Untyped object data type (experimental)

Important

Untyped object is a data type in Power Fx that can hold any data structure, complex or simple. It can't be used directly and requires explicit conversion to a data type. Fields in records in an untyped object can be accessed using the dot notation, and existence of fields is only verified at runtime.

Untyped object is the return type of specific untyped providers. Currently, only the ParseJSON() function returns untyped object.

Simple Types

The value of a variable of type untyped object can't be used directly. You always have to correctly type it using the corresponding type constructor.

The following examples convert the value of an untyped object variable named UOValue.

Text(UOValue)
Value(UOValue)

The following table lists the data types and corresponding functions to convert untyped object to that data type.

Data Type Function Description
Boolean Boolean() When converting untyped object to boolean, the value may need to be converted to text or number first if the untyped object represents the boolean in those types.
Color ColorValue() or RGBA() Colors can be represented in Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) color definition notation as a string, or as individual RGBA components. The untyped object can be converted directly from a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) color definition string using the ColorValue() function, or from individual RGBA numbers into color using the RGBA() function.
Currency, Number Value() Numbers in untyped object can be directly converted to numbers. However, if the original untyped object value was represented as text, for example as ParseJSON("""123""") then it must first be converted to text before converting to a number.
Date, DateTime, Time DateValue(), TimeValue() or DateTimeValue() Date, time and datetime can be directly converted from untyped object to their respective type, when represented in ISO 8601 format. Other formats must first be converted to text using the Text() function and then passed into the DateValue(), TimeValue() or DateTimeValue() function that by default will use the language of the current user's settings to interpret the date and time.
GUID GUID() An untyped object can be directly converted to GUID.
HyperLink, Image, Media Text() These data types are text data types, and can be converted to text and then used in Power Fx.
Choice, Two Option Switch() or If() Choices and two options are presented as localized strings in Power Fx. Choices are backed by a number and two options as booleans. There's no direct conversion from boolean, number or string to a choice or two option, but the Switch() or If() functions can be used on the boolean, text or number value to correctly assign the choice or two option value.
Record n/a There's no direct conversion from untyped object to a record structure, but individual fields can be retrieved from the untyped object to create a new record.
Record Reference n/a Record references are unique to datasources and have no meaningful representation in untyped objects.
Table Table() and ForAll() An untyped object can represent an array, which can be converted into a table. These objects can be arrays of records, or arrays of values that are effectively single-column tables. ForAll() can be used to create a table with fully typed records. Review the examples further down this article for more information.
Text Text() Text can be directly converted. If an untyped object represents a number, you need to convert the untyped object to number first using Value() before converting to text.

Record Types

You can access fields on a variable representing an untyped object record using regular dot-notation used for records. However, the existence of the fields won't be verified until runtime. As a result, there's also no intellisense available. If a field doesn't exist or has an underlying null value, accessing it will result in a Blank() value.

Each field on the record is also of type untyped object, and needs to be properly typed. The field can be an untyped record of simple type. In case it's a record, you can chain the dot-notation. If any field in the chain doesn't exist, Blank() is returned.

The following examples use fields from an untyped object variable named UORecord.

Text(UORecord.StringField)
Value(UORecord.Field.ChildField)

In case a field name consists of an invalid identifier name, for example when the field names starts with a number or contains invalid characters such as a hyphen, you can put the field names in single quotes:

untyped.'01'
untyped.'my-field'

Arrays

An untyped object variable can contain an array. Even though the array could be either an array of records or array of simple types, converting the untyped object array to a table using the Table() function will always result in a single-column table of untyped objects. Functions such as ForAll() and Index() do not require you to first create a Table() and as result don't require you to use the single-column Value field,

For example, to get the second number in an array of untyped object containing number values ( [1, 2, 3] ), the following formula can be used to retrieve the second row in the table and convert column to a number:

Value( Index( UOArray, 2 ) )

If the untyped object was converted to a Table() first, the second row in the result single-column table is a Value column containing the untyped object:

Value( Index( Table( UOArray ), 2 ).Value )

For an array of records that have a text column called Field, the same logic applies. The untyped object can be accessed directly, or if using the Table() function will result in a single-column table of untyped object.

The Field column can be access directly from the untyped object returned by the Index() function.

Text( Index( UORecordArray, 2 ).Field )

When using the Table() function, first retrieve the single-column Value column to get the untyped object, then access the Field column:

Text( Index( Table( UORecordArray ), 2 ).Value.Field )

To convert an array of records to a typed table, you can use the ForAll() function and convert each individual field.

ForAll( UORecordArray, { FirstField: Value(ThisRecord.FirstField), SecondField: Text(ThisRecord.SecondField) } )

If the untyped object is first converted to a table, again, the resulting single-column table of untyped object will require you to use the Value column to get the fields.

ForAll( Table(UORecordArray), { FirstField: Value(ThisRecord.Value.FirstField), SecondField: Text(ThisRecord.Value.SecondField) } )