Configuring Bundles After the Install
It would be nice if every bundle we installed just worked, without any extra configuration. Of course there are some that do, however many require some level of configuration after the install. In this video we’ll take a look at how to configure bundles after an install. Since every bundle is different, and the configuration can vary quite a bit, what we’ll really be looking at in this video is where to find the information we need to do the configuration. For every bundle we cover in this course we will also cover its specific configuration. But this video focuses more on where to find information about bundle configuration in general. It is usually a good idea to find any documentation about how to configure a bundle you will install before you do the install, but in some cases, that may not be possible. Everything we cover in this video assumes that we have already installed the bundle, but some of these actions could be taken prior to the install.
The first place I like to look for documentation about configuring a bundle, is the documentation link provided on the Installed Bundles page. You can get to this screen by hovering over Customization, SuiteBundler, Search & Install Bundles and clicking on List. This documentation link is the same as what’s provided on the Bundle Details screen, when initially installing the bundle. Because of this, sometimes there is no documentation link. If we click on the documentation link for File Drag and Drop the help page for that bundle will open. Of course, for this specific link we have to make sure to reauthenticate with NetSuite. Even though this link is to the NetSuite help for this bundle, it could just as easily be a link to the developer’s web site, a PDF, or some other form of documentation.
If we look at the StickyNotes bundle here, we see there is no documentation link. So for this bundle we will search for the documentation manually. The two easiest places to look are SuiteAnswers, and NetSuite’s help. They share a lot of the same content, but there is some content that is unique to each of them. To look in SuiteAnswers, we’d click support, then click the Go to SuiteAnswers button down here, and finally we would type in whatever we were searching for. I’ll type StickyNotes, all one word, and click search. We can see this first article, Configuring StickyNotes, sounds like it might be exactly what we’re looking for. You could click on the link to view the article. If we hadn’t found anything here the next searches might have been Sticky Notes with a space between the words, followed by a search for the bundle ID.
If I switch back over to our NetSuite tab, and I’ll actually close this SuiteAnswers tab to get it out of the way, I can click on Help, at the top here. Help opens up in a new window, and we can either use the search here at the top, or we can expand the navigation tree and look for documentation in the help. When help opens, you may be at a different location than me, because this help center is context sensitive, and it opens to a topic based on where you are in NetSuite when you click it. SuiteApps seems like it might be a good place to look for information about StickyNotes, and if we expand that we see this, Creating StickyNotes on Record Pages, topic. If we expand this, sure enough, it looks like this might have just the information we’re looking for. Of course, as I said before we could have also searched using the search at the top of the page. I’m going to go ahead and close the help center now, and we’ll look at a few more options for finding documentation.
Another place we can look for documentation about a bundle is in the bundle itself. Since bundles can contain files of any type, it is not uncommon for bundle developers to include PDF, Word, or Text document files in the bundle directory. If we were looking for information about this Electronic Payments for NetSuite bundle, and we weren’t making any progress using the methods above, we could look in the bundles install directory. To do this we need to note down the bundle number, found here; 157315 for this bundle. Now, if we go to Documents, Files and File Cabinet, and Expand the SuiteBundles folder here on the left, we see a bunch of subfolders for the bundles we have installed. If we look in the Bundle 157315 directory we see the install guide for this bundle. We can download or view it from here by clicking on the file name or the download link.
So these locations, Attached Documentation, SuiteAnswers, Help and the File cabinet are the most likely places to find documentation about a bundle. If you can’t find documentation in one of these locations, the next place you should go is directly to the developer. Of course, for most bundles the developer is the first place you should go. Because we are talking about free bundles in this course and NetSuite is the developer of most of these, we kind of started at a different location.
Going to the developer can involve a few different paths. If you have a support phone number, you can always reach out directly. You can look at their web site or support site if you have that information, or you could do a Google search for the developer or bundle.
There may be times when you just can’t talk to the bundle developer. Maybe the bundle was developed by an ex-employee, and there is no documentation, for example. It’s always better to try and avoid these situations if you can, but if you can’t there is still another option to figuring out how a bundle works. You can always try to review all the code, and assets created with a bundle. Essentially figuring out how a bundle works by reviewing it. This last method takes a bit of time, can be very technical, at times can be difficult, and is not even always possible. A word of caution before proceeding, trying to tell what a bundle is doing this way closely resembles reverse engineering. For this reason, you should understand that there are a lot of legalities that go with reverse engineering software that you don’t own the copyright to. In fact, you generally shouldn’t try to reverse engineer software you don’t own the copyright to, and this is different from owning a license to use the software. The knowledge gained using this method is almost always going to be inferior to what would be gained using the other methods.
The method to review how a bundle works is really pretty simple. You want to start by going to the installed bundles screen, then opening the installed bundle you are interested in. From here you would go to the components tab and export or note the components used. One by one you will need to explore these components and begin to document the relationships between them. You can find records and fields under the Customization, Lists Records & Fields menu, and you can find files and scripts in the file cabinet. The difficulty really comes because as you can see here, a lot of these components are locked, meaning that you either have no access or limited access to them. Many of these are locked to prevent intellectual property theft. If you have the time to spend you can gain some useful knowledge about how a bundle works by reviewing its components, but this is by far the most time-consuming method you could use to figure out how a bundle works.
So here you have the most common ways to find documentation about how to configure a bundle. For the bundles we cover in the rest of this course we will be going over the configuration. However, if you do find yourself needing to configure a bundle you are unfamiliar with you at least have some good resources at your disposal.