been true at the time of that thread in 2018, but it seems to be no longer true now.

I also tested it just now myself, IsBlank("") returns true, whereas IsBlank("somestring") returns false.

 

In the docs, you can see here:

IsBlank Power Apps - docs.microsoft.com 

To simplify app creation, the IsBlank and Coalesce functions test for both blank values or empty strings

This is the way IsBlank works as of now, it tests for both blank values or empty strings so you shouldn't have to worry - if it's an empty string, or if it's Blank, IsBlank checks for both cases and will return true if either case is true. In case you also happen to remember it working that way before too, well this has changed and IsBlank does seem to test for empty strings according to the latest documentation as of this writing, and according to my testing just now.

 

In case you are still worried about it, you can do:

If(IsBlank(cbsi) || cbsi = "",cbsd,cbsi)

 

However, the above is redundant nowadays, IsBlank does also check for the empty string now, so you can just use:

If(IsBlank(cbsi),cbsd,cbsi)

 

See if it helps @MechEng2013 

MechEng2013
Advocate II
Advocate II

Thanks for the reply. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this, it's been a busy week at work in addition to this so I apologize i haven't had time to respond yet.

I'm able to drill down the issue even to the point where if I manually select an item in the combo box (there are two of them now), I can pull the field Item.Name, but not Item.Email. Remember this is a lookup field pointing to a user data table, so I can pull their Name but not the email!? (*I'm testing this with a simple text label to quickly check what the combo box and the lookup are pulling).

 

Combo Box "Items" value is this:

Filter(
Choices([@'CI Logs'].'Name Assigned To'),
Or(
Username = "caraw",
Username = "hollia",
Username = "jeffw",
Username = "loganm",
Username = "saraj",
Username = "timc"
)
)

 

This filters my selections down properly, and like I said, i can get the Names, but it won't pull any other field other than that!

@MechEng2013 

 

Filter( 
Choices([@'CI Logs'].'Name Assigned To'),
....
)

 

The Choices([@'CI Logs'].'Name Assigned To') part might be returning only Names with no Emails. Can you try to Filter on something else that will return the Names and Emails?

OK next iteration...

I have tried this formula in the combo box's Items value:

Filter('VVI Users', 'CI Auditor' = 'CI Auditor (VVI Users)'.Yes )

 

I created 'CI Auditor' field in the 'VVI Users' table, which is a YES/NO Choice, so i can define who is an approved auditor. Checking this column in the filter works, I get the correct records listed in the combo box. Still do not see any other value other than name!

What good are these record lookups if I can't dig down and get the other fields with the constructors?? UGH

 

edit:

I can see the emails once i submit the form and lookup the Record.Auditor.Email... but once i submit my form, and set a variable as the Form.LastSubmit, then use the varCIRecord.Auditor.Email, it returns BLANK - email doesn't send.

@MechEng2013 

OK there are many things here, and I recommend you deal with them one at a time.

 

1. First of all, in the original post, you brought up this:


@MechEng2013 wrote:

I then use the email address as part of an automated email system through outlook.com connector.

'Outlook.com'.SendEmailV2(
varCIauditor, // "To" Field

 

This works, if I manually clear out the default selection from the combo box, and then manually select a *different* user. If I manually clear & re-select the default user, it still does not work! By "Not Working", I mean that the variable is showing as either BLANK, or just empty string.

 


If you still have this issue, did using DefaultSelectedItems work? It seemed form the original post, it was working otherwise except for when no value was set manually in the control. In the first post, I explained why this might have been the case - did using DefaultSelectedItems work?

//pseudocode
With
(
    {cbsi:cb_CIauditor.SelectedItems,cbsd:cb_CIauditor.DefaultSelectedItems},
   ,Set
    (
         varCIauditor
        ,Concat
         (
           If(IsBlank(cbsi),cbsd,cbsi)
          ,Email
          , "; "
         )
    );
)

 

 

2. Now you also bring up this:


@MechEng2013 wrote:

 

I created 'CI Auditor' field in the 'VVI Users' table, which is a YES/NO Choice, so i can define who is an approved auditor. Checking this column in the filter works, I get the correct records listed in the combo box. Still do not see any other value other than name!

What good are these record lookups if I can't dig down and get the other fields with the constructors?? UGH

 


A Combo Box control, Drop Down control, etc. will usually only show one of the columns, you may want to check what's in the Items property of the Combo Box control and adjust it accordingly, such as to show Email rather than Name.

3. You also bring up:


@MechEng2013 wrote:

 

edit:

I can see the emails once i submit the form and lookup the Record.Auditor.Email... but once i submit my form, and set a variable as the Form.LastSubmit, then use the varCIRecord.Auditor.Email, it returns BLANK - email doesn't send.


OK now you're trying to do something different here. 

First, before setting a variable, I'd recommend just using Form.LastSubmit directly with no variable just to see if it works - does it work then, or is the issue still there?

If it happens to work only without setting a variable, then I'd recommend not to set the variable. 

If you have a requirement that Form.LastSubmit must be in a variable, it may be possible but to keep things simple, let's see if it works when using Form.LastSubmit directly first before going there.

If the above doesn't work, then, continuing to use Form.LastSubmit directly only first, try the following:

 

Note that putting the data in a Combo Box or a Drop down control is not the best way to do trial and error on seeing if data is there or not, those specific controls do not show complete Tables or even a complete Record, so to help with this, you can try the following:

 

1. Try putting Form.LastSubmit in a valid place in a formula bar, and hover over it to see what's inside of it data wise. See if the data is there, but simply that you did not access it. 
2. Try putting Form.LastSubmit as the Items property of a Gallery. It's just one Record (not a Table) but the Gallery might accept it anyway. Make sure on the right side of the Gallery to click Edit Fields and add in fields if you want to do it this way.

3. Try putting Form.LastSubmit as the Items property of a Data Table, but you'll need to use [Form.LastSubmit] so it's turned into a Table. Make sure on the right side to click Edit Fields and add in fields if you want to do it this way.

@MechEng2013 - since you have so many things going on here, I recommend you check on them one at a time. 

 

See if the above helps you.

Thanks for all your help @poweractivate !

 

First point #1: I have changed the way I want to do this, so DefaultSelectedItems is now just Parent.Default. Parent.Default is ThisItem.Auditor.

 

Second #2: Here is ComboBox Items property:

Filter('VVI Users', 'CI Auditor' = 'CI Auditor (VVI Users)'.Yes )

This checks that I have added the Auditor role to their profile. If "Yes", they are added to the filter. This works good for the combo box filter/selection. As you can see, i'm not pulling their names in this filter, So the records are being pulled, but I can't dig down to the other fields from the lookup record.

 

Point #3: When I check the variable's other things that I'm pulling, they are working correctly. The only one that is not working is the Email lookup, I've traced it back to the Combo Boxes like we've been discussing.

 

My observations based on testing:

  1. It seems that ComboBox.Selected can only pull the Primary Column data from the lookup record. This seems odd to me, because it decreases functionality, but maybe it is just something we have to work around as PowerApps developers.
  2. In trying to work around this, I have also found some odd behavior in the Outlook.com connector (Send Email V2) maybe I just don't understand. My work around, was to set a variable 'varCIAuditor' to LastSubmit.Auditor.Email (Text type), then set the 'To:' field in the email connector to varCIAuditor. This also did not work. -  I use alot of these email connectors throughout my app, so I'm quite familiar with using these types of variables to assign things I want the email to say, or who to send to.

 

To make it more frustrating:

Another form I use a combo box to select multiple people from the same Users table, and I use an invisible text label with contcat(combobox.selecteditems, Text(Email), "; ") to create a string of all the emails to send to, and this works perfectly. When I copy this over this form I'm having trouble on, it doesn't work. Honestly, the only difference I can see between these two pages, is that the combo box that is working correctly, is NOT in the Datacard of the Form, it is outside of the form. Maybe that's the key??

 

 

 

 

@MechEng2013 

 

I think I know what the issue is for you here.

 

When you use a Dataverse Lookup column as the actual record for DefaultSelectedItems (or as the Default property of the Parent, if it says Parent.Default), you will only get a Record with a 2 column schema in response,

one column is the Primary Column (e.g. Name), and the  out of the box Dataverse GUID (Primary Key) as the record. 

 

NameGUID
Johnsome-guid

 

For example, your Primary Column in Dataverse might be 'Name'. That's all you get here.

For this reason, "Email" won't be present when you try to use this particular Record.

 

That's why it might also be happening only when it is the default Combo Box value, and not when it is changed - perhaps the DefaultSelectedItems (or a parent Default) is actually using a Dataverse lookup column directly, rather than the underlying data source. If so, only these two columns, Name and GUID will be present.

 

So you might visually see the Combo Box populating the value, because the primary column Name will be present - but in fact, Email, is not present - nor are any other columns you may be expecting. So it looks like it should work since there is a value shown in the Combo Box.

However, any other column besides Name isn't there, so in fact, it is not working as expected.

 

You need to actually get the whole Record from the underlying Table (data source) based on the Primary Key (GUID) field that is in the dataverse lookup column, like this

 

//pseudocode
//'Primary Key' will usually show up the same as the name of the Table in Power Apps, it is actually the out of the box primary key (GUID) of the Dataverse table.

LookUp(ActualUnderlyingDataSource,myRecordFromDataverseLookupColumn.'Primary Key' = 'Primary Key').Email

//ActualUnderlyingDataSource is the actual data source that your Dataverse lookup column was pointing to.

 

After that, your issue should be resolved, as you can access the Email column, and any other columns from the underlying data source.

 

By default, the Dataverse lookup field itself will only have the primary column (such as Name), and the primary key (GUID), of the record, but it will have nothing else that is from the actual Table itself. You need to explicitly LookUp the record from the underlying Table, using the primary key (GUID) to match it up with the actual underlying record form the actual underlying Table.

 

Wherever else you might be doing this in your app, make sure to do that explicit lookup as well, then you should be able to resolve the issues you are having.

 

See if it helps @MechEng2013 

This was it, thank you for going above and beyond to help me with this! Knowing that the combo box selection only returns the GUID and the Primary Column is helpful, then make a separate lookup using the GUID value as the formula works perfectly. 

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