Updating a Bundle Manually
There will be times when you’re working with managed or unmanaged bundles when you have to do an upgrade manually. Even though the process is straight forward we will take a moment to cover it here so you have at least seen it when the situation arises. When I login to NetSuite, I see my reminders portlet here, that lets me know I have a few bundles that need updates.
This is the default behavior of the reminders portlet, if you’re using an administrator role. If you don’t see the reminders portlet, or the SuiteBundles to Update section it is probably because it’s been removed, or because there are no bundles to update. If the portlets been removed, getting it back is simple. First I’ll remove the portlet, by hovering over the hamburger icon and selecting remove; now we can add that portlet back. To get the portlet back click Personalize, and find this Reminders portlet icon, listed under standard content. This puts the Reminders portlet back on my dashboard, and I can close the personalize dashboard window now.
If the SuiteBundles to Update section is not showing up because it was removed, we can add it back by hovering over the hamburger icon and clicking setup. We can now choose what reminders to show. If the SuiteBundles to Update was not listed on the right hand side, I could find it on the left hand side, and click to add it. Then I’d click save and I would have that reminder added. I’m going to click cancel here though, since I already have that reminder. If you still don’t see the reminder it’s probably because you don’t have any bundles to update at the moment.
I can get to my list of bundles to update a couple of different ways. I can click on the SuiteBundles to Update link, or I can go to Customization, SuiteBundler, Search & Install Bundles, and click List. These both take me to the same Installed Bundles screen, that shows all the bundles I have installed. Bundles with the blue and white exclamation mark icon are the ones that need to be updated. Hovering over this icon shows information about the update. To update the bundle, hover over the action icon to the left of the bundle name, and choose update.
You can actually update any bundle, whether it needs an update or not. You might do this if you made changes to some of the bundle’s components and wanted to get back to a fresh install state. The Enhanced Sales Center does not need an update, but we could do an update if we wanted to. In a moment, we’re going to update the AvaTax bundle. First though, we’ll take a look at updating this bundle since there are some options here we won’t see with the AvaTax one.
Here under the lists section we have a couple of lists that will be replaced during the upgrade. Since the data in the lists could have changed we have a few options. Preserve Data will preserve the existing data as it is. Replace Data will use the new list data from the bundle and replace everything that is in the NetSuite list. Merge Data will keep the list data from both sources. What you choose depends on the bundle, and the specific list, so you will need to be familiar with your data to make an informed decision. You can look at the existing data by going to the Customization section of NetSuite, and you can also backup the data from there using a saved search to export it.
Under Dashboards & Centers we have some dashboards that came with this bundle. For these dashboards we have the option to update or not update these specific dashboards for any users who are already using them.
I’ll go ahead and cancel out of this, which will take us back to our installed bundles screen, and we’ll go ahead and do the update for the Avalara AvaTax bundle that actually needs the update. Again, we go to the action icon and select update from the drop down menu to begin the process. The Preview Bundle Update screen shows the changes we will be making during this update. We can see we’re going from 4.7 to 4.7.3. Assuming the developer is using standard semantic versioning, and for this bundle I happen to know they are, then this is just a patch update. Since this is just a patch update, there shouldn’t be many changes. If we scroll down we can see a field update, a PDF document that’s being updated, and a client script deployment that’s being updated. So just a few updates, there really isn’t a lot going on here.
Once you are confident in the changes to be made, and you are ready to perform the bundle update, simply click the Update Bundle button at the top of the screen. After clicking okay to the popup confirmation window the bundle update starts, and we’re dropped back at the installed Bundles screen. Bundle updates are similar to installs, and can take a few minutes or more to complete. Just like during a bundle install this page does not refresh, but we can refresh it manually. I’m going to fast forward a bit, and we can see this bundle is now updated. The green check lets us know the update was a success, if for some reason the update was not a success you would want to contact the vendor or developer. Since updates are done on NetSuite’s servers, the same as installs, you are welcome to leave this page. This allows you to take care of other administrative tasks you might have while you’re waiting on a bundle to update.
Now that we’ve done the update, let’s go over a few pointers before we end this video. Most importantly, you should always test your updates in a recently refreshed copy of your sandbox. This is the best way to get a feel for the update itself, and any issues you might run into. As the administrator, you might not always have extensive experience with the functionality a bundle provides. That’s okay, but you should at least understand the base functionality so that you can test it after an update. You should also have your users test after an update, but this is after you have verified at least base functionality.
Do updates one at a time. While NetSuite technically queues any updates you do, if you queue half a dozen updates, and then your NetSuite instance starts acting strangely after they are all finished. How will you know what update caused the problem? Do updates on a regular cadence or update cycle, and let your users know what it is. Your IT department may already have a change window and piggybacking on this tends to work well. Alternately, I have found that Thursday nights tend to work well, since you are likely to find any problems Friday, if there are any. This also gives you the weekend to fix any problems, and users usually aren’t that upset if they have less work to do because of a system problem on a Friday. For any update, you should have a contingency plan in place in case the update fails. You don’t need to go overboard with this, but at least have an idea of what you would do if not a full plan.
So now you have the knowledge to confidently install bundle updates when the time arises.