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autonumber - script function

This script function returns a unique integer value for each distinct evaluated value of expression encountered during the script execution. This function can be used e.g. for creating a compact memory representation of a complex key.

Information noteYou can only connect autonumber keys that have been generated in the same data load, as the integer is generated according to the order the table is read. If you need to use keys that are persistent between data loads, independent of source data sorting, you should use the hash128, hash160 or hash256 functions.


autonumber(expression[ , AutoID])


Argument Description

In order to create multiple counter instances if the autonumber function is used on different keys within the script, the optional parameter AutoID can be used for naming each counter.

Example: Creating a composite key

In this example we create a composite key using the autonumber function to conserve memory. The example is brief for demonstration purpose, but would be meaningful with a table containing a large number of rows.

Example data
Region Year Month Sales
North 2014 May 245
North 2014 May 347
North 2014 June 127
South 2014 June 645
South 2013 May 367
South 2013 May 221

The source data is loaded using inline data. Then we add a preceding load, which creates a composite key from the Region, Year and Month fields.

RegionSales: LOAD *, AutoNumber(Region&Year&Month) as RYMkey; LOAD * INLINE [ Region, Year, Month, Sales North, 2014, May, 245 North, 2014, May, 347 North, 2014, June, 127 South, 2014, June, 645 South, 2013, May, 367 South, 2013, May, 221 ];


The resulting table looks like this:

Results table
Region Year Month Sales RYMkey
North 2014 May 245 1
North 2014 May 347 1
North 2014 June 127 2
South 2014 June 645 3
South 2013 May 367 4
South 2013 May 221 4

In this example you can refer to the RYMkey, for example 1, instead of the string 'North2014May' if you need to link to another table.

Now we load a source table of costs in a similar way. The Region, Year and Month fields are excluded in the preceding load to avoid creating a synthetic key, we are already creating a composite key with the autonumber function, linking the tables.

RegionCosts: LOAD Costs, AutoNumber(Region&Year&Month) as RYMkey; LOAD * INLINE [ Region, Year, Month, Costs South, 2013, May, 167 North, 2014, May, 56 North, 2014, June, 199 South, 2014, June, 64 South, 2013, May, 172 South, 2013, May, 126 ];


Now we can add a table visualization to a sheet, and add the Region, Year and Month fields, as well as Sum measures for the sales and the costs. The table will look like this:

Results table
Region Year Month Sum([Sales]) Sum([Costs])
Totals - - 1952 784
North 2014 June 127 199
North 2014 May 592 56
South 2014 June 645 64
South 2013 May 588 465

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