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How do I find where a Collection is created?

Hello all,

It would be great to have a way to find where a collection was defined (place or action in the app the actually creates the collection via Collect, ClearCollect, etc. - for example in an OnVisible action or OnSelect action).

 

This functionality is available for variables but not for collections. It's a nightmare to find where a given collection was created or is being updated within a app w/ lots of screens, actions, controls. etc.

 

Thanks, Daniel

Status: Under Review
Comments
Advocate V

I totally agree, I just defined a collection and want to change it but I cannot find it 😞

Frequent Visitor

I have the same problem

Advocate I

I run into this all the time. Its very easy to trace variables, but impossible with collections. How is this overlooked in the design of PowerApps?

Regular Visitor
This is very important when an app becomes bigger, it's very time consuming to find where a collection is defined. 
I often find myself spend HOURS trying to find references for collections...
Advocate III

 

I say "Amen" (i.e. I've added my vote).  In the meantime.....

 

One "workaround" when you've reached your wits' end is to save the app locally (aka Save as to "This computer") as an .msapp file.  Then change the downloaded file's extension to .zip.  Next unzip the file.  Finally, using the power text editor of your choice (e.g. Notepad++, Visual Studio Code), search against all files in the unzipped folder's contents for the name of your MIA collection.

 

It's a bit esoteric to dig through the "compressed" JSON and junk in the search results, but with a bit of turning your head sideways and using Google Translate to go from geek-speak to the (human) language of your choice, you can zero in on where the collection shows up in your app.

 

I can't find the original post of the person who taught me this trick, but credit goes to him/her. Just trying to share the knowledge.

 

Here is a screenshot of me hunting down a collection I had replaced with a newer collection but couldn't locate to cull.  I.e. I'm using VS Code pointed at the folder that came from the unzipped .msapp file/archive to search for coll_AllQuestions.  And another showing the actual entry in PApps studio...

 

 

Hunting Collections and Formula Text with VS Code.png

 

 

 

 

 

.

..

... and now located in PApps....

Hunting Collections and Formula Text with VS Code pt2.png

 

 

 

 

Thanks @DeeTronSEAM for the tip, will look into it.

 

My vote is in.. as this is indeed a pain when you want to do good house cleaning before releasing an app!

Power Apps
Status changed to: Under Review
 
Frequent Visitor

Totally need this

Microsoft

+1. Especially useful when editing and customizing a custom application.

Regular Visitor

Very time consuming not to have this feature. Please please add it! Thank you!