So we’re starting here where we left off in the last video, and if you need to catch up, you can come to customization, forms, and entry forms and then go ahead and click on the form that you want to edit from there.
In this video we’re going to talk about field customization and that’s basically everything that’s listed underneath here under the fields subtab. Now this is kind of the meat and potatoes of form customization. The bulk of what you’ll do will tend to be here, or at least this seems to be the part that’s used the most when I have done form customization. That’s not to say other parts aren’t important, because they certainly are though.
So one of the things that I also find helpful when I’m customizing a form is to actually have that form open in another browser tab. So we can come up to lists, relationships, and customers, and go ahead and right-click on new, and choose open link in new tab, and this will open a new customer for us in a new tab, and this is helpful so we can switch back and forth between the tabs and see how things are laid out. It’s also helpful to have the form that you’ve printed it out and marked up around when you’re making these changes.
So back at our entry form customizer, we see under fields, we’ve got main, relationships, sales, and some more subtabs. We also have a sub tab for sales:qualification, and marketing:subscription, although it’s a little bit cut off here. And so what these correspond to is, main if we come back over here to the other subtab, corresponds to all this stuff in the header section, and if we scroll down, relationships corresponds to relationships, communication to communication. And if we recall under sales and marketing there were other subtabs, so sales for example, we also see opportunities and qualification, marketing we see subscriptions, and so this is how that’s laid out.
Let’s go back over to our form customizer and I’ll scroll down just a little bit. So one of the first things, the easiest things we can do, is move these fields around. And so we can move them by a going and selecting the field, and it does take a little bit of finesse sometimes to grab right on the field, and then when you get these four cross arrows, you can actually drag this up and down. So we could put type, for example, above the name, if we wanted to, or we could drag that down, and put that back to where it was. And moving the fields around here, on the form editor corresponds with moving the fields over here, on the customer form. So where we moved type to be between Custom Form, and Name/ID, in the form editor, over here in the customer it would’ve moved type to be up here.
So let’s go back over to our form customizer, we can also move these by clicking and selecting one, and then choosing move to top, or move to bottom. Now we do have another option here titled New Field, and we can use this to create an entirely new field, though there’s actually a slightly better way to do this, not directly inside the form. But if I were to click this, this would actually take us to another NetSuite page, where we could create a new field to contain data that’s not already on the form, and we will actually cover this in a future chapter.
Down here, we have some display options, we can show or hide a field by clicking on the checkbox. So I could show or hide the company name, which probably isn’t all that useful, we usually want to see that. But we may not want to see the sales rep, so I could uncheck this and we would hide the sales rep for example.
When you have selected not to show a field, client-side scripts cannot access that field, and that’s because that field actually doesn’t exist on the form. Now this isn’t to say that the data doesn’t exist, the data is in fact still there in NetSuite there’s no reason that it’s gone. So if you have a script that’s running on the server, it would work just fine, but client-side scripts, that’s scripts that run in the browser of the user, those wouldn’t actually work; again because the data isn’t there.
Now, I do want to be clear though, I don’t want you to confuse this with security, because this isn’t actually security for the field. This still shows up if you do something like use a browser switch, such as “xml=true”. So I’ll actually show you with this means when I say “xml=true”. So, I’m going to come back to my recent records, and I’m going to find a customer that we have here, in this case I’ll choose Colorado Rockies for the customer. I’m going to go ahead and right-click, and open this in a new tab. So once our customer is loaded, we see all the standard customer information here. But we can also look at this in what’s titled XML view, and we can do that by putting an “&” at the end of the URL, and then typing in “X M L”, and an “=” sign, and the letter “T”. And if I go ahead and press enter to that, it’s going to actually show us this entire file, but it’s in XML format. Now, there are a lot of reasons that you would actually use this, but what I want to point out here is that removing the field, doesn’t remove it when you use XML equals T. So this is not field security by any means, and I just want you to be aware of that, and also if you didn’t know about this “XML=T” switch, you can just go ahead and add that to your toolbox of little tasks that you know how to do now. So I’m going to go ahead and close this tab, we no longer need it, and we’ll come back over to our form customizer.
Now in addition to being able to select a field to show or not show, we also have the ability to change the display type. So right now most of these are set to normal, we can choose the drop-down, and we could choose to show this as inline text, or we can disable this. Now these have some implications here as well, so typically disabled doesn’t show it, similar to how deselecting the show box doesn’t show it, however when it’s disabled it actually is still in the document object model, or still on the page, is just hidden. And that’s important because we might want to have a script actually interact with it. Inline text is nice, because we can actually have it still show up, but it can’t be edited. And finally normal, is really what you’re probably used to, which is that there is a field that you can actually edit. So, we’ll go ahead and leave this at normal, and I’m also going to recheck the show box, because we don’t need to have that unchecked.
Now one of the things that I also do want to reinforce, is that just because data doesn’t show on a record does not mean it’s not there. So I have dealt with a few companies who in the past have believed that taking something off of the form would in fact delete that data, and that’s absolutely not correct. You can uncheck these, this will not delete the data, it doesn’t change the record any way, you can disable it, you can change it inline text, it will change how it’s displayed on this specific form, however it does not remove that data, and in most cases, with just a few exceptions, doesn’t change the data in any way. And you’ll know what those exceptions are, because that will be if you have again scripts running on it, or something along those lines.
We also have options to make a field mandatory, and that should be pretty self-explanatory, it just means that the field has to be filled out. So we can see here, status is already mandatory, name and ID, custom form, those are all mandatory, and in this case we checked sales rep to make it mandatory. If we come back over to our customer we can see what this actually looks like. If I scroll up to the top, you’ll notice there’s kind of this orange asterisk around custom form and around company name, as well as customer ID. These are because these are the mandatory fields those fields have to be filled out in order to save the record. Now to be totally honest, this asterisk isn’t really all that prominent, it’s kind of hard to see sometimes, it blends in the background. So one of the things I have seen customers do is change some CSS on the backend to actually make this a stand out a little bit more. Now we’re not going to go into that here, but in a different course I will actually show you guys how to do that. Let’s come back over to our form customizer and continue taking a look.
One of the other things that you might also notice, is that we can’t uncheck mandatory for some of these, and this has to do with how the field is set up. So you’ll see for custom form status I can’t actually uncheck mandatory, and if we set the field up in such a way that at the field level it is required, then mandatory will be checked and we won’t be able to uncheck that on the form. This actually makes a lot more sense when you get into creating custom fields. But just know that if you can’t uncheck something, that’s because it’s defined at the field level. So I’m going to go ahead and uncheck sales rep because we don’t need that to be mandatory anyway.
Lastly we have an option to select if the field is going to present on the quick add form. Now you might not be familiar with what the quick add form is but when you see it, it makes sense. So I’m going to go ahead and right-click on home, and open this in a new tab. This will bring us to our home dashboard, and this is actually the quick add form for the customer. Now I added this to my dashboard earlier, just for this demonstration, but you can add quick add forms for all types of records, and whatever you’ve selected in quick add is what’s actually going to show up here. The form it’s going to pick is still based on that form hierarchy that we talked about earlier, that is unless you specify it some other way. So let me go ahead and close the home tab.
We have an option to change the label of the form, so as an example we might want to change status to say customer status. And we could then save this, and when we came back over the form, now I haven’t saved it, so you won’t actually see the change, but we would see this change to say customer status. Generally speaking I don’t recommend changing these labels, unless you have a very specific reason to do so. Now there are good reasons to do so, such as having the field match the name that your users are used to. But if you don’t have a good reason to do this, I wouldn’t recommend it.
A big part of why I don’t recommend it is because it then becomes complicated when you’re trying to figure out what a field is actually called to use it in a saved search, or use it elsewhere within the system. So typically what I recommend is that you name the fields however you want them to show up when you’re creating them. So let’s come back over to our form customizer again.
Now I want to talk about these last three options over the right, the column break, space before, and same row as previous, and talk about what these do. So if we come back over to our customer, if we put a column break for sales rep, what that would actually say is that sales rep, rather than falling underneath status, would move over to the next column, and that’s the same for anything else that we put it as. This is just a way that we can control where our columns break, as opposed to allowing them to break where they normally would, based on the amount of data that we have.
Now, similar to forcing a column break, we can also force a field to be in the same row as the previous field. So if we clicked same row as previous, for category, that would actually force category to come here underneath web address. And the very last one, space before, is actually way in which you can add spaces between fields. So if we put a space before web address, what would happen is, we would have partner here, then we would have this nice large space down here, than we would have web address that came in down here. And so that’s kind of a way that you can control the form layout if you want to get that granular. Generally speaking, I don’t actually use this all that much, unless I have a really compelling reason to do so, and part of the reason I don’t use it all that much, has to do with how different browsers render things slightly differently. Now behind the scenes, NetSuite actually builds all of this with tables, but you can still see some rendering differences going between say Chrome, or Internet Explorer, or Edge, or something along those lines.
The last thing that I want to talk about is field groups. So you may have noticed this field group listing here, so right now, everything’s in primary information, if we scroll down we see email phone address, and classification. Coming back over the customer, we see primary information, email phone and address, and classification. Now we can actually move fields between field groups, but we’re going to cover that in a different video, where we talk more about field groups in depth anyway. But moving fields between field groups is actually pretty simple. You simply click the drop-down and then select the field group that you want that field to go into. So if I picked email phone and address here, it changes that. Now one of the things to know, is that if I come up here to, let say, web address, and I click the drop-down and choose email phone address it you’ll notice it actually moves this all the way down, so it skipped over these two, and then moved that down to kind of the top of the email phone address section. And it does this so it keeps everything in order, because obviously it wouldn’t really work, if it had that kind of up at the top, so that should make sense.
The last thing I want to take you to is a Suite Answer article, so we’ll go ahead and flip over to that, I’ve got another browser here. Now this is Suite Answer article 10110, and it actually talks about configuring fields or screens. So if there’s any confusion about what was covered in this video you can actually come back here and take a look, and this is a really great reference for how fields work.