serial numbers and databases

Hi guys. i need to write C++ program that detects duplicate serial numbers when entered in an existing database.
i work with an energy auditing firm, am tasked with making sure no energy auditor under me fakes a serial number, at least not one that has already been entered.
Use an std::set. The insert() function returns a pair<iterator,bool>, where the bool is false if the object already existed in the set.
What kind of database is it?

Can't you just make the field unique?
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