Variables in Canvas Power Apps | Global and Context

For all newbies, being able to use Variables is one the most curious questions put out immediately. Here’s a simplistic example of using Variables, both Global and Contextual in this post.


Global Variable

Global Variables as the name suggest, run through the entire App itself and can be changed and altered when needed.
Global variables can hold boolean, string, number etc.

  1. Let’s say, I have a Text field called GuestNameField
  2. Global Variables are created and set by using Set(variable, value) function.

    Now, on the OnChange event of the GuestNameField above, I’m setting the variable by the formula Set(guestName, GuestNameField.Text). Where, guestName is the field I created on the fly and I’m setting the text from the GuestNameField textbox whenever the Textbox will trigger OnChange Event.

  3. And I have a Label called as DisplayValue which will read from the variable and set it’s text.
  4. Now, when I run the app and type the name, and when I release the focus on the text box, the
    And when the focus from the TextBox is released, OnChange of the TextBox will trigger and the Label will display the text written since it’s reading the value from the variable

Context Variable

Now, a variation to the Context Variable from the Global Variable is that the Context variable have the scope of the only the current screen they are declared in. Navigate function is also a form of Context variable in which case, you can pass values to other screens.

Context variables can hold strings, numbers, records and tables.

  1. Now, in case of Context Variables, you use UpdateContext({variable: value}) in the formula.
  2. And is accessed/read by simply writing the name of the variable directly
  3. And it behaves in the same way, you write something and it can be read
    And displayed below as seen in the above Global Variable example

Checking your Variables

In case you’re wondering you’ll lose track of your variables, you can check the File menu and access the Variables section as shown below

Global Variables as marked above can be accessed in their own section
And if you open any of those, you can see and even navigate to where they are used.

Similarly, for Context Variables are denoted by the Screen names they are in.

I tried to summarize this on a high level. You can refer this Microsoft Documentation for details Understand canvas-app variables in Power Apps.

Hope this was easy!

In case you are looking for more post related to Canvas PowerApps, here you go –

  1. Get N:N records in a Canvas Power App using Common Data Service connector | Power Platform
  2. Adding a Canvas PowerApp to Teams
  3. Correctly connect to an Excel file in a Canvas PowerApp
  4. Sending Image from Canvas PowerApps to SharePoint Document Library using Flows

Thank you!

Get N:N records in a Canvas Power App using Common Data Service connector | Power Platform

One of the most common asks when using CDS as Data Source in a Canvas Power Apps is – How do I get the data from N:N entities?

Well, I’m attempting to explain this in the easiest way possible.


Let’s assume Account entity has an N:N relationship with Account Plans entity

Account <–N:N–> Account Plans.

And in Dynamics 365, you simply add these records by going into related records and adding them using Add Existing button

And now, you want to access this data for a record in a Canvas Power App? Correct? Let’s get going with it.

Enable the Entities involved

In this example, the entities involved are Account and Account Plans

  1. Accessing data for N:N entities require the entities to be enabled for Change Tracking. Let’s check that in CDS
  2. And also the same thing for Account Plan entity as well

Reading Data in a Canvas Power App

I’ve kept the presentation of my Canvas Power App very crude, please excuse me for that.

Scenario: Now, let’s say you want to see the N:N data on selection of a record i.e. on selection of Account, you want to see what all Account Plans are added to that Account.

  1. Now, to demonstrate this, I’ve taken 2 galleries i.e. AccountGallery to show list of Accounts
  2. And probably a list to just display what Account Plans are added (You can have any other control depending on what you want to do with these records). I’ll call the table AccountPlansTable
  3. And my formula to display the N:N records will be –
    AccountGallery.Selected.’Account Plans’
  4. Now, you’ll need to add what fields should be shown from Account Plans entity to identify the records. Well, obviously, Name field is the most relevant here.
    I’ll click on Edit Fields for the AccountPlansTable
  5. And add the name field from that entity
  6. Once this is set, my App is ready to run

Accessing the N:N records

Let’s run the app and see how we can read these N:N records
Once I click on ABC/1/2&3, I can see the related N:N records in the DataTable below
Simple enough!

Here are some more posts you might like –

  1. Create your first PowerApp! Connect to SharePoint Online List
  2. Dynamics 365 Solutions’ New Experience in Power Apps, Solution Checker and more
  3. AutoNumber field in CDS | PowerApps
  4. Sending Image from Canvas PowerApps to SharePoint Document Library using Flows

Hope this helps!!