Thursday, February 6, 2014

Generation of custom Project IDs without programming

Some people love numeric IDs. It is easier to reference things using short tags like “Project 15” instead of long descriptive names.

However, Project Server uses GUIDs instead of numeric IDs to identify entities. Surely, it is done for good reasons, but GUIDs are rarely useful for human beings. We really prefer simple and short numbers.

Assigning a unique ID to project is easy – just create a custom field for it and track it manually, ensuring proper formatting and uniqueness of the number. Sounds easy, but… We are not in the Stone Age, right? There must be a better way doing that.

There is a way to do it. With our product - FluentPro Formulas for Project Server 2013 (version for Project Server 2010 is available too) it is just as easy as writing the following function on the Edit Custom Field screen:

                NewID()

Done! All new projects will receive a sequential number upon creation. Existing projects will get the number on the next update.

But what if just sequential is not enough? Let’s say we need to make it look something like PR_1, PR_2 and so on?  In this case, expression can look like this:

                ‘PR_’ + NewID()

What if we don’t want to start numbering from 1 and need to start from 1000? Here is what we can do:

                NewID(1000)

Need to increment by 10 instead of 1?

                NewID(1000, 10)

But what if we don’t want to use the same sequence for all projects and prefer to have different sequences for different EPTs?

                NewID(1, 1, [Enterprise Project Type ID])

Of course, there is no restriction to use EPT in this context – it can be any custom or native field.

Last but not least: if you have not more than two fields with FluentPro Formula – the tool is free.

You can learn more about FluentPro Formulas on our website - http://www.fluentpro.com/productsformulas2013.html 

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