Although not a new feature, NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) has not been widely adopted. Below is some information on what SDF is and a few of the advantages it offers.
What is SDF?
SDF is a free development framework and deployment mechanism for NetSuite account customizations. Using SDF customizations including suite scripts, workflows, saved searches, custom records types, custom fields, etc. can be downloaded from a NetSuite account for development and manipulation outside of NetSuite. To make this possible SDF creates XML representations of these custom objects that can then be manipulated and modified in an external development environment. Customization can then be validated against and deployed to a NetSuite account.
Advantages of using SDF
Deployment – SDF customization can be validated against the destination NetSuite account prior to deployment reducing risk when deploying. Using SDF can simplify the development and deployment process by allowing deployment of a project to development, sandbox or production accounts. Upon deployment SDF can capture deployment details in an audit trail for greater visibility into change management.
Version Control– SDF projects can be checked into a version control system or repository for secure storage and better visibility into change management. Changes to customizations can be tracked over time, compared to previous versions or rolled back if needed.
Dependency Management – SDF can identify dependencies in your customizations prior to deployment, which provides a better understanding of the impact of the customization on the destination account. An additional feature of SDF is the ability to reference the dependent objects in the destination account if they already exist, which eliminates the risk of duplication which exists when using bundles to deploy customizations.
How to use SDF
SDF is a free feature included in your NetSuite account, the feature must be enabled under Setup>Company>Enable Features SuiteCloud tab. Both SuiteAnswers and NetSuite Help have additional resources for getting started with SDF, below are a few useful links: