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Not applicable

Pre populate ascending ref no.



I have a Canvas app form, SPO list as the data source, I have a field which is a single line of text field, i'd like to prepopulate the following ABC001 and make it an ascending ref no.

But as i'm still testing, i'd like to be able to reset this when we go live.

I found info around using entities, but I don't have the correct access to create these, is there any other way I can achieve my requirements?



Not applicable

Thank You, managed to finally get this to work are you able to advise how I reset them when testing is complete, you asked: "To be able to give you an idea about resetting after testing I'd need an idea of what state your SP list will be in when you start eg many records but without RefNo, or no records, or some records with RefNo ..." I will clear out all the items from my SPO list when it's time for the form to go into production so there will be no items in the list
Not applicable


Well done on getting it sorted. 


As you are clearing your SPO I'd be reasonably confident what you have setup, in terms of code, will start your RefNos fromABC001. If not, you could force it by using an If() in the app OnStart. Something like:

If( IsBlank(VarNum), Set( VarMaxNum, "ABC001") , [ else set VarMaxNum how you do it now ]


If you get stuck on this last bit, post your OnStart code and I can help adjust it

Not applicable

Hi @Anonymous 


You helped me out completely by providing this set up.

I have a slightly different requirement, where Ref will need to be set up the same but rather than it pre populating the ref number as ABC001

I now need for another form ABC-B-0001


The -B- is dependant on which part of the form is completed

So if Part C screen is completed i would need the ref number to reflect that i.e. ABC-C-0001


I thought if I used a status column for each of the screens and and set them to Part C complete etc. i could then reference this field to add to the ascending ref number.... are you able to advise how I may set this up please?

Not applicable


I'm happy to help out but I usually encourage people to post a separate question in these situations, purely so you can get a number of eyes looking at your problem. Others may have better solutions and you can always link back to what we've done here as a reference.


Having said that though, I will try to help you out with this new requirement 🙂 


I probably need some more info about how you vision users will use you app. Would they:


1. Start Form process, complete Part A, Ref number is ABC-A-00001

2. A day/week/month later another user completes Part B 'of the same record', Ref number changes to ABC-B-0001 - or is this a new record?

3. A day/week/month later another user completes Part C of the same record, Ref number changes to ABC-C-00001


If the above is the process you maybe able to add a helper column in your data source call RefStatus (or similar) that starts at 0 and gets incremented as you go. So,


- at zero, Part A hasn't been completed

- at 1, Part A has been completed 

- at 2, Part B has been completed ...


This would also add extensibility in that if you wanted parts up to Z you could.


Then in the app, on Patch/SubmitForm you would just reference the status number and add the correct middle letter accordingly. There's are a number of ways I could see you achieving what you need but the above is just one of them.

Not applicable

HI @Anonymous 


Yes totally agree, but I've found the solution you had provided possibly needs a slight change, and posting a new question maybe would have been setting up in a completely new way, but point noted for next time.


The Ref number won't change for the same record. I.E User 1 completes the form, but through the form completion, only 1 part will ever be completed, so the ref number simply needs to be in relation to which part was completed by User 1.

So a user will have to select Part A only, or Part B only, and by completing that section I need the system to add the appropriate letter in the Ref number i.e. ABC-A-0001 or ABC-B-0001 and this will then never change for this record, and will always be static for this record.

The rest of the form will use this same ref number, I'm just unsure on how to achieve the above based on what you had previously suggested for generating ABC001 

Not applicable


Just so I understand the process,

 - a user will come into your app and select whether the complete Part A / Part B / Part C / etc of the form

 - then Submit

 - they only ever complete 1 PART? True?


If so, we could do 2 things to adjust the RefNo.


1. Say they are selecting which part to do via a number of Buttons, add this to each button's existing code:

// for Part A
Set(vFormPart, "-A-");

// for Part B
Set(vFormPart, "-B-")

Note: like I said, if you have many buttons only add the relevant code above for each button, don't add all this code.


Then in the Concatenate formula in datacardvalue3, add this code bit:

Concatenate("ABC", vFormPart,  Text(vMaxNum + 1, "000"))


If the above button structure isn't what you are doing please send a screenshot of your process and I'll update my answer. Eg you maybe using a Dropdown then a Button to select the form Part, which would mean I need to adjust the above slightly.


Let me know how you get on.


Not applicable

Hi @Anonymous 

Thanks, and sorry for the delay, had another issue to contend with preventing me from testing your suggestion as I had reached the lookup threshold on a SPO list. Anyways I have tested your suggestion and it works, I've tested on 1 screen it puts in ABC-B-00001

So Thank you for helping make this new requirement possible

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