Types of tables

A table defines information that you want to track in the form of rows (records), which typically include column data such as company name, location, products, email, phone, and so on.

Tables appear in Power Apps as one of these different types:

  • Standard: Several standard tables, also known as out-of-box tables, are included with a Power Platform environment that includes Microsoft Dataverse. Account, business unit, contact, task, and user tables are examples of standard tables in Dataverse. Most of the standard tables included with Dataverse can be customized. Tables that are imported as part of a managed solution and set as customizable also appear as standard tables. Any user with appropriate privileges can customize these tables where the table property has customizable set to true.
  • Activity: Are a special kind of table and are best for rows that have an activity-based element, which can include a subject, start time, stop time, due date, and duration. Dataverse already comes with several out-of-the-box activity tables, such as appointment, task, email, and phone call. More information: Activity tables
  • Virtual: Are when you need the table to be populated with data from an external source outside of Dataverse.
  • Elastic: Are for when the table will store a very large dataset in excess of tens of millions of rows.

Activity tables

An activity can be thought of as any action for which an entry can be made on a calendar. An activity has time dimensions (start time, stop time, due date, and duration) that help determine when the action occurred or will occur. Activities also contain data that helps determine what action the activity represents, for example, subject and description. An activity can be opened, canceled, or completed. The completed status of an activity will have several sub-status values associated with it to clarify the way that the activity was completed.

Activity tables are a special kind of table that can only be owned by a user or team, but can't be owned by an organization. When you create a table, you can specify it as a standard or activity table.

The following table lists activity tables that are available in a default environment.

Name Description Display in activity menus Reference
Appointment Commitment representing a time interval with start/end times and duration. Yes Appointment
Email Activity that is delivered using email protocols. Yes Email
Fax Activity that tracks call outcome and number of pages for a fax and optionally stores an electronic copy of the document. Yes Fax
Letter Activity that tracks the delivery of a letter. The activity can contain the electronic copy of the letter. Yes Letter
Phone Call Activity to track a telephone call. Yes PhoneCall
Recurring Appointment The master appointment of a recurring appointment series. Yes RecurringAppointmentMaster
Task Generic activity representing work needed to be done. Yes Task

When you can create a new custom activity table, you might create it to read instant message communications. Creating an activity table is different from creating a non-activity table because you don't specify a primary column. All activity tables have a Primary Field set to Subject and other common columns that are defined by the Activity table. This allows all types of activities to be shown in a view where just the common columns are displayed.

To create a custom activity table, open the Advanced options section in the New table panel, select the Activity option from the Type drop-down list. After you select this, you'll see that Display in Activity menus is selected. This setting allows people to create this type of activity in the activity menus. This isn't selected for activities that are typically associated with specific events and created behind using code or by a workflow. After you save the table, you can't change these settings.

Enable activities for a table

Enable activities to add activities to a table and use the Regarding lookup for the table.

  1. To enable activities, sign in to Power Apps.

  2. On the left nav, select Tables, and then open the table you want.

  3. Select Properties.

  4. Expand Advanced options, and then select Creating a new activity.


    Once enabled this setting can't be disabled.

  5. Select Save.

Enable users to associate activities to multiple records (preview)

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

Users sometimes need to associate an email to multiple records. For example, a customer sends an email that is related to multiple cases. The existing Regarding lookup only allows a user to relate an email to a single parent record. Email records can now be associated to multiple records such as accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, and cases through a new activity party type column named related. When an email is associated to multiple records, it appears in the timeline for each of the associated records.


  • This is a preview feature.
  • Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have restricted functionality. These features are available before an official release so that customers can get early access and provide feedback.

The related column isn't added to email form by default. To enable users to use this new column, add the related column to the email form. For information about how to add a column to a form, go to add columns to a form.

After you add the related column to the form, users can associate an email record with other related party records (parties) like cases or opportunities.

While there are similarities between the regarding and related columns, the following are important differences to note:

  • Supported tables
    The related column is currently only available for the Email table. The related column doesn't currently support the same relationships utilized by the regarding column. The list of supported tables is currently limited to the tables that can have a contact email.

  • Relationship type
    The regarding column acts as a parental relationship from a parent record. For example, if an account has multiple activities and is later deleted, the same action is automatically applied to the child activity records. The related column isn't a parental relationship. Actions performed on related records don't affect the related activities.

  • When the column value is set
    After the related column is added to the email form, users can manually add one or more records to indicate the records are related to the activity. The regarding and related columns are independent. Setting a value for the regarding lookup column doesn't affect the values for related. When a new email is related to an existing email (for example, as a reply), the values from the related and regarding columns of the correlated email are copied to the new activity. However, when you create a new email from the timeline control within a record’s context, the related column isn't automatically set to the current record. This behavior can be modified by enabling an OrgDBOrgSetting named AddParentEntityToRelatedOnNewActivityCreate.

  • Outlook add-in scenarios
    Some features such as Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and Copilot for Sales include an ability to save an Outlook email as an email record while also setting the regarding column. These features don't set the value of the related column.

Table ownership

There are two different types of standard and custom table ownership. When you create a custom table the ownership options are User or team or Organization owned. Once a table is created, the ownership type can't be changed.

Ownership Description
Organization Data belongs to the organization. Access to the data is controlled at the organization level.
User or team Data belongs to a user or a team. Actions that can be performed on these rows can be controlled on a user level.

Notice that there are a few Dataverse system tables that are similar to standard tables but have a different type of ownership from organization and user or team ownership:

  • None. Some system tables don't have an owner, such as the Privilege table.
  • Business Unit. A few system tables are business-owned. These include Business Unit, Calendar, Team, and Security Role tables.


After a custom table is created, you can't change the ownership. Before you create a table, make sure that you choose the correct type of ownership. If you later determine that your custom table must be of a different type, you have to delete it and create a new one.

Virtual tables

A virtual table is a custom table in Dataverse that has columns containing data from an external data source. Virtual tables appear in your app to users as regular table rows, but contain data that is sourced from an external database dynamically at runtime, such as an Azure SQL Database. Rows based on virtual tables are available in all clients including custom clients developed using the Dataverse web services. More information: Create and edit virtual tables that contain data from an external data source

Elastic tables

Elastic tables offer performance benefits over standard tables when the table contains a very large dataset. Elastic tables are powered by Azure Cosmos DB. More information: Create and edit elastic tables

See also

Create tables
Edit tables