New Auto-numbering for Field Service

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Inspired by this blog article from Karuna Karan I activated the new auto numbering for field service in a new trial organisation.

This is done by going to Field Service Settings and than click a ribbon button “Opt-In to Auto-Numbering”:

You than are than getting this warning dialog from Microsoft:

Opt-In to Auto-Numbering

By proceeding you will be opting-in to an improved implementation of Auto-Numbering utilized by several Field Service entities.

Benefits

  • Guaranteed unique record naming.
  • Fewer gaps in the names of affected entities since the name of the record is not generated until after a user creates it.
  • Starting number for names can be changed to a smaller number should the maximum number be reached.
  • Number length for names can be specified on a per entity basis.

Changes

  • The Auto-Number name will only be assigned after the record is saved.
  • Configuring each name’s format will be managed in a dialog.
  • When importing an entity as a separate solution from one organization to another, the Auto-Numbering format definition for the entity will be carried across as part of the solution.

Warnings

  • Once opted-in, reverting back to the legacy implementation of Auto-Numbering is not possible.
  • While opting-in, creation of new records may fail. It is highly advised that opting-in take place while there is no activity on the organization. The process will take a few moments to complete.

After you confirm this warning to proceed, the former button turns into this one:

When using that new ribbon button a dialog opens:

and you can choose there between those entities for which you could already decide about auto number format before:

Conclusion

Yes, an easy way to exactly archive what Microsoft mentions in the confirmation dialog:

  • guaranteed unique (biggest enhancement)
  • fewer gaps between the numbers
  • number length can be specified
  • usage of not utilized numbers when switching to smaller starting position

So thank you Microsoft for that.

However:

  • as Karuna Karan mentioned in his blog, it is still difficult to reset the already used numbers
  • it still has other format than the “old” auto numbers:
Common dynamics CRM auto numbers (OOB).
  • we do already have other means by using web.powerapps.com to create auto numbers OOB in a much more flexible way and add them into our solution files:
auto number functionality of web.powerapps.com
Auto number functionality of web.powerapps.com.
Auto Number Manager in XRM Toolbox.

So you’re asking yourself a bit why for Field Service OOB auto numbers there seem to be only some “minor” enhancements whereas the overall auto numbering has made such huge progress.

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