I'm integrating/testing with a remote web service and even though it's the "QA" endpoint, it still enforces a unique email address on every call.
I can think of
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc...
If you assume that you will not generate two e-mail addresses at the same 'tick', then you can indeed use the ticks to generate an e-mail address.
However, if ticks is a 64-bit number, and you write out that number, you will end up with more than 20 characters.
The trick is to encode your 64-bit number using a different scheme. Assume that you can use the 26 characters from the western alphabet + 10 digits. This makes 36 possible characters. If you take 5 bits, you can represent 32 characters. That should be enough. Take the 64-bits and divide them in groups of 5 bits (64 /5 is about 13 groups). Translate every 5 bits to one character. That way you end up with 13 characters, and you can still add a character in front of it).
long ticks = DateTime.Now.Ticks; byte bytes = BitConverter.GetBytes(ticks); string id = Convert.ToBase64String(bytes) .Replace('+', '_') .Replace('/', '-') .TrimEnd('='); Console.WriteLine (id);