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auto-enter serial with letters: problem as a 'key'?

Question asked by k1ngf1sher on Feb 5, 2010
Latest reply on Feb 5, 2010 by ninja


auto-enter serial with letters: problem as a 'key'?


Hi all, I'm working with a database with 20+ tables and need to figure out what to do for keys for each table. I've never had formal training in making databases and only learned recently that I should *never* use a edit-able field as a key (because links can be broken when the value is changed, etc.; I know, common knowledge, right?).  This leads me to consider what values I can use as each table's 'key.'  I had already used a auto-enter serial number that included two sets of letters along with the incrementing number (e.g., TCI309L), which included my firm's initials and a terminal letter which indicates the type of data (L=Livestock, M=Manure, F=Farm field, etc.).  But, I have several questions related to this situation:

1. Should I have a unique, auto-enter serial key Field for each unique table in the database?

2. Am I violating the FM laws of nature by mixing alphanumerics for the auto-enter serial (NB: each Field is identified as a Text field).


Any thoughts/recommendations/condemnations welcome.