Auto-Numbering through Real Time workflows (No customization, No Add-on)

Dear Readers,

Generating a number automatically within CRM is one of those requirement which is been asked , almost by all client/project. We all know that auto-numbering is available out of the box for entities like case, contracts, quote, order, invoice, articles & campaigns. But usually we have two situations:

  1. Auto-numbering for entities like account, contact, opportunity etc. (not available in out of the box auto-numbering feature)
  2. Condition wise auto-numbering (business unit wise, category wise)

I am going to demonstrate situation 2, which will give you an idea for situation 1 too.

What you would need ?

  • A custom entity
  • A Real-time workflow

I am taking an example where I want my accounts should populate ‘account number’ based on ‘account category’. I have also created a lookup field on my account called ‘auto-counter’ which you can see just below category.I have got three categories in my account:

  • Direct (DC)
  • Distributor (DB)
  • Secondary (SC)


What I want ?

I want an account number to be generated having prefix of category and then sequential 6 digit number like if my account category is direct and i am creating the very first account in CRM then account number must be like DC100001.In your case it can even be like prefix should be Business Unit’s initial; method remains same.

How to go about it?

Create a custom entity with basic field Name and other fields to be created would be equal to no. of conditions you have for auto-numbering; in my case i have 3 conditions that are account category. You might have a situation wherein you want it based on Business unit so, you will have to create fields equivalent to the no. of business units you have.

Go to settings>>Customization>>Customize the system


Click on new to create a new entity


You will now have to create records equal to the no. of conditions you have; so i have 3 categories in account which means 3 conditions and 3 records:


I have kept the name as DC/DB/SC, based on the prefix i want for my account number and in the fields based on my condition i have filled DC, DB & SC as 100000 (since i wanted a 6 digit no.); Please note that, you will have to create separate records for each condition. In the first record I have created, I have filled name as DC and field ‘DC’ (whole number)  as 100000. Similarly, In the second record I have created, I have filled name as DB and field ‘DB’ (whole number)  as 100000 and so In the third record I have created, I have filled name as SC and field ‘SC’ (whole number)  as 100000

Now we can create a real time workflow on accounts:


Now we can add steps to this workflow along with if and updates:


First of all I am checking the category of my account; Secondly, I am updating auto-counter lookup field on account with relevant record of category:


Then I am updating my auto-counter record (increment by 1)


Then I am updating my account number of account with a combination of name-number of my auto-counter relevant record:

12 11

Now if i create an account, account number is generated as soon as i save my record; something like below:



  • Please do hide, auto-counter field on form once your workflow starts working.
  • To remove the comma from the Auto-Number field (whole number), copy it to a calculated field of Single Line of Text

Hope you find it helpful !

Thanks for Reading !

Happy CRMing !!


3 thoughts on “Auto-Numbering through Real Time workflows (No customization, No Add-on)

  1. Hi – I’m trying to do scenario 1 for opportunities in CRM 2015 but running into issues, would you happen to have instructions for the non- condition based auto numbering?


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