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Whenever a new case is created, Public Sector can use configured serialization rules to stamp it with a unique, customized serial number. This serial number is generated from a combination of fields in such a way that the numbers are meaningful to an agency. For example, in the case serial number NY-2B-2, the serial number could be used to denote geographic territory (NY—New York) and case category (2B—aggravated assault). The third field (2) is used to uniquely identify the particular case.
Case serialization is also used to hierarchically serialize evidence, leads, and attachments associated with the case. Using the case serial number in the example above, the number generated for an evidence item could be NY-2B-2-3—the item inherits the parent serial number and a suffix code is added to make the item itself unique.
Serial numbers for cases, leads, and evidence are generated automatically as soon as the user has created and saved a new record. In some instances, the user can also choose to generate a serial number by clicking a Serial Number button—an example of this is in the Cases screen > Case List > Attachments view. See Adding Attachments and Notes to Cases for more information.
The Public Sector application provides several rules which can be configured to control the format of serial numbers on cases, leads, and evidence. The out-of-the-box rules are described in Table 6.
Parent rules are rules generated from serialization on an independent business object and component. This means that the serial number generated by the rule is unaffected by the serial numbers generated by any other rules. By default, the Case Rule is the parent rule for the serialization rules provided with the Public Sector application. See Table 6 for a description of the Case Rule.
Parent rules can have several child rules. Child rules include serial numbers already generated for their parent rules. For example, the Case Attachment rule is configured so that it begins with the serial number generated by the Case Rule—its first attribute type is Parent Serial Number. See Serialization Rule Attribute Types for more information.
Public Sector provides you with several out-of-the-box rules which you can modify to suit your organization's requirements. It is also possible to create new rules to change how serialization is performed. See Adding New Serialization Rules for more information.
If you modify the default rule values to pull information from different fields, users must make sure that they enter all the information required to generate the serial numbers. For example, you change the Case Rule to include the Sub-Status value in the serial number instead of the Category Code. Unless the user enters a value in the Sub-Status field, an error message is displayed, stating that a serial number cannot be generated for the case because one of the fields required is empty. Error messages are not displayed if you leave the rules as they are because Public Sector fills in default values to the required fields so that they are not left empty.
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