I'm building a CMS Admin Panel to show Data. I'm considering the ID column.

Which one is more compatible for user?

The Pretty Auto Increment

Neat Number but hardly refer the ID for searching

# name  data
1 Billy Test
2 Jason Test
3 Sarah Test
4 Andre Test


The Database Auto Increment

Messy Number, but easily can refer the ID for searching

#  name  data
11 Billy Test
15 Jason Test
19 Sarah Test
24 Andre Test

Usually Developer will show the ID cols as pretty auto increment or database's not so neat auto increment?

Or having other win win situation method?

  • 5
    Why would the end-user care what the Database ID number is? Do you care what the database ID is in Amazon's product database for a book you're searching for?
    – JonW
    Jun 17, 2015 at 11:08
  • @JonW For Amazon, maybe not so much. But for eBay it's definitely useful, by creating deeplinks to a unique offer. In OP's case I would say: leave it out. Users don't benefit from it. Jun 17, 2015 at 11:54
  • You really need to answer the question, Why does the end user need to see id numbers? Does that information help them doing anything? The only time I have added an id column into table data is to serve myself or other developers/admins, as id's are used in a lot our queries and it's helpful if I'm already in the interface.
    – kdub
    Jun 17, 2015 at 19:03
  • Because I face a situation that some time different user will ask me for the row ID, for them to search & view the particular row data.
    – Mavichow
    Jun 18, 2015 at 4:39
  • I dont think that the ID is something that should be in the very first row.
    – BlueWizard
    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


The win-win situation that you are alluding to (which might not really be a win-win) could be mapping the system generated ID to a 'user-friendly' ID.

However, because that means an extra layer of what is essentially redundant information, it might be nice to the external users but not so friendly for the internal users (e.g. admins).

One of the comments did refer to the reason why users require that information, and you mentioned that users will search for it. If they are searching for it, what is the purpose and how do they actually use that information?

I think the best answer can be found be addressing the underlying problem you want to solve, and it is not necessarily solved by the way the ID field is presented.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.