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Create a new records with alphabetic increments

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  • Create a new records with alphabetic increments

    I have a need to be able to generate a range of records with character field "IDENTITY" that increments up through the Alphabet.
    examples: G-AAAB to G-AAAD, TC-JAY to TC-JAZ, TC-JAT to TC-JBT, D-ILMA to D-ILMH.

    As you can see some require 4 characters some only 3. The Range can start near the end of the alphabet and finish near the start of the alphabet. I can set "G-" or "TC-" or "D-I" as a prefix but I am not sure how to make the rest work.
    Any suggestions please
    Support your local Search and Rescue Unit, Get Lost!

  • #2
    RE: Create a new records with alphabetic increment

    I should add that I have already written a script for Numerical values, so it is really only the character incrementation that I cannot fathom out.
    Support your local Search and Rescue Unit, Get Lost!


    • #3
      RE: Create a new records with alphabetic increment

      You can increment letters by converting to their ASCII equivalent, adding 1, and then converting back:


      Keep in mind that the ASCII for capitals is different from lower case. Also, if you want to go backwards, just subtract 1.


      • #4
        RE: Create a new records with alphabetic increment

        I had to do something similar in creating course section numbers. These aren't really "numbers" as they contain alphabetical and numeric characters (e.g. "C01", "C011", "L01", "CC1", "LLA"). I needed to increment the previous section number and test to see that it was not a duplicate before assigning it. I wanted a smart default expression for the data entry process and elsewhere.

        I utilized Bill W.'s ascii code method to increment the characters as needed.

        I have a simple suggestion regarding how to organize the process. Put it in a global function. Use select case syntax to deal with format variations and conditionalities and be sure to include a residual case leading to an error handler for the formats you haven't anticipated (which someone is sure to adopt without informing you--here speaks the voice of experience).

        The nice thing about placing the increment process in a function is that you can use it everywhere in the application and have it throw out a distinctive error which you can trap.

        Bill Hanigsberg


        • #5
          RE: Create a new records with alphabetic increment

          Well I've got it working. For those that might be interested, this thje bare bones of how I got it to work:

          I have a table called "Batch" setup for use with numerical ranges, so I used the same table for this.
          fields batch.strt is 4 chars long as is batch.fnsh, typical values being strt="AADY" fnsh="AAEE"

          I converted the 3rd and 4th characaters to their asc values.

          col3_num_strt = asc(ut(substr(batch.strt,len(trim(batch.strt))-1,1)))
          col3_num_fnsh = asc(ut(substr(batch.fnsh,len(trim(batch.fnsh))-1,1)))
          col4_num_strt = asc(ut(substr(batch.strt,len(trim(batch.strt)),1)))
          col4_num_fnsh = asc(ut(substr(batch.fnsh,len(trim(batch.fnsh)),1)))

          strt_pfx = left(batch.strt,len(trim(batch.strt))-2)

          do while last two characters in "strt" field less than or equal to the last two characters in the "fnsh" field

          while chr(col3_num_strt)+chr(col4_num_strt) 90
          col4_num_strt = 65
          col3_num_strt = col3_num_strt + 1
          end if
          end while
          Support your local Search and Rescue Unit, Get Lost!


          • #6
            RE: Create a new records with alphabetic increment

            the line:
            if this value is greater than 90, set it to 65 and add 1 to asc value of 4th character

            should say .. add 1 to asc value of *3rd* character.
            Support your local Search and Rescue Unit, Get Lost!