Heads up! This is a guide for admins. If you're not an admin yet, ask your Beacon admin to promote you so you can start managing fields.
Auto number fields are number fields that are automatically set by Beacon. They start at 1, and +1 for every new record that's created.
For example, if you created an auto-number person field, and then created your first three people, the field value would be 1, then 2, then 3.
What are auto-number fields good for?
Member, donor, or volunteer numbers
Unique payment identifiers
Any other time you'd like to assign a unique number for each record!
Frequently asked questions
What happens when I convert an existing number field into an auto-number field?
Before trying to convert an existing number field to an auto-number field, make sure that every value that's currently set to the field is unique. Auto-number fields must be unique in Beacon.
Note: To check if every number is unique, filter your records for where the number 'is not unique'. This will show you any duplicates. If Beacon says there's still duplicates, there will likely be an archived record with the duplicate number.
Beacon takes the maxmium number in your field, and starts an automatic counter from there.
If there are any existing records that have this field blank, Beacon will automatically set a unique number for these records.
When new records are created, a new number will automatically be set for each new record you create.
Warning: Remember that this means that you're giving up control of this field to Beacon. We'll automatically set this field for you - which means that you won't be able to set it yourself.
Can I switch an auto-number field back to a regular number field?
Yes! This will allow you to edit the values again, and stop Beacon from automatically setting a new number for every new record that's created.
If you need to switch back to an auto-number field again, of course that's completely possible.
How do Beacon's automatic counters work?
The counter starts at 1, and increases by 1 every time a new record is created.
If you're converting from a regular number field, the counter starts at the max value of the field + 1.