Understanding Nested Collections in PowerApps: Collection vs Table Deep Dive

Introduction to Nested Collections:

Briefly introduce what nested collections are in PowerApps and why they’re important.

Dealing with data is central to any application, and in PowerApps, understanding the difference between powerapps collection vs table, especially when nested, is crucial. In this article, we will delve deep into how to access and work with nested collections and tables, illustrating with practical examples to ease your PowerApps journey.

Understanding the Basics:

Discuss the fundamental concepts of nested collections versus tables. Nested collections or tables can sometimes pose challenges, especially for beginners.

Practical Examples:

Provide examples to illustrate how nested collections work in PowerApps. Let’s explore a representative example to clarify things. Consider a collection named ‘PurchaseDetails’. This collection has two primary fields – ‘BuyerName’ and ‘PurchaseItems’. In our scenario, we have three records within this collection: Mike, Alice, and Chris.


Advanced Techniques:

Delve into more complex scenarios and manipulation techniques. Delving deeper, let’s look at the content of ‘PurchaseItems’ for the record associated with ‘Mike’. It consists of fields like ‘Product’, ‘PurchaseID’, and ‘Cost’. This nested collection contains two entries.


If one wants to fetch the first entry within ‘PurchaseItems’ corresponding to the initial record in ‘PurchaseDetails’ (for instance, obtaining the product ‘HP Laptop’), the appropriate syntax would be:


Similarly, to get the first entry in ‘PurchaseItems’ associated with the buyer ‘Alice’ in ‘PurchaseDetails’, the Lookup function becomes handy:

First(Lookup(PurchaseDetails, BuyerName="Alice").PurchaseItems).Product

If you aim to display all of Mike’s ‘PurchaseItems’ within a Gallery control, simply set the Items property of the Gallery as:

Lookup(PurchaseDetails, BuyerName="Mike").PurchaseItems

Furthermore, to compute the total cost of all items bought by Mike, add a label with its Text property set to:

Sum(Lookup(PurchaseDetails, BuyerName="Mike").PurchaseItems, Cost)


  1. LookUp functions
  2. Sum functions
  3. First functions


This exposition offers a snapshot of the intricacies involved in maneuvering through child collections or data sources. PowerApps forums and communities can be invaluable resources for more such examples and intricate scenarios.

If you are still facing challenges, remember that assistance is just a click away. Contact us for any technical assistance or further queries. Our expert team is always ready to guide you, ensuring you make the most out of PowerApps and other related technologies.


Navigating nested collections or tables in PowerApps need not be daunting. By understanding the core principles and employing the right syntax, you can seamlessly handle and manipulate data, even when deeply nested. Always remember, when in doubt or need of expert guidance, reach out to us.

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