Unique, sequential numbering for invoices

Hello, I need to generate unique, sequential invoices. I’m after suggestions for the best way of achieving this. I’ll be creating several hundred invoices at once. I was thinking I’d use an asset and increment the integer by one each time, but I am worried about the risk of duplication if there is a lag between the write and read of the asset (especially if I use multiple bots to process).
Then I thought I’d put the question to the group - how would you do this to ensure your invoices have unique and sequential numbering?

Hi @JohnMac,

If there are cases I need something to be always unique, I use the date time in yyyyMMddHHmmss format. Maybe you can consider millisecond if you think there’s still a chance of duplicate by the second. Maybe trim the year to yy if you want a shorter one.

you can use guid. It will be for sure unique value :slight_smile:


Yeah, that was my first thought too. But it has to be sequential, so first is 0001, second is 0002 etc. and so on. That rules out GUID and a time string.

It’s looks like that you need somethng like incrementation of id.
But how to achieve this ? Maybe you will use DB or Excel and you will create and assign number for every new invoice number ?

Yeah this will be tricky. This is somehow in the same boat of a lot of bots accessing 1 file.

Is there a chance that you do your increments within your dispatcher? In that case, your reading/updating asset might work.

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I am thinking of a easier way here.
Let’s say in my Robot A i have 2 functionalities.

  1. Invoice generation (Let this process create invoices by generating random numbers. Ex:- 12345Invoice.pdf, 22456Invoice.pdf, etc. Both Robots can generate invoices independently.The moment all the invoices are generated , we can update an asset value as ‘TRUE’)

  2. Invoice Sequencing( If the asset value is found to be true, the bot will pick all the invoices from shared/local folder based on Descending order of time . It replaces the random number with sequences. So 22456Invoice.pdf–>00001Invoice.pdf , 12345Invoice.pdf–> 00002Invoice.pdf)

Hope this helps.

I think to use assets is risky. It can can be changed by anyone with access to assets.
I prefer DB. It can also store the value with invoice number which will be incrementing and updating and accidentally is harder to change :wink:

Oh, this is clever - I like this. So I have separate processes for generating and a single process assigning the correct numbering in batches and sending. I like this!
Waiting to see what else comes through, but this is looking like the best solution so far…

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