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Serial Number Issues (Number vs Text Type) while using combination of Text and Numbers

Question asked by sussetteh on Oct 27, 2016
Latest reply on Jul 26, 2018 by Vaughan

I need to create unique serial numbers as my primary keys which contain some kind of leading text identifier.



Table: School

Primary key: _pkSchoolID

Type: Number

Formula/Entry Option: Indexed, Serial Number on creation with Current Value: "SC42" Increment:"1", Unique Values Only


Everything works beautifully except when I have to (in rare occasions) export to Excel.   The FM export process strips all non-numeric characters, so it exports just the numbers (missing the leading SC) for my serial numbers.  Another issue is with doing queries: If I do a search for all serial numbers containing "SC" it indicates that no records are found.


I have another table which adds serial numbers with the leading program number: Example P8_124, P9_100.  When I export these table to excel I get the following respectfully: 8124, 9100.


I have figured out that if I change the field type to TEXT the number incrementation works well. queries work as expected and data exports as it should, but I loose sorting by number capability.


My questions:

Is there a setting that I can set to force FM to export these serial numbers of type NUMBER as they appear and not strip the non-numeric characters?

Other than the loss of sorting capabilities, are there any other cons to setting Serial Numbers to the TEXT type?