Ease Application and Customization Distribution with the SuiteCloud Development Framework

Erik Klein, Principal Product Manager, SuiteCloud Platform

April 19, 2021

Packaging and deploying custom applications can sometimes be a complex undertaking. Once an application passes quality assurance milestones, getting the final product into production requires a reliable lifecycle management process that ensures that all components install and operate as intended.

NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Developer Framework (SDF)

In-house software developers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who participate in the SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) and even internal NetSuite teams often use SDF as a project-based collaborative environment for managing each stage of the software lifecycle — spanning from development and testing to operations — often referred to as DevOps.  

At a high level, SDF provides developers with a structured environment for building and testing account-specific customizations (custom objects) and complete NetSuite applications (SuiteApps) across the entire DevOps lifecycle. SDF includes a powerful set of tools, processes and technologies to manage projects from developer workstations without being directly tied to a NetSuite account.

Cloud Distribution

A key stage of every software lifecycle is distribution, specifically how packaged functionality is delivered and made available to end-users to perform work. In SDF, you can deploy each custom project to any target environment within your organization — such as development, sandbox and production accounts — using commands executed from your IDE. 

Once you test your customization, SDF takes care of all the housekeeping associated with each production-ready project before it gets deployed. This means that all dependent components and required objects get validated first, ensuring that project deployments execute successfully in target accounts. After successful validation, SDF projects represented as XML files are ready to deploy, at the touch of a button.

At deploy time, developers can optionally include one or more custom SDF deployment scripts. These provide a useful way to automate any additional required customization steps and related actions such as data migration to prepare an account to work with the new functionality. Scripts can also handle unexpected exceptions and log detailed debugging information as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) stack traces in the event of an installation error.

SDF Project in WebStorm IDE using the SuiteCloud Plug-in

Copy to Account

Copy to Account is another distribution feature that provides a convenient way for NetSuite administrators to move custom objects between accounts one at a time, making new functionality available to users without requiring an IDE—all managed within the NetSuite user interface. As with SDF distribution, all object dependencies are automatically included during a four-stage process, which is also logged for auditing purposes. This includes a Preview stage prior to actual deployment as an additional validation check.

SuiteApp Control Center and Marketplace

The SuiteApp Control Center enables product teams to define and manage distribution tasks for applications they create, and optionally, if they’re developing as an SDN partner, make it available to market. By uploading SDF application projects to the Control Center, organizations gain full control over important characteristics such as versioning, access privileges and upgrades.

SuiteApp Control Center
SuiteApps managed with Control Center can also be published to the SuiteApp Marketplace where they become available to other NetSuite customers (or specific businesses that you specify) to learn about, evaluate and purchase. The Marketplace provides an intuitive, in-product experience to discover and install SuiteApps that extend NetSuite to deliver a wide spectrum of valuable functionality across a range of business needs, including those specific to vertical industries. A full listing of applications built by SDN partners and NetSuite is also available online at suiteapp.com(opens in new tab).

SuiteApp Marketplace
SuiteCloud gives developers and operations teams a modern set of tools and processes to create, distribute and manage applications and customizations that help businesses realize their full growth potential. To learn more about the SuiteCloud Development Framework, Control Center and SuiteApp Marketplace, please read more here:

SuiteApp Control Center Guide(opens in new tab)
SuiteCloud Developer Framework(opens in new tab)
SuiteApp Marketplace(opens in new tab)
SuiteCloud Plug-In for WebStorm IDE(opens in new tab)

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.