Types of fields

The names used for types depends on the designer used. Power Apps portal uses a convention that includes the way the data is formatted. The solution explorer type uses a name aligned with the database data type with a format modifier. The following table includes the corresponding AttributeTypeDisplayName API type.

Portal Data type Solution Explorer type API type
Big Integer Time Stamp BigIntType
Currency Currency MoneyType
Customer Customer CustomerType
Date and Time Date and Time
Date and Time Format
Date Only Date and Time
Date Only Format
Decimal Number Decimal Number DecimalType
Duration Whole Number
Duration Format
Email Single Line of Text
Email Format
File File FileType
Floating Point Number Floating Point Number DoubleType
Image Image ImageType
Language Whole Number
Language Format
Lookup Lookup LookupType
Multi Select Option Set MultiSelect Option Set MultiSelectPicklistType
Multiline Text Multiple Lines of Text MemoType
Option Set Option Set PicklistType
Owner Owner OwnerType
Phone Single Line of Text
Phone Format
Status Reason Status Reason StatusType
Status Status StateType
Text Area Single Line of Text
Text Area Format
Text Single Line of Text
Text Format
Ticker Symbol Single Line of Text
Ticker Symbol Format
Timezone Whole Number
Time Zone Format
Two Options Two Options BooleanType
Unique Identifier Unique Identifier or Primary Key UniqueidentifierType
URL Single Line of Text
URL Format
Whole Number Whole Number
None Format

For more descriptions for each type you can add or edit, see the topic for the corresponding designer:

For more information about how field data types are defined in the API, see Attribute metadata

Field Types used by the system

There are some fields used by the system that you cannot add using the designer.

Type Description
Big Integer or Time Stamp Used by the system to capture a version number manage updates to an entity.
Customer A lookup field that you can use to specify a customer, which can be an account or contact.
Note: This attribute can be added using solution explorer designer.
Owner A system lookup field that references the user or team that is assigned a user or team owned entity record.
Status Reason A system field that has options that provide additional detail about the Status field. Each option is associated with one of the available Status options. You can add and edit the options.

You can also include custom state transitions to control which status options are available for certain entities. More information: Define status reason transitions for custom entities
Status A system field that has options that generally correspond to active and inactive status. Some system attributes have additional options, but all custom attributes have only Active and Inactive status options.
Unique Identifier A system field stores a globally unique identifier (GUID) value for each record.

MultiSelect Option Set

You can customize forms (main, quick create, and quick view) and email templates by adding multi-select fields. When you add a Multi-Select Option Set field, you can specify multiple values that will be available for users to select. When users fill out the form they can select one, multiple, or all the values displayed in a drop-down list.

For example, if an organization operates in multiple areas or countries, you can include multiple locations or countries in an ‘Area of operation’ field. A user can then select one or more locations from the list of available values.

Multi-select option set is only available in read-only grids, editable grids, and forms. Multi-select option set is not supported in:

  • Workflows, Actions, Dialogs, Roll Ups, charts, and Calculated fields.
  • Reports, SLA, and Routing Rule.

Multi-select fields are supported in the following types of forms:

Form Type Availability
Turbo form Yes
Refresh form Read-only (field will available but cannot be edited)
Legacy form No
Bulk Edit form No

You can use global option sets that are defined in your organization to configure values for the multi-select option sets.

Using the right type of number

When choosing the correct type of number field to use, the choice to use a Whole Number or Currency type should be pretty straightforward. The choice between using Floating Point or Decimal numbers requires more thought.

Decimal numbers are stored in the database exactly as specified. Floating point numbers store an extremely close approximation of the value. Why choose extremely close approximation when you can have the exact value? The answer is that you get different system performance.

Use decimals when you need to provide reports that require very accurate calculations, or if you typically use queries that look for values that are equal or not equal to another value.

Use floating point numbers when you store data that represents fractions or values that you will typically query comparing to another value using greater than or less than operators. In most cases, the difference between decimal and float isn’t noticeable. Unless you require the most accurate possible calculations, floating point numbers should work for you.

Using currency fields

Currency fields allow for an organization to configure multiple currencies that can be used for records in the organization. When organizations have multiple currencies, they typically want to be able to perform calculations to provide values using their base currency. When you add a currency field to an entity that has no other currency fields, two additional fields are added:

  • A lookup field called Currency that you can set to any active currency configured for your organization. You can configure multiple active currencies for your organization in Settings > Business Management > Currencies. There you can specify the currency and an exchange rate with the base currency set for your organization. If you have multiple active currencies, you can add the currency field to the form and allow people to specify which currency should be applied to money values for this record. This will change the currency symbol that is shown for the currency fields in the form.

    Individuals can also change their personal options to select a default currency for the records they create.

  • A decimal field called Exchange Rate that provides the exchange rate for a selected currency associated with the entity with respect to the base currency. If this field is added to the form, people can see the value, but they can’t edit it. The exchange rate is stored with the currency.

For each currency field you add, another currency field is added with the suffix _Base on the name. This field stores the calculation of the value of the currency field you added and the base currency. Again, if this field is added to the form, it can’t be edited.

When you configure a currency field you can choose the precision value. There are three options as shown in the following table.

Option Description
Pricing Decimal Precision This is a single organization precision to be used for prices found in Settings > Administration > System Settings > General Tab.
Currency Precision This option applies the precision defined for the currency in the record.
Specific precision values These settings allow for defining a specific set precision using values between 0 and 4.

Different types of lookups

When you create a new lookup field you are creating a new Many-to-One (N:1) entity relationship between the entity you’re working with and the Target Record Type defined for the lookup. There are additional configuration options for this relationship that are described in Create and edit relationships between entities. But all custom lookups can only allow for a reference to a single record for a single target record type.

However, you should be aware that not every lookup behaves this way. There are several different types of system lookups as shown here.

Lookup type Description
Simple Allows for a single reference to a specific entity. All custom lookups are this type.
Customer Allows for a single reference to either an account or a contact record.
Owner Allows for a single reference to either a team or a user record. All team or user-owned entities have one of these. More information: Add the team entity as a lookup option in your app
PartyList Allows for multiple references to multiple entities. These lookups are found on the Email entity To and Cc fields. They’re also used in the Phone and Appointment entities.
Regarding Allows for a single reference to multiple entities. These lookups are found in the regarding field used in activities.

Image fields

Use image fields to display a single image per record in the application. Each entity can have one image field. You can add an image field to custom entities but not to standard entities. Some standard entities have image fields defined.

Even though an entity has an image field, displaying that image in a model-driven app requires that you enable two settings.

  • The standard entity definition Primary Image property value must be set to Default Image. Custom entities require a custom image field. Then, you can select that image field for the Primary Image value in the custom entity definition.
  • The entity form where the image is to be displayed must have the Show image in the form property enabled.

When image display is enabled for an entity, any records that don’t have an image will display a placeholder image. For example:

Default entity image

People can choose the default image to upload a picture from their computer. Images must be less than 10 MB and must be in one of the following formats:

  • jpg
  • jpeg
  • gif
  • tif
  • tiff
  • bmp
  • png

When the image is uploaded, it will be converted to a .jpg format and all downloaded images will also use this format. If an animated .gif is uploaded, only the first frame is saved.

When an image is uploaded, it will be resized as a "thumbnail" image to a maximum size of 144 pixels by 144 pixels. People should resize or crop the images before they upload them so that they will display well using this size. All images are cropped to be square. If both sides of an image are smaller than 144 pixels, the image will be cropped to be a square with the dimensions of the smaller side.

Add image support for a form in a custom entity using solution explorer

  1. Open solution explorer.

  2. In the left navigation pane, expand Entities, expand the custom entity you want, and then select Fields.

  3. On the toolbar, select New.

  4. In the Type section in the Data Type dropdown list select Image.

  5. Enter a Display Name, such as Custom entity image.

  6. Complete the remaining fields as appropriate. Notice that the Name, Field Requirement, and Searchable fields can’t be changed. Select Save and Close.

  7. On the entity definition next to the Primary Image property make sure the value is set to the custom image you created in the previous step. If it's not select it.

    Primary image property selected

  8. Open the form where you want image support, such as the entity main form.

  9. On the form editor ribbon, select Form Properties.

  10. On the Form Properties page, select the Display tab, select Show image in the form, and then select OK.

    Show image in the form setting

  11. On the form editor ribbon, select Save, and then select Publish. Close the form editor.

App users can now select the image to display on the form. When an app user opens the form for a record, they can choose the image that they want displayed on the form.


If the record is a new record that hasn’t been saved the error Invalid Argument is returned when you try to change the image.

Change the image for a record

Once an entity form has an image field, app users can change the image for a given record.

  1. Open the app that includes the entity form, and then select the image on the form.

    Default entity image

  2. Select Upload image, browse and select the image you want displayed on the entity form, and then select Change. The image appears on the record.

    Changed image saved to a record

More information for developers working with image data:

File fields

[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change.]

Currently, the file data type is only available to canvas apps and flows.

The File field is used for storing binary data. The primary intended use of this field is to store a single image, note, or attachment. However, storage of other forms of binary data is also possible. One or more fields of this data type can be added to an existing standard customizable entity or a custom entity.

The default Maximum file size is 32 MB and the largest size you can set is 128 MB. The file size limit can be set individually for each field of file type added to an entity.

More information for developers working with file data: File attributes