For information about what the Document Number Generator is and how to get to it, see this article

This guide is intended for users who need to create and maintain numbering conventions in the BC PHP Document Number Generator solution. For a guide on how to use the Document Number Generator as an end user, see this article.

How to add a new convention

A numbering convention is made up of elements (categories) with separators between each element.

A single convention represents has a single register of generated numbers.

Creating Categories

The first part of setting up a numbering convention is creating the individual elements (categories) which will be used to construct your numbering convention.

Most of the categories will be drop-down lists. The lists will contain options that will be used to build the reserved document number.

For example, a category called Originating Company might contain 3 options:

  • BC - Business Collaborator
  • HSBC - Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
  • PWC - PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

The short names (BC, HSBC, PWC) would appear in the generated document numbers. These are called Values. The additional text is helpful to the end users in identifying the correct option to choose. These are the Descriptions.

If there are already categories in your DNG, you may be able to re-use existing categories in your new conventions. However bear in mind that any values that you add to the category would then appear for both conventions which use it. If you would like the values in  your categories to appear for your convention only, then make sure to set up new categories for every convention you create.

To create a category:

  • Go to the DNG and click on the "Categories" tab. This tab lists all of the categories used by all of the conventions in your DNG.
  • Click Add Category to add a new category.

  • The Add Category page looks like this:
    • The category name should represent the name of the segment of information it represents in the document name. For example, Originating Company, Discipline, Zone, and so on. You may need to include some kind of identifier in the name if you are planning to have many similar categories in use by many different conventions.

    • You should specify the format of the convention. This describes the kinds of characters that you're expecting to be in the values of the category:
      • alphabetical -- the values will all be letters (e.g. BC, HSBC, PWC)
      • numerical -- the values will all be numbers (e.g. 101, 372, 27, 1068)
      • alphanumerical -- the values can be numbers or letters (e.g. B120, 4A68)
      • numerical_hyphenated -- the values will be numbers separated by hyphens (e.g. 42-4, 7-99)
      • alphanumerical_hyphenated -- the values will be numbers or letters separated by hyphens (e.g. A-46, 37-B, 3-PT)

    • If you can, specify the length you're expecting for the values. If the lengths may vary, specify its maximum possible length. Note: The length is used for database configuration and doesn't represent a hard limit on your category if you need to add values with longer short names in future.

    • You may also see a Parent Category option. You do not need to enter anything here.

  • Click Save

Following the steps above, add all the categories you would need to create your naming convention.

Creating the counter

The final category that you create will be used as a counter. You should decide how many digits you would like your counter to include. Bear in mind that this can impose a limit on the number of documents that can be generated, and can affect the way the document names are sorted.

The final category you create will be the counter. For this category we recommend the following settings:

  • Category name: Unique Number (x) where x is the number of digits you will be using for your counter.
  • Format: numerical
  • Length: x
    For this category it is important that the length matches the number of digits you want in your counter.

Creating the convention

Once all the categories have been created,  you can assemble them together to create the convention.

Note: You cannot edit the convention once it has been created, with the exception of the convention's name.

  • Click on the Conventions tab. This lists all of the conventions in your DNG.

  • Click Add Convention to add a new convention

  • The Add convention page looks like this:
    • The convention name will be used to identify the convention to end users. If you intend to use the convention on one project only, it is recommended to include that project name in the convention name.
      Note: it is possible to use a single convention for more than one project provided that your convention includes an element which identifies the project. This will keep the reserved numbers for each project separate. Bear in mind this will also mean that all the category options will need to be the same for all projects.

    • The Description should provide some information about when this convention should be used, to help end users make the correct selection.

  • Assemble your convention from left to right by clicking either "Add Category" or "Add separator".

  • Select the category or selector that you want from the drop down list available.
  • If you make a mistake you can't re-order, but you can delete the last (rightmost) element using the "remove last element" button.
  • Click Save. 

Populate the categories with the values and descriptions

The final task is to add all the options to your categories so that the correct options can be seen in the drop down lists when reserving numbers.

This should be done for all categories used by your convention (but doesn't need to be done for the counter).

The steps are described in this help article.

Your convention is now ready to be used.