NetSuite is not often used alone at an organization. As businesses grow, shift, or pivot their operations, they often need to use a variety of third-party applications in order to enable certain processes, such as marketing automation, human resource management, or business intelligence. Enter the world of NetSuite integration.

The good news is that NetSuite offers the ability to deeply integrate its insights with other platforms, if companies are willing to do some up-front integration work. In this post, we’ll discuss some of our best practices in preparing to integrate NetSuite with other applications and then making the connection happen.

Make sure you know the platform

NetSuite allows its customers to make changes to its platform in two controlled-but-powerful ways. The first is SuiteScript, which helps developers create flexible, custom business logic inside of NetSuite with JavaScript code. The second is SuiteTalk, a web services integration platform that lets customers perform a variety of integrations via Microsoft .NET or Java and a REST-based API.

SuiteScript helps organizations trigger events when data changes inside of NetSuite or operate scripts as part of a schedule, such as processing records. It also integrates with SuiteFlow workflow management tools to supplement automated workflows, which could be used to get information ready for the integration process.

A screenshot of NetSuite's SuiteScript debugger, which helps developers ensure their code works properly.

A screenshot of NetSuite’s SuiteScript debugger, which helps developers ensure NetSuite integration works properly.

SuiteTalk offers real-time transactional and master data integration for both standard NetSuite records and any custom objects you might have created with SuiteScript or other tools. The REST framework lets you customize procedures for standard REST functions like POST, PUT, GET, or DELETE. Best of all, SuiteTalk is backed by NetSuite’s authentication and encryption.

Look to NetSuite’s offerings

APIs, Java, and code aside, NetSuite offers SuiteApps for pre-built integrations with a huge ecosystem of SaaS applications. Think of it like an app store for your NetSuite implementation.

Before you take any deeper steps into either coding up a custom integration or outsourcing the work to a developer, make sure there isn’t a pre-built option available to you. These integrations have mostly likely been built by the provider itself, which means that they have a vested interest in making sure it’s up-to-date at all times. If you need additional support, they can also help out.

Know what you’re getting into

One of the major disadvantages of a custom-built integration between NetSuite and another SaaS application is that even relatively minor updates have the capability of rendering the integration obsolete due to changes in code or APIs.

This means either having developers on-staff who will be aware of these changes and can make quick revisions to the integration code, or hiring out the work to a company that specializes in third-party integrations. Both can be costly, and open up certain risks. If an integration fails for a high-value customer, that can directly equate to lost business.

That said, there simply might not be any other option for truly critical integrations.

Find a partner, not just a developer

It’s easy to find a lone developer or even an integration company that will help craft some of the JavaScript or .NET/Java code to help make an integration possible, but that’s often not enough. As mentioned, APIs change, and you don’t want to get left out in the cold because you put your trust in a freelance developer nine months ago.

Instead, look for a company that will work with you throughout your NetSuite experience—that’s what we do at Bi101, and that’s why our clients stick with us through the thick and thin. Even the most dramatic changes, whether those are to NetSuite’s platform, or their own. Let us show you the ropes with a 14-day free trial to get you started, and then let’s talk integration.

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