No business lives in isolation so it’s quite common for businesses to send data to their trading partners.
One format for sending this data is CSV, Comma Separated Values. As its name implies, a CSV is a simple text file with a comma separating each field in a row. CSV’s have been around from since the beginning of time (so it seems), but they are still a very reliable way of packaging data. As long as the trading partner knows which column contains which value, communication can take place.
Together, we will build a real world application where our fictional company, Sporting Goods, Inc, will send the data of customers that opted in, to our fictional trading partner Mega Publishing, who will in turn, use our customer’s information to try to sell them magazines.
Our first task is to configure NetSuite by creating custom fields to define the data and a saved search to return customers.
A custom field in NetSuite allows users a way of adding data fields to a record. For this application, we will need two custom fields to be added to the Customer record.
1. Mega Publishing Opted-In. A check box that indicates if a customer has opted in to receive marketing information from Mega Publishing
2. Sent to Mega Publishing. A second checkbox that indicates if the script has already included this customer in the CSV field to be sent to Mega Publishing.
Here is an example of creating the Mega Publishing Opted-In field. The Sent to Mega Publishing field will need to be created a similar way. You can also use this field creation form to give only certain users access to this field as well as control the placement of the field on the form.
When the fields are created, a user can then navigate to a customer record and edit the fields. For this example, we will create two customers – Jane and John Doe. The Mega Publishing Opted-In field will be checked and the Sent to Mega Publishing will not be checked.
In my opinion, saved searches are one of the most powerful and flexible features of NetSuite. A saved search gives the user a user interface where they can build queries to access their NetSuite data. In this case, we need to know which customers want to receive content from Mega Publishing and customers whose information hasn’t been already sent. Below is an image of how this query is created using a Saved Search.
The results show the customers we expect:
From this screen, we have a number of options we can email or export the results. We can include the results in a report or dashboard. Or we can access the results via a script and automate the creation and transmission of a CSV file.
This series was broken up into two parts. To continue on to part 2 please click HERE!
Jeremy McCourt is an content producer in the enterprise software industry that focuses on NetSuite and related cloud-based software solutions.
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