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SWTL
Regular Visitor

Fill datasource from table variable

Hi,

Writing my first app, still getting the hang of things.

All data for the app I am working on is coming from an external API. I have a flow which is pulling in the data and giving it to me as a table object variable and I am displaying it in a gallery. That's all working well.

But I wanted to also use a form control, but it seems form controls require an actual data source and I can't just use the table object variable I've been using.

I am thinking I need to take the table object variable I have and use it's data to fill a pre-defined data source table, but I'm not sure if that's the right way to go or if I'm missing something.

3 REPLIES 3
Drrickryp
Super User
Super User

@SWTL 

You are correct in that a form cannot use a collection or variable as a data source.  You can patch the variable but it won't translate as a patch to the original table.   Is it possible to add the external API as a table in PowerApps?

When I initially started, I did try to work through adding the API as a connector to have it backed by a DataSource, but I had a lot of difficulties getting the Power Apps connector to work with the odd requirements of this particular API. That's when I turned over to making Automate Flows instead, since I felt I had a bit more control with how the HTTP requests were made there.

 

What do you mean 'you can patch the variable but...'? 

 

I'm decently sure if I got the table variable into an internal datasource that would solve my current problems. I haven't gotten around to trying to make that happen yet. It only needs to be there temporarily. The primary work flow is going to be:

- Make API call to get current items

- Allow user to view items in a gallery and drill down on an item to see it's details.

- Option to edit the item from the details page, with those changes pushed directly back up to the API

- If the user goes back to the gallery list, I would be resetting all data and redoing the initial API call to get current items again.

 

I can do all this with making the details page a bunch of individual text boxes (then I can reference the table variable directly), I was just hoping to use the form control instead so that empty fields can be auto-hidden easily.

@SWTL 

What you are calling a table variable sounds like what is generally referred to here as a collection.  

You will not be able to use a form for editing or adding new records to this collection. However, for the sake of simplicity, lets assume that the table (called yourtable) has two columns, a text column called yourtext and a date column called yourdate for each record.  To accomplish your goal of editing records, do the following:

  • Add a blank vertical Gallery to a screen
  • Make the Items property the table you have obtained from your API
  • Add a textinputbox and a datepicker, call them Textinput1 and Datepicker1. 
  • Set the Default property of Textinput1: ThisItem.yourtext and the Default property of DatePicker1: ThisItem.yourdate
  • Set the OnChange property of TextInput1: Patch(yourtable, ThisItem, {yourtext:Self.Text}) 
  • Set the OnChange property of DatePicker1: Patch(yourtable, ThisItem,{yourdate:Self.SelectedDate})

FYI: This type of gallery is referred to as an Editable Grid and this one is the most basic. Other input controls can be used like Dropdowns, Sliders, Checkboxes, etc and labels can be put in the gallery for data that you don't want the user to edit.   There are several good videos about editable grids that you can view to learn the nuances of working with them. 

Here is a screenshot of a gallery I constructed to illustrate the above steps.   The table object (or collection) only exists during your session so after you have edited it you will need to somehow use it to replace the data in your API. To add a new record, you will need to place a button outside  the gallery with OnSelect property

Patch(yourtable,Defaults(yourtable),{yourtext:Blank(),yourdate:Blank()}) to add a blank row to the collection for the user to complete. If you can make this work as your first app,  I will be impressed.  You have chosen a difficult task. 

_8.jpg

 

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