How NetSuite Release Preview Testing Ensures Smooth Upgrades

Rick Millar, Consulting Practice Director

January 14, 2022

Any changes to software carry the possibility that those changes will introduce new issues. Changes in design or functionality may affect existing solutions, particularly customizations. While NetSuite strives to make its upgrades as easy and painless as possible, it's important to know that help is available to manage this change.


Risk-free Testing

NetSuite has a robust quality assurance program and extensively tests all software prior to its two major releases each year. However, each user’s business processes, configuration and customizations are unique. Therefore, customers need to test these items within your unique environment to ensure everything is working as intended. NetSuite offers a free Release Preview environment you can use to test your system prior to upgrading to the latest release and it doesn’t have any impact on your current system.

Customers should opt in to the Release Preview account, which is a temporary and isolated test account running the new version of NetSuite software. Your NetSuite Administrator can request a Release Preview account in the Release Preview page located within the New Release portlet or by going to Setup > Company > Release Preview. You can get Release Preview accounts for both sandbox and production environments.

Early and comprehensive testing in Release Preview allows you to address any issues prior to the new release going to production. The Release Preview account helps you:

  • Become familiar with new features in the upcoming release.
  • Verify existing customizations and business workflows function as expected.
  • Test and ensure the NetSuite account and any associated applications are not dependent on a specific data center to store data.
  • Evaluate applications for any data center-specific identifiers and replace them with data center-agnostic information.

On the date the production account is upgraded to the newest release, Release Preview access ends and all tasks performed on the account are deleted. This date is available in your New Release portlet.

Organizations that have robust testing programs typically have hundreds or thousands of edit/saves in Release Preview depending on the size and complexity of their solution. NetSuite strongly recommends that you take advantage of the Release Preview environment to test major upgrades prior to their release to production and then validate in production after the upgrade.


Additional Benefits of Testing

From a Governance, risk and compliance (GRC) perspective, auditors love to see:

  • Critical business processes identified and documented
  • Customizations thoroughly documented
  • A structured regression testing process in place to test critical business processes, including:
    • A detailed test plan
    • Evidence and results of testing
    • Documentation of findings, remediation actions and compensating controls.

The goal of Release Preview testing is to provide a smooth and seamless transition to a new NetSuite release. By making this information available, and providing other needed guidance, you avoid any major problems or surprises when the new release launches.


ACS for Extra Help If You Need It

If your business lacks the internal resources to perform testing, or prefers to have the assistance of the experts, NetSuite offers subscription-based Advanced Customer Support(opens in new tab) (ACS). ACS allows you to take full advantage of new NetSuite releases, delivering strategic guidance on how to best utilize the latest features and assisting with system adoption. Through extensive testing, ACS can identify potential impacts of a release on your specific environment. They can also conduct performance benchmarking and scalability assessments to validate if your current service tier is adequate for your operations.

Also, should you have any technical issues that require hands-on assistance – ones that go beyond the prescriptive services delivered via SuiteSupport — then ACS’s remediation services can step in to help troubleshoot. Service-level target for remediation services is available 24 hours a day using a dedicated remediation line. These will be coordinated in conjunction with a named technical support representative who, as part of your ACS team, will already have a detailed understanding of your business.

Register for the Getting Ready for the Upcoming NetSuite Release(opens in new tab) webinar to learn more about the Release Preview process.

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.

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