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2010/09/24

Best Practices for Testing NetSuite 2010.2

NetSuite 2010.2 is on its way, and we want to make sure everything goes smoothly. Thankfully, NetSuite provides its customers with a preview of the new release (called a Beta) that can be used in order to test your workflows and customizations.

To login into your Beta environment, you must point your browser to https://system.beta.netsuite.com and log in using your usual credentials. The Beta is a snapshot of your production account as-of a certain date, so it may not be as fresh as your current production account, and nor will your Beta be updated with any changes you make in your production account. To put your mind at ease, this is true the other way around – changes in the Beta do not affect your production account. Also, the Beta does not fire out emails to your customer. So you can test transaction creation, campaigns, etc without any concern of actually sending junk to your customers. Oh, the Beta also never charges credit cards. So it’s safe for you to do whatever you want.

So typically, in your Beta, you’ll want to test your regular workflows. Ideally, you’ll get the whole company in on it. You’ll want to test all your typical daily activities – Order Entry, Purchasing, Accounting, etc. Everything you normally do and preferably tested by the people that typically do these things. This is the best way to quickly notice if anything is broken.

Simply doing this is probably good enough to ensure there are no problems in your core processes. But often you may want to test a bit more than that. If you want to get serious about it, here’s what you should do to completely test your instance -

Compile a list of all custom reports, forms, searches, bulk operations (such as Scheduled Scripts or Saved CSV Import templates) that are still in use. Put all this in a spreadsheet to keep things organized. For each item in this list, further divide it into each possible way to use it. For example, your Sales Orders could be divided into “SOs for invoicing” and “SOs for credit cards”, etc. This is the most time consuming part, and can vary in levels of detail and completeness. A professional-level test plan, as when we do them, contains hundreds of steps for each record, detailing stop-by-step each test to be performed to test every single possibility. It’s complete, but time consuming. You’ll have to decide how much time you want to put into this. It’s a trade-off between time spent and completeness.

With this checklist, you can then systematically test each form, report, search and etc to ensure that everything behaves identically in the new release.

If you have SuiteScripts, Suite Bundles and workflows, these deserve special mention. These should really always be fully tested. If they were written by a third party (such as a Partner, like us), then that Partner is best suited to test them so you should get in touch with them to get them involved. You can either have the Partner run the tests themselves, or provide you with a Test Plan you can run through yourself. ERP Guru always offers testing services in this way. We can test scripts ourselves (which we usually do) or get you a step-by-step test plan. Hey, we’ll even do this for another company’s code if you want!

In any case, it should be noted that the beta runs on different hardware, and it is possible that certain tasks will take longer. To reduce wait times, you can narrow the date ranges for your searches and reports. But don’t panic if performance suddenly seems bad for a process or other – it’s probably just the slower Beta environment.

For your web store, web services, custom centers, and ODBC, see the detailed instructions in the test action plan on how to access them through in the beta, as it’s a bit more involved.

If there are any bugs in the new release, either call support or submit an online case so that it can be flagged and fixed. Netsuite gives priority to new release problems, so notify Support of these problems to have them fixed as soon as possible.


NetSuite also compiled a very useful PDF on upgrading and testing. You can download that here.


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