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Lately, I got my hands on Power Apps Power Query Dataflows. It is a pretty handy tool for migrating, transforming, and importing data. I suggest you to try it for yourself. Even though it is a helpful tool, I must admit that I didn’t have a good experience with it when trying to put it through Application Lifecycle Management and deploy it using Azure Pipelines. But this is not the topic of this article. I want to show you an error I ran into.


As you can see, the error tells you nothing about what is happening. It happened when I finished data transformation, mapped columns to my table in Dataverse, and tried to import the data. Since I didn’t know what it was about, I had to remove data transformation steps one by one to find out what was wrong. Fortunately, it didn’t take long.

The problem was caused by the mapping of alternate key on lookup. These keys are essential, If you want to map a lookup. It is used instead of the unique id of a row. Without it, the lookup won’t even show on the mapping page. In my example, I was importing expenses from a CSV file. On the expense in Dataverse, I wanted to hold information about measurement units - liters, kilograms, pieces,… At the moment, when I populated the key for the unit and refreshed the dataflows, the error appeared.


I went to check back on the alternate key for the Measurement Unit table and I found, that it had some status and it said Failed. When you create an alternate key, it needs to go through some initialization process before you can use it properly and for some reason, this one failed.

Alternate key failed

To cut it short, the problem was in data. I wanted to use a measurement unit symbol as an alternate key for mapping, but we had duplicate data in it. What I didn’t think about was that two units could have the same symbol.

Duplicate symbol

My solution was to change the alternate key from symbol to name, the error disappeared and the dataflow started to work.

Import succeeded

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