Restoring ‘Edit Power’ in Power Apps Solving Missing Edit Options with SQL Server Data

Restoring ‘Edit Power’ in Power Apps: Solving Missing Edit Options with SQL Server Data

Guide to Rectifying Missing Edit Options in Power Apps with SQL Server Data Sources

Encountering missing options for editing, adding, or deleting data from a SQL Server table in Power Apps? We provide insights and solutions in this guide. With our focus on the concept of “edit power”, we’ll guide you through the steps to restore your app’s full functionality.

Understanding the Core Issue

One of the prevalent queries from app builders using SQL Server data sources pertains to the absence of edit options in the form designer. Why is there an omission of auto-generated apps with the edit, add, and delete functions? The crux of the matter lies in the missing primary key column of the target table. Power Apps demands a primary key column to distinguish rows uniquely. Establishing a primary key usually addresses this concern.

Spotlight on the Problem

Let’s delineate this issue with an example. Assume you create a table using the SQL Server Management Studio that doesn’t possess a primary key.

Now, upon crafting an auto-generated app using the “start with data option”, you’ll observe the glaring absence of an edit screen. The buttons required for editing an existing record or for its deletion remain unavailable.

Additionally, the form control will remain adamant, not allowing the modification of a field’s control type to an editable one.

Choosing to sidestep the use of a form control and trying to create or edit records via the Patch function results in this error message: “The data source is either read-only or has no primary key, so the function Patch can’t write to it.”

Creating a Primary Key Column in SQL Management Studio

The optimal solution to this conundrum is to designate an auto-incrementing int column for the target table. Subsequently, this column can be marked as a primary key through the right-click context menu.

In the column’s properties, activating the “is identity” option to “yes” turns the column into an auto-incrementing integer. After introducing a new column to the table, ensure you refresh the data source from Power Apps’ data panel. Post-refresh, you gain the capability to specify editable controls for fields within the form control.

Power Apps Compatibility with Composite Key Tables

While inserting an identity column simplifies the task of updating a table from Power Apps, it’s noteworthy that text columns of data type varchar/nvarchar earmarked as a primary key are equally valid. An often-asked question revolves around Power Apps’ compatibility with SQL Server tables boasting of composite primary keys. The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s an illustration depicting a table embedded with a composite key, showcasing that all fields can be rendered editable using the form control.


App builders often grapple with the challenge of missing functionalities to add, edit, or delete records from an SQL Server table. Predominantly, the root cause can be traced back to the target table’s lack of a primary key field. Through this guide, we’ve endeavored to shed light on the nuances of the problem and furnish effective solutions.

If you find yourself facing challenges or require more extensive technical assistance, don’t hesitate. Contact us for dedicated support. We are here to ensure you harness the full potential of your applications, and we offer tailored solutions that can suit your unique requirements.

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