Scheduled Reports and Searches
Reports and saved searches in NetSuite can be scheduled, or triggered, in an automated fashion. This allows you to send data to people who need it, rather than them having to manually gather that information. Let’s take a look at how to do this.
For saved searches, we configure this in the search builder. Let’s open up the search we created in the last video by going to Reports, Saved Searches and clicking All Saved Searches. I will open this one up for editing. Here in the Email subtab, we have a few options for sending this search out. The first option we have is to send email alerts when records are created or updated. The way this works is, when a new record is added that would match the criteria of the search, information about that record can be emailed to someone.
If you used NetSuite to manage your support cases, you could create a saved search that listed all of your highest priority cases, that had not been closed within a few hours. You could then select that box, and have this search send cases that it matched to a support manager. This way the support manager would receive notifications only when there was a case that needed attention. You would of course have to select the recipients for the results.
Below this, we have Send emails according to a schedule. This would allow you to setup and use a schedule to send emails. For our support example, you could send a list of all new support cases to a support manager every morning. This could be part of their daily briefing. You may have noticed that as I checked this, the summarize check box was also checked. This means that even if there are a hundred different results, only a single email will be sent out, listing all of those results. If we unchecked this, the recipient would receive a separate email for each result. There are use cases for both, but generally I have seen this box left checked, most of the time. The send if no results checkbox, is just telling NetSuite that it should send an email even if there is nothing in the search. I usually leave this on, especially for scheduled emails. The reason for this, is that the person who will be getting the emails then knows that there were in fact no results. This is as opposed to them having to assume there were no results, but not knowing for sure. This also helps in the case that there was an email delivery problem, or something like that.
Scheduling is controlled under the Schedule subtab. Here we can choose how often we want this message to be sent out. This is assuming that we are using scheduling, as opposed to sending when records are created or updated. We could do this as a single event, and set the date and time. We could also do this daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Most of the fields to select how this should recur are much the same as what you would find in any calendaring system, and should be self-explanatory.
I’ll go back to my Specific Recipients subtab. If I check the public box up here, I have the option to allow users to subscribe to this. This is useful if we created some general saved searches, that provided things like, the number of sales last week, or other information to help employees engage in the business. We would not necessarily want to push this information out to everyone, but there may be people who want to get this information, and they could then subscribe to it. Of course, I am sure you can think of other instances where this could be useful.
Below, in the Specific Recipients, and Recipients from Results, sections we can select who should receive this. Specific recipients allow us to set specific people who will get this notification. Whereas, the Recipients from Results section, allows us to select a field in the record we are searching for, and use that field to determine who should get these results. You can use both of these subtabs. You also do not have to have the recipients from results specified in the search results rows.
Under updated fields, you can set how alerts are triggered. This relates to the Send Email Alerts, when Records are Created or Updated, up here. Using our support case example, you may want these alerts sent out whenever the severity of the support case is changed, but not when other fields in the case are changed. For example, it may not make sense to send out a new alert just because a phone number, or email address was changed. Using this subtab, we can select what fields must be changed, to trigger an alert to send.
Having these alerts come somewhat blindly, could cause a lot of folks to wonder what they are for. Ideally you will let your users know, before they get an email alert from here, but this may not always be the case. In fact, when having the recipients selected from the search results, this may not even be possible or desired. To make sure that the folks getting these emails understand what they are for, you can customize the message here in this tab. So, we can put in a subject, and an introduction. In the main body of the message, we can set this up to look however we want. We can insert HTML and inline CSS, and we can add the fields we want to show up in the message, by selecting them using the insert field chooser. We could have also just typed the field name, with braces around it.
Below, we can choose how the results of the search will be included. Do we want to send these results inside the message itself, inline? Do we want to attach them as a CSV, Excel or PDF? Also, do we want to include a link to view the record itself? A link to view the record can be useful, if the people getting the message have access to NetSuite, but if they don’t, this link will not work for them.
This is pretty much all there is to sending saved searches, now let’s take a look at reports, which are a little bit more streamlined. Financial and non-financial reports work identically for scheduling. I’ll go ahead and open up our standard income statement, found under Reports, Financial and Income Statement, and we will take a look at scheduling these. To schedule reports, we click on the calendar icon in the bottom left, when running the report we want to schedule.
We can provide a name for the schedule. Since reports can have multiple schedules attached to them, and since report schedules are managed on a different screen, it makes sense to provide a descriptive name for each one. I’ll call this Sam’s Income Statement. You can pick a date and time you want this to run, and if we want this to run on a regular basis, we can choose to run this more than once. I’ll set this to run once a day, and I will change the time to 5am, so it is ready when I arrive for work in the morning. This time is not exact, it just means that this is the time the system will queue the report to be run. Usually it will run without too much delay, but I have seen times when these can take as much as half an hour. I could set myself as the recipient, or I could set someone else. I can also copy or blind copy myself or others.
When I am scheduling reports and saved searches in real life, they are usually not for me, but for coworkers. Generally, what I will do is have a blind copy of the report sent to me, and I will archive this. The reason I do this is that I do occasionally get a call about a report that was not received, or about results in the report that seem odd. But by the time I am notified, the information may have changed. Doing this allows me some measure to be able to go back and see what my users see, without having to have them forward me the message they received.
Under message, I can add a custom subject or customize the email. If you leave the message body blank this will still work, but NetSuite will warn you when you save the schedule. I’ll go ahead and type in a message here. I can also choose the format I want the report delivered in. While all of these formats work, my experience is that the PDF usually provides the best results, if you are concerned about the format. Excel or CSV work best if you want to allow users to work with the data they receive. But you should ask your users how they want this setup, and remember that you can always change it later. So, you could send it a few times, in a few different formats, and check to see which one works best for their needs. Under attachments, I can attach files, however I have not found this all that useful for recurring reports. Though I can see where it might be useful if you were sending this off a single time. So, use it if you need it.
If I click save, this schedule is now saved. If I go back to the calendar icon, and click again, you will notice that I am not taken back to the schedule I just saved. I am actually able to schedule this to run another time, maybe for someone else. But I will just click cancel and close this. If I want to modify the schedule I just created, or any other for that matter, I can go to Reports, Scheduled Reports and click Report Schedules. This will show me any reports I have scheduled to run. We can edit the schedule from here by clicking edit. If we wanted to, we could also delete it, by hovering over actions, and choosing delete.
We can see what report schedules had been run by going to Reports, Scheduled Reports, and selecting Report Results. This is a sort of audit trail, for reports that have been sent based on a schedule. Keep in mind that both of these, Report Results, and Report Schedules, are for reports only. They do not show what has gone on with, and do not work with, saved searches.
Now you know how to schedule saved searches and reports, to help automate common processes in NetSuite. In the next chapter, we are going to start looking at some of the more common and useful out of the box reports.