April 12, 2021

Top 10 Highlights of the NetSuite 2021.1 Release

By Joseph Mittchell

and Nate Peacock

Sunny spring days are on the horizon, and there is much to look forward to! Included in that anticipation is the new NetSuite 2021.1 Release. Are you as excited as we are? Twice a year, NetSuite releases significant product upgrades to improve and enhance its existing functionality. Many of the enhancements are initiated and completed due to newly requested features from the NetSuite community. To assist in adopting these new upgrades, NetSuite provides a release preview account to all its customers. It is highly encouraged to leverage these accounts to gauge the recent changes against existing customizations to avoid disrupting current business processes.

Today, we’re excited to share with you our summary of some of the most noteworthy features of this release that we think bring the most value to your business processes.

  1. Centralized Billing and Purchasing
  2. Automatic Location Assignment
  3. SuiteAnalytics Enhancements
  4. Advanced Numbering
  5. Outsourced Manufacturing Consolidator
  6. SuiteApprovals Email Approval
  7. Fully Supported Record Types for REST Web Services in 2021.1
  8. Deprecation of RESTlet Authentication Through User Credentials
  9. SuiteScript Secrets Management
  10. SuiteAnalytics table/column changes and IP Address Changes

We’ll get into the value of theses features below:

Centralized Billing and Purchasing

The Centralized Purchasing and Billing feature allows NetSuite users to receive purchase orders across multiple subsidiaries.

When the feature is enabled, the line fields “Target Subsidiary” and “Target Location” become available on the purchase order item line, which will allow NetSuite to split the order by subsidiary and location when it is received.

This will help streamline intercompany management processes associated with the purchasing workstream. Users will no longer need to perform additional transfer transactions to get inventory into the correct subsidiary/location.

Automatic Location Assignment

This feature helps users to automate the order entry and inventory assignment process. When this feature is enabled, a new “Assign Location” button will be available on the sales order.

Once selected, NetSuite will automatically calculate the best location to assign and ultimately fulfill the order form.

This automation is driven by rules configured on the backend that meet the selected sales order criteria.

SuiteAnalytics Enhancements

NetSuite continues to expand upon its reporting and data analytics capabilities. The SuiteAnalytics Workbook is another example of that.

With Workbook, users can easily and securely explore their data, create sophisticated criteria filters with real-time visualizations. Data can now be further analyzed using the Workbook pivot and chart capabilities, with intuitive drag and drop interactions. Therefore, offering additional reporting and analytics capabilities to turn data into information and information into informed business decisions.

Advanced Numbering

This new feature provides users the ability to further customize their document and transaction numbering rules. This makes it possible to use multiple complex numbering sequences that use different prefixes and suffixes based on the rules. Some of the benefits of this feature include:

  • Support for additional transaction types
  • Separated permissions
  • Support for importing document numbers from external systems

Advanced Numbering is especially valuable for companies that operate in countries that require companies to adhere to strict numbering rules.

Outsourced Manufacturing Consolidator

In this release, NetSuite introduces the Outsourced Manufacturing Consolidator. This feature will provide users with increased visibility into all pending work orders. Traditionally this has been a blind spot for most, but users will now be able to monitor and follow the progress of pending work orders.

This page will include the following critical information regarding work orders:

  • Last successful run
  • Next scheduled run
  • Pending work orders

SuiteApprovals Email Approval

SuiteApprovals Email Approval is an enhancement to the already existing suitapp. When this feature is enabled, designated transaction approvers will have the ability to approve or reject transactions via email. No longer will the approver need to log into the system to perform this action.

This will provide additional process flexibility and efficiencies for employees and approvers.

Fully Supported Record Types for REST Web Services in 2021.1

NetSuite continues to enhance and expand its REST Web Services API, which acts as a potential alternative to its SOAP Web Services API. The following records are now fully supported and generally considered available via the REST Web Services API as of 2021.1. Many other records are supported in some capacity but are considered beta.

  • Fully Supported Record Types Include:
  • Cash Sale
  • Customer
  • Customer Subsidiary Relationship
  • Employee
  • Event
  • Inventory Items
  • Invoice
  • Item Fulfillment
  • Message
  • Non-inventory Items
  • Phone Call
  • Purchase Order
  • Sales Order
  • Change Order
  • Subscription Item
  • Task
  • Vendor Subsidiary Relationship

Note that Some of the record types above have dependencies on the enablement of specific features. Ensure that you have enabled or can enable the dependent features in your account before pursuing them.

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Deprecation of RESTlet Authentication Through User Credentials

RESTlets created in your account or installed via a SuiteBundle after your account is upgraded to 2021.1 will be unable to use user credentials for authentication into NetSuite. Attempting to do so will return an error to the application trying to access the RESTlet. Rather than using user credentials, the RESTlet(s) will have to use Token Based Authentication (TBA) or Oauth 2.0. This change is effective January 1, 2021, but will go live when your account is upgraded.

This change does not impact RESTlets created or installed prior to January 1, 2021; however, the best practice is to not use user credentials for integrations into NetSuite due to the impacts of password expiration/reset, two-factor authentication requirements for specific privileged roles/permissions, and the security risk of a password being stored in an external application. NetSuite strongly recommends replacing any instances of username/password authentication through RESTlets or Web Services with an alternative authentication method such as TBA or Oauth 2.0.

SuiteScript Secrets Management

SuiteScript 2.x can now store and access API secrets, including API keys, passwords, or other items required for authentication to an external service via SuiteScript. This prevents the need to store this data in plain text in a script or custom record. Users with the Administrator role or the Secrets Management permission can add/update secrets under Setup->Company->Preferences->API Secrets. Users can specify users, scripts, or SuiteApps that can access the secret.

Note that the password/secret cannot be displayed on the API Secrets page after it is saved and that only 2.x scripts can use secrets. Additionally, secrets can only be used with certain APIs, so an investigation will be needed to determine if API Secrets will work for a use case.

SuiteAnalytics table/column changes and IP Address Changes

SuiteAnalytics has removed several tables and columns from their schema. Any queries that utilize these tables and columns will need to be updated with the new tables, and specific fields being pulled from these tables may change as well. View the 2021.1 Connect Browser for more information.
NetSuite is also changing the SuiteAnalytics Connect Servers’ IP addresses – if you are using IP Addresses in your firewall configuration, these will break after the change. Note that NetSuite does not support the usage of IP Addresses to restrict access to or from any of its services, as any NetSuite IP Address is subject to change at any time.

Summary

The NetSuite 2021.1 Release is full of notable functions and enhancements. Be sure to take advantage of the above updates if they’re applicable for your business. For additional detailed information, please be sure to review the 2021.1 release notes. If you have questions, or are struggling to implement the above features, we have an experienced NetSuite team and would be happy to help. Start the conversation today.

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About Joseph Mittchell
Joseph Mittchell is a Senior Consultant in Bridgepoint’s NetSuite Consulting practice. As a solution consultant and now implementation consultant, he brings nearly 4 years of experience working In NetSuite. Joe has advanced skills in the areas of supply chain management, discrete manufacturing, and integration. With the goal of helping clients grow, he has led and contributed to projects across numerous verticals including Manufacturing, Wholesale Distribution, Software, and Professional Services.
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About Nate Peacock

Nate is the Manager of Bridgepoint Consulting’s NetSuite Technical Team, which is responsible for integrating NetSuite with 3rd party systems and developing business automation within the NetSuite platform. He has extensive experience in system architecture, integration and designing and developing custom solutions within the NetSuite platform to solve complex business problems. He holds a BBA in Management Information Systems from Lamar University and has been working with NetSuite for about 9 years.

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