Why do incident reference numbers contain gaps and not adhere to incident creation order?
Incident Reference Numbers
Note: Similar gaps are possible in all record types (i.e. answers, contacts, organizations, etc.).
When the creation of a new incident is started, a unique reference number is attached to the record before the incident is saved. For efficiency, the Browser User Interface (BUI) will also “pre-fetch” reference numbers for each agent that is logged in. This ensures a reference number is immediately available to attach to a new record when an agent decides to take this action. This reference number will not be reused should the author start to create an incident then decide not to save this new incident. Pre-fetched values will not be reused if the agent never ends up creating an incident. The application does not adjust the sequence of incident reference numbers to eliminate breaks in the sequence or to ensure the order matches creation order.
This does not affect reporting as reports concerning incidents only take into account the incidents that were created and subsequently saved as active records.
Oracle Service Cloud also assigns an incident i_id number to each incident during the initial save. If you are reviewing incidents to establish order of creation or to ensure there are no gaps/deleted incident records, you should utilize this ID number instead of the reference number.
The deleted records table also allows you to view any records that may have been manually deleted from the application. For more information regarding this option, please see Answer ID 2460: Determining who deleted records from the application.