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SteCoxy
Frequent Visitor

How to generate a custom prefix unique ID

Hello, I would like some guidance on how to generate a unique ID that has a custom prefix when a new row is created in a MS List. I think it would be a formula of some sort but I'm not sure how to go about this.

 

The convention I'm looking for would be something like:

 

D&I-000001

D&I-000002

D&I-000003

etc

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

16 REPLIES 16
DamoBird365
Employee
Employee

Hi @SteCoxy 

 

I've an article on this here Unique IDs and pad a string - DamoBird365

 

Please let me know if you need any further explanation.

 

Please consider accepting my answer as a solution if it helps to solve your problem.

Cheers
Damien

Please take a look and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more Power Platform ideas and concepts, or take a look at my website. Thanks

Hi Damien

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my query. 

 

I won't lie - I'm a complete novice when it comes to this kind of thing, so please forgive my ignorance here.

 

I've looked at your help guide and it appears more complex than what I'm looking for - I don't need for the function to pull any data from any other column for the prefix. 

 

I simply need every time a new row is created (from the form submission that is made) for the unique ID column to have the prefix starting with D&I then a hyphen and then 5 zeros, before incrementally going up by 1, 2, 3 etc:

D&I-000001

D&I-000002

D&I-000003 etc. 

 

Any ideas on what formula this would require?

HI @SteCoxy 

 

If you are creating an item in a list every time a form submission is made, you need to get the last id and increment by 1, before prepending your fixed string.  

 

In my article I use get item to get the last known ID as you need to know the last unique id before creating the next one.  Some folk use a separate list, others use the list item ID but you need to use something.

 

DamoBird365_0-1643817677879.png

I also have two columns to keep track of the running ID and the prepended ID but you could use replace() to remove your prefix to allow you to increment on the integer, it's just a bit more work.

 

DamoBird365_2-1643817763371.png

Above, assuming the column is called InvoiceID, you can add 1 on to the last number.

add(int(first(outputs(‘Get_items’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘InvoiceId’]),1)

 

You then need to pad with 0's:

concat(substring(‘00000’, 1, sub(5, length(string(outputs(‘InvoiceID’))))),outputs(‘InvoiceID’))

 

Then when you create your item, you can add 

D&I- 

alongside the output (instead of "Invoice" in the Title) from the above expression in compose.

 

DamoBird365_3-1643817957625.png

 

If this doesn't make sense, please explain where you get stuck.

 

Damien

Cheers Damien, thank you for coming back to me here. I will give this a go and see if I can figure it out. All of this, at the very least, is certainly helping to improve my knowledge and skill base 

SteCoxy
Frequent Visitor

Hi Damien, again, please excuse my ignorence here - particularly if your solution covers exactly this, but something that's just come into my head is: does this have logic involved to reduce the number of zeros when it gets to 9, 99, 999 etc as below:

D&I-000001

...

D&I-000009

D&I-000010 rather than

D&I-0000010

SteCoxy
Frequent Visitor

Also, does it matter if I wish to create this based upon the system column called ID (read only), that autopopulates the cell incrementally: 1, 2, 3, 4 etc:

 

Screenshot 2022-02-03 at 15.46.08.png

Hi @SteCoxy 

 

Yes, that is what length and substring do, let me explain.

 

concat(substring(‘00000’, 1, sub(5, length(string(outputs(‘InvoiceID’))))),outputs(‘InvoiceID’))

 

This will concatenate upto 5 0's based on the substring starting at position 1, and ending at length of the invoice ID.

 

Therefore if invoiceID is 123, it is length 3.  The substring of 00000 from position 1 to 3 is 00 and concat the two, you get 00123.

 

Try the following in a compose:

concat('ABCD-',substring('00000', 1, sub(5, length('123'))),'123')

 

DamoBird365_1-1643903770225.png

 

You could use ID of the item but there are pros/cons.  It cannot be reset.  Delete an item, you loose that ID.  You could therefore get the last known ID of an item, increment by 1, pad with 0's, and prepend the string.

 

Hope that has been useful.

 

Damien

 

Hi Damien,

 

I'm giving your solution an attempt but I'm falling at the first hurdle, sorry!

 

I'm getting an "the expression is invalid" error message, unfortunately:

 

Screenshot 2022-02-03 at 17.12.10.png

I entered the following: add(int(first(outputs(‘Get_items’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘ID’]),1)

 

I'm not sure if it helps things but this is a brand new project, so there's currently only dummy data (about 10 rows) in this MS List, so nothing in there has any valid last ID. I think what's confusing me is on your website it's based upon the Title column, but my title column is "Programme Name", so this wouldn't be suitable (as it's purely words). That's why I thought having a system generated ID column (1, 2, 3, etc) might make it easier for the string to be created, as it's based on, in effect, the row number in the list that is going up incrementally each time a new item/row is created. 

 

Sorry to be taking up your time here, but any pointers on how best to achieve this would be much appreciated.

HI @SteCoxy 

 

You'll need to get your order by in get items correct, not sure where the id 2 comes from.  If you have a column called "id 2", you will need to get the internal name.  You need to go into list settings (top right cog and list settings) and then select the column in question.  In the address bar you will see the internal name

 

DamoBird365_3-1643915924460.png

 

For the flow, this is what you are looking for:

DamoBird365_0-1643915711744.png

 

add(int(first(outputs('Get_items')?['body/value'])?['ID']),1)

concat('ABCD-',substring('00000', 1, sub(5, length(string(outputs('compose'))))),outputs('compose'))

 

Output

DamoBird365_2-1643915766129.png

 

Please consider accepting my answer as a solution if it helps to solve your problem.

Cheers
Damien

Please take a look and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more Power Platform ideas and concepts, or take a look at my website. Thanks

SteCoxy
Frequent Visitor

Hi Damien,

 

I think I'm making inroads here, albeit slowly but surely! 

 

I've got as far as testing this out, so I've certainly made further progress than earlier, but I'm getting the following errors in the flow details:

 

 

Just to clarify also, the formula - I'm looking for this to populate in a new column called "D&I Unique ID", but is it based upon the system generated ID column? 

Screenshot 2022-02-03 at 19.50.31.png

I think I'm 3/4 there now Damien and I REALLY appreciate you helping me out. I know your patience must be getting tested to within an ounce of its limits, but I really feel like you're helping me massively to learn. 

Hi @SteCoxy 

 

Your order by in get items is showing 15?

 

It should be ID desc

 

I am glad you're learning - that's the aim of this forum for sure and hopefully you'll be able to teach others one day in return 🙂

 

Damien

 

is desc a function or do I literally just type it after ID?  

 

Also, how does it know to add this unique ID into the below column, as the formula doesn't seem to make any reference to it?

Screenshot 2022-02-04 at 09.59.29.png

DamoBird365
Employee
Employee

Hi @SteCoxy 

 

literally type

 

id desc

 

id is the column name and desc means descending, asc would be ascending. You want the top id of 1 based on descending order. 

don’t use the dynamic value for id, type the string Id.

 

Damien

 

 This is the latest error I've got after trying to test it out. 

I've had another go at this but I'm getting a different error message following testing:

 

 

 

I'm wondering if I could pick your brains again please Damien?

 

This is formula used in the first compose action: 

add(int(first(outputs('Get_items')?['body/value'])?['D&I Unique ID']),1)
 
This is the formula used in the second compose action:
concat('ABCD-',substring('00000', 1, sub(5, length(string(outputs('compose'))))),outputs('compose'))
SteCoxy
Frequent Visitor

Further to the above, I've changed the formula to: 

 

add(int(first(outputs('Get_items')?['body/value'])?['ID']),1)

 

and it now says it has been successful BUT there is no entry in the D&I Unique ID column:

 

Screenshot 2022-02-08 at 14.03.17.png

So it's not working the way I thought i.e. I was hoping that the D&I Unique Id column would populate using the ID from the system column but with a DI000001 prefix. Any ideas to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

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