PowerApps and managed metadata

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This is a very short, little, blog. And perhaps you might think: yeah, what your writing about us common knowledge. And it might well be. But I still hope this helps people who create PowerApps, but don’t know all the ins-and-outs of SharePoint’s Managed Metadata service.

What’s the premise?

Let’s say I have a SharePoint list. This list contains one (or more) columns based on the managed metadata service. A very handy and powerful feature for content management. It allows the (centralized) management of metadata terms. Also, it manages these terms in a hierarchy, supports dependencies between the terms and more.

When you want to select a term (from SharePoint, for example) you can either browse through the “tree” of terms or start typing.

termset-tree.png

In PowerApps

In PowerApps this kind of column shows up as a drop-down menu. There is no (out of the box) way to show the “tree” of terms, but you can still search. And here’s the snag. The default behavior of this menu is to search from left to right. Meaning, that you always have to start searching using the first word of the term. For example, the word “Parlement” provides me with the terms starting with that expression.

PowerApps1

And that should be ok, because that’s the standard way of working. However, what if you have terms which have multiple words (like above) and want to search for a specific word? I couldn’t find a very easy way to get around this in PowerApps. But there is a simple work-around for this.

Using synonyms

One of the functions of the Managed Metadata service is to provide synonyms (or “Other labels”) for your terms. This is handy if you want to add abbreviations to your term (for example). When searching for a term, you can also use these synonyms. See where this is going?

Let’s say I have the term “Commissies parlement”. My workers want to be able to select this term using the PowerApp by either using “Commissies” or “Parlement” or even “Etc”. Well, the last one is just for demo-purposes.

I add these synonyms to the term.

termset

And now, when I use my PowerApp I can also select the term “Commissies parlement” when I type in “parlement”.  Basic and standard workings of the managed metadata service.

PowerApps3

All-in-all

I hope this little work-around can help you if you find yourself in the same situation. I admit that this will mean adding all relevant synonyms to your metadata terms. But to be fair, that’s always a good practise 🙂

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