A couple of videos ago we looked at the Setup Manager. It has a sort of counterpart, the Customization Manager. While setup manager is where you will find most setup tasks, the customization manager is used to customize your instance of NetSuite. To get to there, we go to the Customization menu, and click on Customization Manager.
The first thing you are probably going to Notice is that this says Setup Manager here toward the top. That’s because this was recently broken out of that menu and dashboard structure and put into its own. We can see the difference if we open the Setup Manager. We can clearly see that the tabs and options to the left look substantially different. They also contain different options. The text in the main section however, is exactly the same, and takes you to the same help documentation. I can search for features, which was available under Setup, and it does not show up here. But if I search for something that is found in this section, such as script, it is found. But let’s go ahead and delete this, and to get back we click the ill named Setup Tasks link here at the bottom. Now, let’s go through some of this categorically.
One of the first things to know is that all of the options we see here to the left, are the same as what we see if we hover over the Customization menu. What we have here is just a slightly easier method of navigating, and the price we pay is in some lost screen real estate.
Let’s take a look under Lists, Records & Fields. If we wanted to define any of these as custom this is generally where we would go. Fields, such as these, deal with adding discrete pieces of data to a record such as a customer or transaction. Lists are used if we want the data in a field to be selected from a predetermined set of values. Record types allows us to create entirely new record types in NetSuite. For example, the system does not have a record for maintenance agreements, however we could add these as their own record type. Doing this we could keep track of who the agreement was for, when it expired, and any other relevant data.
Let’s add a field to the existing contact record. To do this, we click on Entry Fields, and then we would click New. Before we add the field though, let’s open a contact so we can see the before and after. Let’s search for Donald Duck, who we added earlier, and open him in a new tab. I’ll also click edit to make this easier to see. The field we will add will be a custom text field called “Internal Notes”. I can scroll down, and we see that the field does not currently exist.
Now, let’s come back over to the Customization Manager, and click New under Custom Entity Fields. I’ll also get rid of this stuff up here in the search box, to make it a little easier to focus on what we are doing. The first thing we need to do is give our field a label or name. We’ll call this Internal Notes. We’ll also give it an ID that is similar. We could use free form text, however for a notes field long text will be both easier to use, and easier for us to see in our example. We need to choose the record types this applies to; just contact for now. We also should choose where this will display on the contact record. I’ll go ahead and choose the main tab, which is the header section of the record. If we don’t pick anything here this will be placed in the custom subtab for the record. Let’s also give this a width and height that will make it a little easier to spot. There is more here that can be customized, but this is all we need to do for now. Once we are all done, we can click save, and our changes are sent back to NetSuite. Now if we refresh the record, we can scroll down, and see our new Internal Notes field. We’ll go ahead and close this now and come back to the customizer.
Let’s take a look at Forms. Forms control how our data displays. If we want a record to print in a certain way, or display in a certain way, we would use a form to accomplish this. We might hide a field, or make it uneditable, on a screen form to prevent users from changing it. Or we might change the layout of a print form, such as an invoice, so it is easier for customers to read. For demonstration purposes, let’s edit the form we would use to enter a cash sale. Since Custom Cash Sale is our preferred form for this transaction, we can click edit next to its name.
I also want to open a Cash Sale, so we can see what it looks like before and after the changes. We can do this by going to Transactions, Sales, then Enter Cash Sales; and let’s open this in a new tab. What we want to do is change this sale number to say document number, and be spelled out rather than using the number sign. We also want to change these shipping and billing tabs so that billing comes first.
Let’s go back to our transaction form editor and scroll down. We can use these dominos, which are the six little dots, to drag tabs where we want them. In this case, all we need to do is drag the billing tab above shipping. This can require a little bit of finesse to get right on them, but you’ll know when you’ve got it because you will see this four-way arrow. Let’s come over to the screen fields tab. Here we can change the text from sale number to document number. Next let’s click save, and take a look at our form. We need to refresh the form page to see the changes, so let’s do that. Now we have document number, and if we scroll down, billing is before shipping. Let’s close this and keep exploring.
Under scripting we have a number of options which are all related to adding custom code to NetSuite. This code can be something you write, or it can be from a system extension. We won’t go into this too deeply, but if you want to know what you have running in your instance on a regular basis, you can go to Scheduled Script Status. This tells you what scripts you have scheduled to run. You can also go to Script Execution Logs if you are looking into problems that are creeping up, and you suspect they are coming from SuiteScript.
Under Workflows, we only have a few options, but don’t let this deceive you. Workflows are an extremely powerful way of programing NetSuite using a visual interface. Let’s go ahead and click on Workflows, and when we do this, it actually opens in a new tab. I only have this single workflow that I created for this demo, but let’s take a look. We can click edit and we are taken into the workflow editor.
Each of these blocks represents actions to be taken, we have a starting action that does something. This can send the process on to a middle action. The middle action can then do something, and then either send the process back to the start state, to the end state, or to a hold state. We won’t go into detail about what each of the process blocks does, but you can create some really powerful scripting right here using a visual editor.
We can double click on any of the blocks, and we are taken to a detail form where we can fill out information about the current state of the workflow. We can, for example, create actions that we want to take place, which can include running code, changing values, etc. We can also use the transitions tab to tell the workflow to move between states when certain actions are taken, or when conditions are met. I’ll go ahead and click cancel to close this screen. If you’re used to traditional programming, you might think of each of the blocks as functions. Workflows can do a whole lot, and I invite you to spend some time taking a closer look at them. In an intro course it is enough just to know they are here.
If we come down to the Centers and Tabs section, we can make modifications to any custom centers that have been created. Centers, you may remember, control a few things including the menus up here. If we click to edit the Engineering center, we see that this center has three extra tabs, R&D, BOMs, and Routings, in addition to the standard ones. Using centers, you can customize NetSuite in a very easy way, and help make your companies departments function more effortlessly.
Of course, this was only a high level look at just a few of the customization options that are available in the system. Now that you know how to use the Customization Manager, you are well on your way to making NetSuite work the way your business needs it to.