Autoincrement with prefix and update after deletion

Hi, I have a table with some fields and 2 of them are:
ID int(10) PK AI
RefNum varchar(50)
I want the reference number to start with the prefix RE-001 and I want everytime i insert a new record to increment it accordingly
ID          RefNum
1           RE-001
2           RE-002
3           RE-003
How can this be done, i am aware that auto increment can be done on INT but maybe there is another way
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john-formbyConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Please have a look at the example below.

Hope this helps,

$insquery = mysql_query("INSERT INTO tbltest (ID) VALUES ('')") or die(mysql_error());
$lastinsert = mysql_insert_id();
$refNum = 'RE-'.str_pad($lastinsert, '3', '0', STR_PAD_LEFT);
$updquery = mysql_query("UPDATE tbltest SET refNum = '$refNum' WHERE ID = '$lastinsert'") or die(mysql_error());

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You could do it with a insert-trigger that relies on the autoincrement of the id-column. The trigger should build the string: "RE-" and concat to the id the should be formatted with 3 digits.
Here's the docu to trigger:
Also, for reference, here is the MySQL table.
CREATE TABLE `tbltest` (
  `ID` int(10) NOT NULL auto_increment,
  `refNum` varchar(50) NOT NULL,

-- Dumping data for table `tbltest`

INSERT INTO `tbltest` (`ID`, `refNum`) VALUES
(1, 'RE-001'),
(2, 'RE-002');

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dino_angelidesAuthor Commented:
well, let me try this one later :)
dino_angelidesAuthor Commented:
I did not get a chance to try that yet.....
my insert code, which derived from dreamweaver insert behavior is below in the snippet....where should I add the code you provided?
also there is a textbox of the Reference Number which is readonly
 <input name="refNumber" type="text" class="style811" id="refNumber" size="50" maxlength="50" readonly="readonly" />
and I want to display the next available reference number in there so that the user cannot change it!!
if ((isset($_POST["MM_insert"])) && ($_POST["MM_insert"] == "form")) {
  $insertSQL = sprintf("INSERT INTO listings (id, datePosted, featured, listingType, refNum, contactName, contactPhone, contactMobile, contactEmail, region, area, address, price, priceRequested, beds, baths, parking, propType, coveredArea, pool, furnished, deeds, postedBy, deliveryDate, mapLocation, briefComments, comments, image1, image2, image3, image4, image5, image6, image7, image8) VALUES (%s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s, %s)",
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['id'], "int"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['datePosted'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString(isset($_POST['featured']) ? "true" : "", "defined","'Yes'","'No'"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['listingType'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['refNumber'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['contactName'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['contactPhone'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['contactMobile'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['contactEmail'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['region'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['area'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['address'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['price'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['sellerPrice'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['bedrooms'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['bathrooms'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['parking'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['propertyType'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['coveredArea'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['pool'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['furnished'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['deeds'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['postedBy'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['deliveryDate'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['maplocation'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['commentsBrief'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['comments'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image1'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image2'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image6'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image6'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image5'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image6'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image7'], "text"),
                       GetSQLValueString($_POST['image8'], "text"));

  mysql_select_db($database_RealEstateOnlineCy, $RealEstateOnlineCy);
  $Result1 = mysql_query($insertSQL, $RealEstateOnlineCy) or die(mysql_error());

  $insertGoTo = "/RealEstateOnline/admin/addListingSuccess.php";
  if (isset($_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'])) {
    $insertGoTo .= (strpos($insertGoTo, '?')) ? "&" : "?";
    $insertGoTo .= $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'];
  header(sprintf("Location: %s", $insertGoTo));

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