More Auto Numbering features

In my previous article I described the details of the new Auto Number attributes feature of Microsoft Dynamics 365, and how to manage them using Auto Number Manager for XrmToolBox.

Since this article, a few new possibilities have been verified to be supported.

Adding Auto Numbering to existing attributes

The most important new feature is the possibility to apply numbering to existing attributes!
This means that you can now apply your own completely custom numbering to standard attributes such as Case Ticket Number, Account Number, and so on.

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Another effect is that the built in numberings are actually now customizable way beyond what can be done in the classic numbering configuration in the platform.
This definition is now shown in Auto Number Manager as this:

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Changes made in System Settings in the Dynamics 365 UI are reflected in Auto Number Manager, but some changes that can be made in ANM cannot be represented well in the platform. Changes to the SEQNUM length is not shown in the platform UI, and of course adding new features such as static text in other places than the beginning, date strings etc. are not represented well at all.

Numbers without a sequence

Another new feature is the possibility to create auto numbers that do not contain a SEQNUM placeholder. There is of course a bigger risk that your resulting numbers will not be unique, but in some scenarios a number in the form of a timestamp can be useful.This feature will probably not be available in the platform UI, once it is introduced. In Auto Number Manager, you have to tick checkbox Don’t require SEQNUM to ensure this format is intentional.

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13 thoughts on “More Auto Numbering features

  1. Thanks for the tool – very useful. I'm guessing though that, unlike the other Auto-number solutions out there, you can't include values of other fields in the auto-generated output? E.g. CAS-000001-[Account Name]

    1. That is unfortunately a correct guess.
      So it has some work to do before being able to replace what we have all been creating in-house at one point or another.
      But the second Microsoft adds the support in the platform – it will be available in Auto Number Manager =D

  2. Fun fact: changning the numbering format for a standard autonumbering field might cause the built in configuration page to break. Luckylily I was able to bring it back to life by changing back to the default format. It seems it can´t handle when I remove the first part of the number (the “QUO-” part). Just Q- will work but having only two parts (SEQNUM and RANDSTRING) causes the configuration page to break. Couldn´t find any info on this in the documentation (but I didn´t lusläs it).

  3. Thanks for this article. Do you know if your plugin (or the new OOB auto number field) can be used to update EXISTING data?

    Right now, auto numbers will only be generated for newly-created records.

  4. Hello Mr.Jonas,

    This has been extremely helpful. I have a question on the SEQNUM limit.

    If I create autonumbering with the format {RANDSTRING:6}{SEQNUM:5}, at some point when the SEQNUM hits the max number and final value could be something like ZJTNAE99999.

    Would the next value reset SEQNUM to 00001?

    1. (Sorry for late response)

      Short answer: No.
      Long answer: There is no max number (or maybe like 2G…) function. The SEQNUM you set will set the number as at least x digits. It is not a limit. So if the 5 you use, any number under 10000 will add zeros to the left.

      Disclaimer: The feature is not from me or the tool, it’s added by Microsoft, my tool “only” adds a good UI to the feature.

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