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Setting Up Automatic Business Partner Numbering in SAP B1

Setting up automatic business partner numbering in SAP Business One is a snap. By default, a new server will include only one numbering series called "Manual". This requires that the users type in their own business partner number. This can introduce confusing inconsistencies in the data your system holds. I think that setting up SAP B1 to automatically assign the business partner numbers is a must. You can even use this tutorial to setup automatic numbering of any other marketing document or master data!

Setting Up Automatic Business Partner Numbering

Document Numbering Window
Document Numbering Window

To get started navigate on the SAP Business One main menu to Administration -> System Initialization -> Document Numbering. This window is not where you setup your numbering series' but you can view how your system is setup. The rows marked "Manual" are set to have the user type in a number and the rows marked "Primary" are setup with an automatic numbering series.

Editing or adding numbering series requires us to double click on the blank box on the far left of the grid. This will bring up the window where we can change and add new automatic business partner numbering. Since this tutorial is concerning business partners, click the blank box next to "Business Partners - Customer".

Adding a Numbering Series
Adding a Numbering Series

On this window, we'll see the manual numbering series. If you are setting up automatic numbering it would be a good idea to click the checkbox labeled "lock". This will prevent users from assigning their own business partner number to a customer. Right click the box on the far left of this grid next to "Manual". You will see a menu pop up that has "Add Row" as a choice. Click on "Add Row" and it will create a new numbering series.

Type in a name for your new automatic business partner numbering series. I use OCRD so I have a handy reference of the database table names when I'm creating queries. There are three parts of a numbering series, the digits, the prefix, and suffix. Enter the number you'd like to start at, the last number and any prefix/suffix you'd like. Then find the "No. of Digits" field and type the number of digits each business partner will be. For example, if you'd like your business partner customers to have a number like "C00001" then the following options should be set:

  • Name - OCRD
  • First No. - 1
  • Last No. - 10000
  • Prefix - C
  • No. of Digits - 5
Setting the Default Numbering Series
Setting the Default Numbering Series

Once your new series is set click the "Update" button. To set this numbering series as default highlight the row and select the "Set as Default" button on the lower right hand part of the window. Select "Set as Default for All Users" and update it again. Back out of all the windows hitting the update and OK buttons as you go. Try to add a new business partner customer to test out your new automatic business partner numbering series. You'll see mine is setup like the example outlined above.

New BP Number
New BP Number

That's all there is to setting up your new numbering series. The process flows just like this in setting up each automatic numbering series in marketing documents and master data. Automating SAP Business One is a good idea to save time and make your data consistent. Check out how my new automatic Business Partner numbering turned out!

Author Info

Peter Canale
Peter Canale Follow Connect

Co-founder of SBOhub, starter, experienced executive, and probably having the best day ever.


  • Cat

    Can you do this after you have already been using SAP for awhile and have existing vendors with BP codes? Will setting up automatic numbering after this just make future business partners follow automatic numbering, or will it affect existing BP codes?