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numbering a character field in sequence

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  • numbering a character field in sequence

    have a character field - `mtrl_no` (indexed)- this not an auto increament field but nos. manually entered.

    would like display of records 1...10 then 11...20 & so on.

    but presently after 10 get 100

    probably could solve by changing to numeric field but also have a `lot_no` field where data is A B C D and so on (also manually entered) . which is calculated in a `mtrl_no_calc` field as

    so would like to retain `mtrl_no` as character field besides several reports created & if change to numeric field too much work to change all.

    any help would be appreciated to show how to display numbers in a proper sequence in a character field.


  • #2
    RE: numbering a character field in sequence

    try putting a numeric only mask in field rules for that particular field - will force to numeric

    then check out PADL (pad left) in the manual

    I'm not sure whether it would be acceptable, but you could do a pad left with zeros
    this would make the field sort corrrectly

    if the numbers are maually entered I presume that an operator might enter 10, then 1003, then 33, etc. and that there is some reason for same.
    Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
    972 524 8714
    [email protected]

    "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw


    • #3
      RE: numbering a character field in sequence

      dear martin,

      re entering nos. manually as numeric is not the problem & operators strictly comply to this.

      the nos. are not added at random but in proper sequence order
      starting from 1 & up...

      the reason do not have it as an auto increament field for there can be 2 same mtrl_nos as
      mtrl_no: 1 - lot: A ( lot no: `A` is a default for a new material no.) mtrl_no: 1 lot: B & require the calculated field as 1A 1B

      i tried replacing the 1 to 000001 & 000002 & so on but that did not help i still get 000100 after 000010.. still have not reached 000200 but i presume this record will be displaced after 000020.

      i presume changing to numeric field seems the only choice though i am sure there must be a way as then will have to amend over 18 reports.

      PADL function - i think will not help as zeros are added manually and manual entry is not bothersome as just one record will be created maybe every alternate day though as started this table now so entered 148 records in one go & found this problem..



      • #4
        RE: numbering a character field in sequence

        Possibly it would help to revise your index definition for this field, so that it's based on the numeric value of the character string.

        Check out the val() function at pg 488 of the xbasic ref. manual.

        -- tom


        • #5
          RE: numbering a character field in sequence

          add a field to the database called sort.(or any name that you want)
          Define as a calculated field
          define expression as sort = val(matl_no)
          define all of your browses and reports to order by the sort field and then any other fields that you need.
          Charlie Crimmel


          • #6
            RE: numbering a character field in sequence


            If the field is fully padded with leading zeroes, it will sort correctly - 11 will follow 10 and 100 will follow 99. If #'s are properly padded and it's still not sorting correctly then you have an index problem. However, it's my experience that users, no matter HOW diligent, can't always get the leading zeroes correct. You need to take that out of their hands. No, I don't think it should be at all necessary to change to a numberic field.

            I would suggest that you set up some code on the "On Write" field event if the #'s are being entered in a form field or in field rules if in a browse, that does the padding. You probably also need a lookup/popup to show what #'s are already in the system. Then you tell the users to enter ONLY the number and NEVER the leading zeroes and let the event control the padding. Something like this on the On Write

            if left(num_in,1)="0" 'don't let them enter zeroes
            ui_msg_box("ENTER", "Only the numbers. No leading zeroes")
            end if
            num_in=padl(num_in,6,"0") 'if it's a 6 character field

            You may also need to run an update operation on the field to make sure that all existing values are properly padded something like


            should work for a 6 character field in an operation. Remember, backup before any update!




            • #7
              RE: numbering a character field in sequence

              Oops, that update expression should be




              • #8
                RE: numbering a character field in sequence

                thanks guys,

                changing the index expression to


                did the job well. hope it stays that way..

                thanks again .. this board is really helpful.



                • #9
                  RE: numbering a character field in sequence


                  Call me a purist, but I still think you should verify the padding and then take the padding out of the user's hands. Converting a character field to a number to get a correct sort makes me think that somthing is wrong with the data. Properly padded, the character field MUST sort properly.