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How to generate formatted sequence numbers with Formula language member Mohammed Misbahuddin provides step-by-step instructions and Formula language code that will generate five-digit sequence numbers, such as 00001 and 00002, in a Lotus Notes application.

When creating applications in Lotus Notes, it is often necessary to generate formatted sequence numbers. In this tip, I explain how to generate five-digit sequence numbers using Formula language.

The first unique number generated will be 00001, instead of 1, prefixed with four zeroes. The second generated number will be 00002, and so on. 

Just follow these steps:

  1. Create a field called "DocNumber" on the form.

  2. Make this field a "computed when composed" field.

  3. Create a view (it may be hidden), "(DocNumber)" based on the created form.

  4. This view should have "DocNumber" as the first sorted descending column.

  5. Write the Formula language code below in the value for the computed field called "DocNumber."
calc := @TextToNumber(@Word
("Notes" : "NoCache"; ""; "(DocNumber)"; 1))); " "; 1))
 + 1; @If(@IsNewDoc;@If(@IsError(calc); "0000"+"1"; 
@If(@Length(@Text(calc))=1;"0000"[email protected]
@Text(calc);@Text(calc))); DocNumber)


Here's a shorter version of the code, which accomplishes the same thing:

calc := @TextToNumber(@Word
("Notes" : "NoCache"; ""; "(DocNumber)"; 1))); " "; 1))
+ 1; @If(@IsNewDoc;@If(@IsError(calc); "00001"; 
@right("00000" + @text(calc),5)); DocNumber)

—Deb L.


Here is a LISP programming language based way to do the same thing:

NL:[email protected](@Subset

—Eric M.


Instead of checking the length of the sequence number, try this:

@Right("0000"[email protected](calc); 5)

—Gopinath P.


Here is simplified version to make the same computation into the field "DocNumber":

calc := @TextToNumber(@Max
(@DbColumn("Notes" : "NoCache";
 ""; "(DocNumber)"; 1)))+1; 
calc := @If(@IsError(calc); 1;calc); 
@Right("00000" [email protected](calc);5)

—Kari P.


How about using the following?

calc := @Word(@Implode(@Text
(@DbColumn("Notes" : "NoCache"; 
""; "(DocNumber)"; 1))); " "; 1)  + 1; 

pad := 10;

@Repeat( "0"; pad - @Length(calc) ) + calc

—Richard E.

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This tip was submitted to the tip library by member Mohammed Misbahuddin. Please let others know how useful it is via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Lotus Notes, Domino, Workplace or WebSphere tip or code snippet to share? Submit it to our monthly tip contest and you could win a prize.

More information on sequential numbering and Formula language:

  • Creating sequence numbers
  • Sequence numbering on a single server
  • Sequential numbering system for Lotus Notes applications
  • Formula language FAQs
  • Formula Language Learning Guide
  • Formula language tips and resources

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