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Thou shalt not use Autonumber if the field is meant to have meaning for thy users.

P: n/a
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm
Thou shalt not use Autonumber if the field is meant to have meaning for thy
users.
Why?

Alan
Nov 12 '05 #1
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17 Replies


P: n/a
On Mon, 19 Apr 2004 22:34:51 +0100, "Alan Carter"
<ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm
Thou shalt not use Autonumber if the field is meant to have meaning for thy
users.
Why?


Stuff this into google groups search and enjoy the (long) read:

autonumber surrogate group:*access*

mike
Nov 12 '05 #2

P: n/a
Alan Carter wrote:
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm
Thou shalt not use Autonumber if the field is meant to have meaning for thy
users.
Why?


-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Ignoring Random AutoNumbers . . . .

Sequential AutoNumbers:

AutoNumbers will create before a record is saved. If the record
creation is cancelled the AutoNumber is not used and the next Number
will be the next sequential number after the just discarded number.

Possible erroneous use:

AutoNumber as an Order Number. The Order Numbers have to be in
sequential order - no gaps. Auditors come in and notice missing Order
Numbers & want to know where the missing Order Numbers were.

Example:

Order Number
Process (AutoNumber)
------- ----------
Create 25
Cancel 25 -> discarded
Create 26
Save 26
Create 27
Save 27
... etc. ...

So Order Number 25 is missing from expected Order Number sequence.
Auditors think someone pocketed Order Number 25 and deleted the record.
All hell breaks loose (until they balance the books $$ and the
programmer explains AutoNumbers to glaring boss).

--
MGFoster:::mgf00 <at> earthlink <decimal-point> net
Oakland, CA (USA)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0
Charset: noconv

iQA/AwUBQIRKgYechKqOuFEgEQKNjACgjMY6sk5BSNpBzRgVSDRH0k W6HJkAoMh6
md5o2TmBF1M6nK7bbH6Evb+3
=sXfU
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Nov 12 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Alan Carter" <ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:c6**********@news6.svr.pol.co.uk...
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm
Thou shalt not use Autonumber if the field is meant to have meaning for thy users.
Why?


That statement is a bit heavy-handed (IMO). What they mean is that
AutoNumbers cannot be made to behave any way other than they way they
already behave. And if you care about the values in any way (other than
being unique) then AutoNumbers are almost certainly going to disappoint you
and/or your users.

Most numbering systems that are exposed to the users have fairly
predictable behavior. If they expect sequential numbers with no gaps for
instance then AutoNumbers will not provide that.

If your users know that the numeric value is strictly an arbitrary
assignment used for identification (and nothing else) then exposing an
AutoNumber is not really such a terrible thing to do. In some cases where
I have done this I have intentionally used a random AutoNumber so that it
is _very_ obvious that the numbers are not intended to be a counter.
--
I don't check the Email account attached
to this message. Send instead to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com


Nov 12 '05 #4

P: n/a
"Alan Carter" <ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in news:c61glv$vik$1
@news6.svr.pol.co.uk:
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm


This site is as current as Leviticus.

--
Lyle
(for e-mail refer to http://ffdba.com/contacts.htm)
Nov 12 '05 #5

P: n/a
"Lyle Fairfield" wrote
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm


This site is as current as Leviticus.


Interestingly, there is a substantial portion of the world's population that
accepts Leviticus as authoritative (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) and,
thus, as quite 'current'.
Nov 12 '05 #6

P: n/a
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:c6************@ID-98015.news.uni-berlin.de:
Most numbering systems that are exposed to the users have fairly
predictable behavior. If they expect sequential numbers with no
gaps for instance then AutoNumbers will not provide that.

If your users know that the numeric value is strictly an arbitrary
assignment used for identification (and nothing else) then
exposing an AutoNumber is not really such a terrible thing to do.
In some cases where I have done this I have intentionally used a
random AutoNumber so that it is _very_ obvious that the numbers
are not intended to be a counter.


About a year ago I ran across an app that used a random AutoNumber
for Customer IDs, and for display, ran it through Hex(). This gave a
nice number with letters and digits.

I thought it was pretty clever.

I discarded it entirely in the app that replaced it because there
was no need for end users to ever *see* customer numbers in the
first place.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #7

P: n/a
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:c6************@ID-98015.news.uni-berlin.de:
Most numbering systems that are exposed to the users have fairly
predictable behavior. If they expect sequential numbers with no
gaps for instance then AutoNumbers will not provide that.


Oops. Pressed SEND too quickly.

I meant to say that you could perhaps use an AutoNumber correctly,
but it would require programming that found the gaps and re-used
them, if that's allowed, or a system of no deletes at all. The
latter could be enforced with Jet user-level security, if you're
comfortable with that.

But if you're coding for it, you might as well use your own
sequential number.

But, either way, you'll have to decide how to handle deletions/gaps.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #8

P: n/a
Lyle Fairfield <Mi************@Invalid.Com> wrote in
news:Xn*******************@130.133.1.4:
"Alan Carter" <ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in
news:c61glv$vik$1 @news6.svr.pol.co.uk:
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm


This site is as current as Leviticus.


More of that old rusty code, eh, Lyle?

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #9

P: n/a
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
"Alan Carter" <ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in news:c61glv$vik$1
@news6.svr.pol.co.uk:

http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm

This site is as current as Leviticus.


The original ten commandments themselves are pretty old too but most are
still relevant today (obviously some can't be followed if you have a
MILF living next door :-)

--
Error reading sig - A)bort R)etry I)nfluence with large hammer
Nov 12 '05 #10

P: n/a
"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in message
news:Xn**********************************@24.168.1 28.78...
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:c6************@ID-98015.news.uni-berlin.de:
Most numbering systems that are exposed to the users have fairly
predictable behavior. If they expect sequential numbers with no
gaps for instance then AutoNumbers will not provide that.

If your users know that the numeric value is strictly an arbitrary
assignment used for identification (and nothing else) then
exposing an AutoNumber is not really such a terrible thing to do.
In some cases where I have done this I have intentionally used a
random AutoNumber so that it is _very_ obvious that the numbers
are not intended to be a counter.


About a year ago I ran across an app that used a random AutoNumber
for Customer IDs, and for display, ran it through Hex(). This gave a
nice number with letters and digits.

I thought it was pretty clever.

I discarded it entirely in the app that replaced it because there
was no need for end users to ever *see* customer numbers in the
first place.


That is in fact exactly what I did. I liked the fact that it made all of
them the same length and the hex conversion means no negative sign to deal
with.

This was a case of using AutoNumber "almost entirely" as it usually is
(ignored) but where there is a rare occasion to talk about a particular
record over the telephone and it is handy to be able to ask "which record
ID number is that?". The requirements were low enough and would come up
infrequently enough that I thought coding my own sequence to be more
trouble than it was worth and since this app is used by a few hundred
different people (each running their own independent tables) it was nice to
have a very low chance of duplicates across the users.
--
I don't check the Email account attached
to this message. Send instead to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
Nov 12 '05 #11

P: n/a
Trevor Best <nospam@localhost> wrote in
news:40***********************@auth.uk.news.easyne t.net:
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
"Alan Carter" <ac*****@ocarpi.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in
news:c61glv$vik$1 @news6.svr.pol.co.uk:
http://www.mvps.org/access/tencommandments.htm


This site is as current as Leviticus.


The original ten commandments themselves are pretty old too but
most are still relevant today (obviously some can't be followed if
you have a MILF living next door :-)


Hmm. I don't see very many of the 10 commandments as relevant at
all, since a large portion of them have to do with a god I don't
believe exists.

The ones that don't have anything to do with god are ones that have
been shared by just about every society in history, so I don't
really see them as having much relevance to anyone who isn't a
believer in the religious traditions they represent.

I'm sure Lyle can make hay out of these observations.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #12

P: n/a
rkc

"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in message
news:Xn**********************************@24.168.1 28.86...
Hmm. I don't see very many of the 10 commandments as relevant at
all, since a large portion of them have to do with a god I don't
believe exists.

The ones that don't have anything to do with god are ones that have
been shared by just about every society in history, so I don't
really see them as having much relevance to anyone who isn't a
believer in the religious traditions they represent.


More ammunition for the melonious one.


Nov 12 '05 #13

P: n/a
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote in
news:dH*******************@twister.nyroc.rr.com:
"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in message
news:Xn**********************************@24.168.1 28.86...
Hmm. I don't see very many of the 10 commandments as relevant at
all, since a large portion of them have to do with a god I don't
believe exists.

The ones that don't have anything to do with god are ones that
have been shared by just about every society in history, so I
don't really see them as having much relevance to anyone who
isn't a believer in the religious traditions they represent.


More ammunition for the melonious one.


Well, I'm not going to censor myself because some lunatic may decide
to use my comments out of context.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #14

P: n/a
On 21 Apr 2004 04:06:08 +0200, Jerry Linson <je***@jerseygirls.com>
wrote:

<nothing of substance - threre never is>

There once was a man known as Wigwam.
Whose posts seemed quite useful and then some.
Where once he was droll,
Now he's only a troll.
With musings that are not to be fathomed.

Newbies likely don't know the original.
But google can establish his chronicle.
So look, if you must,
But know you can't trust,
The man whose wig(wam) is now subliminal.

'Tis a shame that he has no remembrance,
When 'round here there was a much happier ambiance
His recall must be weak
Due to his own memory leak (?)
For (and from) the man all we seek is deliverance.

Perhaps his eyesight has finally deteriorated.
Where once there were those who commiserated.
But with his vendatta of late,
Who can argue with fate?
Maybe that's why his posts are emasculated.

The troll's calling is intellectually dishonest,
For Fenton's Access may be nearly the best.
David's posts bear that out,
I certainly don't have to shout,
Any fool can see that with a google fest.

There once was a man known as Wigwam.
Who has morphed into multitudinal flim-flam.
We'd all be better off,
If the frog would just cut him off,
Until then we get his flotsam and jetsam.

</limerick>

mike

ps. I am seriously suggesting that each and every post made by an
anonymous re-mailer be followed by a standard message (my own humble
contribution is above) that does not vary and ends all further
responses. The problem with the attempts to date is that they cater
to the possibility that a message or two will be legitimate. I am
seriously suggesting that this newsgroup be declared a "no anonymous
remailer" posting zone and that any such posts be treated as spam.
Change the FAQ to incorporate same. As a community, this could easily
work.
Nov 12 '05 #15

P: n/a
OK, if you insist. I'm happy to let the newbies decide.

On 21 Apr 2004 10:54:26 +0200, Jerry Linson <je***@jerseygirls.com>
wrote:

<nothing of substance - threre never is>

There once was a man known as Wigwam.
Whose posts seemed quite useful and then some.
Where once he was droll,
Now he's only a troll.
With musings that are not to be fathomed.

Newbies likely don't know the original.
But google can establish his chronicle.
So look, if you must,
But know you can't trust,
The man whose wig(wam) is now subliminal.

'Tis a shame that he has no remembrance,
When 'round here there was a much happier ambiance
His recall must be weak
Due to his own memory leak (?)
For (and from) the man all we seek is deliverance.

Perhaps his eyesight has finally deteriorated.
Where once there were those who commiserated.
But with his vendatta of late,
Who can argue with fate?
Maybe that's why his posts are emasculated.

The troll's calling is intellectually dishonest,
For Fenton's Access may be nearly the best.
David's posts bear that out,
I certainly don't have to shout,
Any fool can see that with a google fest.

There once was a man known as Wigwam.
Who has morphed into multitudinal flim-flam.
We'd all be better off,
If the frog would just cut him off,
Until then we get his flotsam and jetsam.

</limerick>

mike

Nov 12 '05 #16

P: n/a
rkc

"David W. Fenton" <dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote in message
news:Xn********************************@24.168.128 .78...
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote in
news:dH*******************@twister.nyroc.rr.com:
More ammunition for the melonious one.


Well, I'm not going to censor myself because some lunatic may decide
to use my comments out of context.


I know.
Nov 12 '05 #17

P: n/a
In article <AL**********************@Gilgamesh-Frog.org>,
je***@jerseygirls.com says...

Mike, we are in agreement! Please implement your idiotron immediately.

Your responses are worthless lies and garbage, so it will be quite welcome
to see you and your buddies stop responding with anything other than
some childish canned response about anonymity and the x no archive header.

The information about David is for the newbies,
Is it ?
and they can figure things out themselves,
Exactly.

So why the need for you to post links to Google archives ? If any
individual feels it is worth their while, the can search archives
themselves to look up any history related to anyone posting in Usenet. The
majority of posters here, "newbies" included, would know how to do that.
Particularly if they were considering doing "business" (as you continually
point out) with some individual.

So why the need for someone like YOU to post links to Google archives ?
since the Google archive tells all. The problem you have is
how do you discredit a post that is nothing other than quotes from
your beloved David Fenton?
And your problem is your continual need to follow this course of action,
which you attribute to some altruistic goal of "informing" newbies. You're
weird.
Have fun, idiot.
ROFL
The noobs aren't as stupid as you think.


True. But do you realise how this gives you away, yet again ?

Nov 12 '05 #18

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