Wednesday, April 18, 2012

GoldMine : Using the Counter Function to Provide a Unique Customer Number

A very handy xBase expression to know is the COUNTER() function.

When you invoke the COUNTER, it returns a sequential number based upon the parameters you give it. This is typically used to provide a sequential Customer Number for Contact Records.

Let's put a Counter in a Field Lookup window for easy access.

1. Bring up the Field Lookup window for the field you wish to modify.

2. Hit "New" to create a new Picklist item.

3. Paste in the following text: ~COUNTER("CustNum",1,1)

4. Hit ok.

Now, when you select this item from the picklist, it will generate the next number in sequence, starting at "1". Try it!

Pro Tips:

The first parameter is the name of our counter. This can be whatever we want. ("MyCounter").

The second parameter defines how large our increment should be. A value of 1 increments by 1, a value of 10 increments by 10.

The third parameter specifies where our counter should start. Typically this is set to 0, however, if a numbering scheme is already in place, this can help generate the right numbers for your sequence.


DJ Hunt said...

Although this is a good example it does not provide uniqueness if in an environment that has Remote Users Synchronizing. Personally, I would rather see this done via the Lookup.ini because of the 29 character limitation of the F2 Lookup List expressions. Here is an example from GoldMine Premium - The Definitive Guide:

NewRecord = Key5

Otherwise = &&UserName+padl(ltrim(str(counter([AcctNo],1))), 8, [0])

Justin Hill said...

That's a great tip, DJ; thanks! My Tip was mostly geared towards getting GM users more familiar with using xBase within Picklists.

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