is it possible to have a auto number field count only if a specific picklist value is selected? Can this be done with a trigger? Below is my use-case: I have a picklist with different customer types. Each customer type has a different range of customer numbers.

Thanks a lot for any comment/idea.

2 Answers 2


Calling this from a before insert trigger would result in separate sequences. But unless a for update lock is added somewhere duplicate values could result. (Haven't even compiled this yet alone tested it but it illustrates the pattern.)

public class AutoNumber {

    private static Map<String, Integer> STARTING_VALUES = new Map<String, Integer>{
            'abc' => 1,
            'def' => 1000000,
            'ghi' => 2000000,

    public static void beforeInsert(List<MyObject__c> newValues) {
        Set<String> values = new Set<String>();
        for (MyObject__c o : newValues) {
            if (o.Picklist__c != null) values.add(o.Picklist__c);        
        if (values.size() > 0) {
            Map<String, Integer> maximums = queryMaximums(values);
            for (MyObject__c o : newValues) {
                Integer n = maximums.get(o.Picklist__c);
                maximums.put(o.Picklist__c, n);
                o.Number__c = n;

    private static Map<String, Integer> queryMaximums(Set<String> values) {
        Map<String, Integer> maximums = new Map<String, Integer>(STARTING_VALUES);
        for (AggregateResult ar : [
                select Picklist__c p, max(Number__c) m
                from MyObject__c
                where Picklist__c in :values
                group by Picklist__c
                ]) {
            maximums.put((String) ar.get('p'), ((Decimal) ar.get('m')).intValue());
        return maximums;


Given the for update problem, on second thoughts using a list custom setting to hold the last used value (where the name is the picklist value) probably makes more sense so the for update lock can be applied. Also avoids performance and governor limit problems in the aggregate query as the number of records grows.


as the proper name says, an auto number is "automatic", you can't control how it increases. What you can do is a trigger to make this happen, but I think it would be the only possible way.

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