Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 8: Bamboo Custom Identifier

Concluding our series on the full line of Bamboo Custom Columns, today we’ll take a detailed look at the Bamboo Custom Identifier Column.

The Bamboo Custom Identifier Column provides users with a method to customize the format of auto-generated values. Construct your own custom identifier combining a numeric counter with text, date/time, site name, list name, and/or column values. You also have the option to let users enter their own unique text in the form of a social security number, employee number, etc. These values, whether automatically or manually entered, are then checked for uniqueness within the current list, current site, or across the entire site collection.

To begin, we first need to create a new column of type Bamboo Custom Identifier once you have successfully installed the product on your server (please refer to the provided online documentation for additional assistance). To create a new column, select the Create Column action located under the Lists Ribbon:

You can also reach this option going to List Settings in the same Ribbon, and then Add a Column under the Columns section. In the Create Column dialog, provide a name for the column, and then select Bamboo Custom Identifier from the list of column types. Notice that the Additional Column Settings section updates to display a set of options related to the column type Bamboo Custom Identifier:

Bamboo Custom Identifier comes with two main modes of function: Either a tool to require users to enter a unique value in various scopes (including List, Site, or Site Collection), or to auto-generate a unique ID. The Force User-Entered ID to Be Unique is self-explanatory and simple – just select this option, then select the appropriate scope in the section Check Uniqueness In, and save the settings. On the other hand, if you want the identifier to be automatically generated, there are additional settings to provide you the most amount of flexibility. To start, we will choose Automatically Generate Unique ID as shown in the image below:

Next, we select which components will make up the automatically generated ID. You can choose from:

  • Auto-Incremented Number
  • Text String
  • Current Date And Time
  • Column From Current Item
  • List Name
  • Site Name

Include Auto-Incremented Number:

This is a numerical value that increments for each item created. You can select the number of digits to display default; for example, if you select 4 and you are creating the first item in your list, the value will be 0001, not 1. If you select Automatic, the number of digits will just expand based on the current value:

 

Allow Deleted Values To Be Reused: When you delete an item from the list, if you select the option “allow deleted values to be reused” the next item created will use the value that was deleted previously. For example, if you delete an item that was 1, the next item created will use the value 1, else, the next item will be 5, and 1 will never be used again:

 

Include Text String:

Here you can include a static text string in your identifier:

 

Another example is that you can add a prefix such as HD, so your number shows HD0001 for helpdesk tickets.

Include Current Date And Time:

If you want to store the date and time that the items were created as part of the identifier, select Include Date and Time, and then select the format that you want the date to be stored as in the identifier:

If I selected the first option and created a new item, it would show as:

Include Column From Current Item:

Next, if I want to include a value from another column in the same item (useful if you want an identifier to include the contact or company name for, say, help desk tickets):

Include List Name:

For improved searchability, including the List name in the column value will help:

Include Site Name:

Similar to List Name, you can include the List Name in the identifier:

After you have selected the components of the identifier, next you’ll select the order of the components.

Order Of Selected Variables: Notice that each of the components you have selected earlier will be listed in the list box.  Set the order or priority of each component highlighting and moving up or down in the list box.

Next you can select if the components are separated a delimitator.  Choose from: none, One space, -, _,  /, or :.

Finally, define the case for the column to make sure everything is standardized.  Choose from: Capital (first character is capitalized while all other characters are lower), Upper (all characters are capitalized), or Lower (all characters are lower case).

Next, define the scope of the identifier. You can choose from:

  • Current List
  • Current Site – Must Have Matching Content Type
  • Current Site Collection – Must Have Matching Content Type and List Name.

Index Column is the final setting.  This means that the column values will be indexed the search engine for searchability.

Read our entire series dedicated to Bamboo Custom Columns:


Sue Callan
wrote
re: Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 8: Bamboo Custom Identifier
on Mon, Sep 23 2013 6:53 PM

When I use the custom identifer to create a auto number and then export to Excel – the number is not formatted in a way I can use it in a lookup function.  Seems looksup does not see it as a number.  Is there a way around this?

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