Advanced Lookup Experience

Advanced Lookup experience now available in model-driven Power Apps

John PhillipsProduct Updates

Lookup fields have long been a key Dynamics 365 feature for linking related records. Now, the record selection process has been improved.

Although the process to set a Lookup field had already changed as part of the transition to the Unified Interface, there was always room for further improvements to make the user experience as intuitive as possible. Yesterday, Microsoft announced the release of an advanced Lookup experience, making it even easier to find a related record.

What is the current Lookup experience?

Prior to this new feature release, the method of selecting a record was functional, but overly simple:

Current Lookup Experience

It allowed the switch between views and the creation of a new record, but the data presented was minimal, occasionally making it difficult to ensure the right record was being selected.

How do I know if my app is using the new experience?

Once enabled, the record selector will look subtly different:

Advanced Lookup

When Advanced Lookup is clicked, you will be presented with the new functionality.

What are the benefits of the new advanced Lookup experience?

1. View more columns from your related records.

After clicking Advanced Lookup, you will be presented with an overlaid set of records from the default view; the benefit of an overlay meaning much more data can be displayed:

Advanced Lookup - Columns

The original functionality of being able to change views is retained, but with the added ability to sort on the additional columns. Record filters can also be applied to further narrow down search results.

2. Typeahead searching

Search for part of a text string to have the results automatically filtered. Switch to a different view or even a different table and your search query is retained:

Advanced Lookup - Typeahead

3. Browse and add records all without the need to backtrack

Need to make absolutely sure you are selecting the correct record? The new experience allows you to drill into the displayed records to allow further verification prior to selection:

Advanced Lookup - Browse

4. Easily select multiple records

For complex fields such as Activity Party Lists where multiple records often need to be selected, the process is now much more straightforward; with a few clicks, multiple records can easily be selected and deselected:

Advanced Lookup - Multiple

How do I enable this new lookup experience?

Although this advanced lookup experience will become the default setting in the Wave 2 2021 release due in October this year, you can take advantage of this powerful new functionality today by applying an Environment setting:

  1. Navigate to Power Platform Admin
  2. Select the required Environment (you may want to select a Sandbox environment should you wish to carry out some prior testing)
  3. Select Settings then Product then Behavior.
  4. You will see a new option which will be currently set to Off:
    Advanced Lookup Setting
    Simply change the setting from Off to On and Save your changes. When you next use your app (you may need to refresh your web browser to pick up the change), you will now have access to the new lookup experience.


The new experience is a great leap forward in user experience for model-driven apps and we would encourage Dynamics 365 administrators to enable this setting for their users prior to October’s Wave 1 release. For existing Strategy 365 clients who require assistance in enabling this new functionality, get in touch with one of our experts today who will be only too happy to help.

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