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The Evolution of a NetSuite Developer

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The Evolution of a NetSuite Developer

For developers venturing into the NetSuite ecosystem, the journey is akin to an evolution, progressing from basic customization to becoming a seasoned solution architect. This blog delves into the stages of a NetSuite developer's evolution, showcasing the diverse set of tools available and the critical milestones on the path to expertise.


  1. SuiteBuilder - Laying the Foundation:

The journey commences with SuiteBuilder, NetSuite's point-and-click customization tool. Novice developers engage with this intuitive interface to configure fields, forms, and records without delving into complex coding. SuiteBuilder provides a gentle introduction to NetSuite's architecture and sets the stage for more intricate customizations.

Consultant insight: This is a fairly basic level that even most NetSuite users are able to grasp, however there are some more complex levels to Suitebuilder that not everyone is aware of.

  1. Workflows - Unleashing Automation:

As developers grow in proficiency, they graduate to Workflows – a more sophisticated point-and-click tool for automation. Workflows enable the creation of intricate business processes, offering a deeper understanding of how data flows within NetSuite. This step in the evolution introduces developers to conditional logic, approvals, and notifications, enhancing their ability to shape the system according to business requirements.

Consultant insight: Workflows are commonly used for approvals. Scripts can be combined with workflows using workflow actions to create more complex logic.

  1. Scripts - Advanced coding:

For those seeking greater control and flexibility, scripting becomes the next logical step. NetSuite supports both SuiteScript (JavaScript-based) and SuiteTalk (web services) for custom coding. Developers can create scripts to automate complex business logic, manipulate data, and execute operations not achievable with point-and-click tools. Scripting represents a significant leap in a developer's evolution, requiring a solid understanding of both programming concepts and NetSuite's underlying data structures.

Consultant insight: Becoming intimately familiar with the Suitescript API will be crucial to ensure that you develop efficiently. Utilise Suiteanswers and work with other more experienced developers to view script examples and templates.

  1. Integration - Connecting the Dots:

As the developer gains confidence in scripting, the focus shifts to integrations – linking NetSuite with external systems. This involves creating custom scripts or leveraging Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) tools like Datablend or Celigo. Integration skills are essential for ensuring seamless communication between NetSuite and other applications, a crucial aspect in modern business environments with diverse software stacks.

Consultant insight: This step requires strong problem solving capabilities and an understanding over why two systems are being integrated. Consider learning how to use an iPaaS tool to boost your value as a NetSuite developer.

  1. Solution Architect - Guiding the Way:

The pinnacle of a NetSuite developer's evolution is reached when they transition into the role of a solution architect. Beyond technical prowess, a solution architect possesses a deep understanding of the business processes they are customizing within the system. They act as trusted advisors, aligning technical solutions with overarching business objectives. This level of maturity involves not only knowing how to implement features but also understanding why certain customizations are essential for the client's success.

Consultant insight: Alongside technical competence, this role requires a strong knowledge of business process design and an understanding of the best development method to utilise for maximal efficiency and performance management.

What coding languages does a NetSuite developer need to be experienced in?

NetSuite developers typically need experience in several key programming languages and technologies to effectively work with the NetSuite platform. The most important ones are:

  1. JavaScript: This is the primary language used in NetSuite for client-side scripting and server-side scripting through SuiteScript, NetSuite's JavaScript-based API. A strong understanding of JavaScript is essential for creating custom scripts that enhance the functionality of NetSuite applications.

  2. SQL: For database management and reporting purposes, knowledge of SQL (Structured Query Language) is useful. NetSuite uses Oracle as its backend database, so familiarity with Oracle SQL can be particularly beneficial.

  3. HTML/CSS: These are used for designing and customizing the user interfaces of NetSuite. A good grasp of HTML and CSS is important for creating aesthetically pleasing and functional layouts in NetSuite.

  4. XML: XML is often used in NetSuite for defining custom records, creating Suitelets (custom NetSuite pages), and integrating with other systems.

  5. JSON: JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is used for data interchange, especially when working with SuiteTalk, NetSuite's Web Services and REST APIs.

  6. SuiteScript: While SuiteScript is essentially JavaScript, it's a specialized version tailored for NetSuite. Understanding SuiteScript's APIs and its capabilities is crucial for a NetSuite developer.

  7. RESTful APIs and Web Services: Knowledge of RESTful APIs and Web Services is important for integrating NetSuite with other applications and services.

Understanding these languages and technologies will enable a NetSuite developer to customize and extend NetSuite's capabilities, integrate it with other systems, and develop robust business solutions. Additionally, staying up to date with the latest NetSuite updates and features is also important for developers working in this field.

The evolution of a NetSuite developer is a journey of continuous learning and adaptation. From the simplicity of SuiteBuilder to the complexity of solution architecture, each stage equips developers with new skills and insights. By mastering various tools and understanding business processes, developers can not only customize NetSuite effectively but also contribute strategically to the success of the organizations they serve. As the NetSuite ecosystem continues to evolve, so too will the developers who navigate its intricate landscape. Happy coding!

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