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How would I find the maximum value of a number column in a SharePoint workflow and set to variable. Purpose would be to increment by one and set that in this number column on New items.

The use of the ID column is not valuable as the existing list data was brought in from Excel.

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Unless things have changed in 2010 workflows, you can't get the max number from the corresponding list. The workflows only operate on the existing item. Thrird party workflow tools like Nintex and K2 allow you to do actions based on information from querying the list.

You'd need to create your own activity in visual studio to do be able to that in SPD or use script on the newitem form so that the value is determined and inserted into a hidden field before the item is saved.

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