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The NetSuite Schema Browser is a way to understand the Simple Object Access Protocol that is used to integrate third-party, external, or legacy systems within the NetSuite environment. This web service offers seamless integrations that you can form without SuiteScript expertise.
This blog will explore the NetSuite Schema Browser and answer questions like what it is and how you can use it to navigate records, sublists, and objects.
What is the NetSuite Schema Browser?
To explain what the NetSuite Schema Browser is, we first need to provide some background. By laying out these building blocks, you'll be able to understand the following:
- What the NetSuite Schema Browser is
- Why the NetSuite Schema Browser exists
What is NetSuite?
For the benefit of anyone who does not already know, NetSuite is a leading cloud-based business software suite. A NetSuite implementation allows companies to run their critical business processes on one unified platform. Some of the platform's capabilities are:
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Warehouse and distribution management
- Business intelligence
However, perhaps one of the most valuable parts of the NetSuite platform is its high level of flexibility and adaptability. NetSuite is becoming more and more popular because it can work with software from other companies.
What is SuiteTalk?
SuiteTalk is a web services tool that helps integrate third-party software or systems within the NetSuite platform. You can also use it to create custom applications and build connections between websites and NetSuite.
Web services use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to send and receive data online. In essence, they are a way for two or more applications to communicate with each other.
SuiteTalk uses an XML-based API known as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to send requests to and from NetSuite. You can also use SuiteTalk to build your own applications using Java, C#, or a PHP toolkit. Some of the things that you can do through SuiteTalk are user administration, managing records, and performing saved searches.
The value of SuiteTalk comes from its ability to help users mold and customize NetSuite around their business goals, objectives, and processes. NetSuite integration can help consolidate backend processes and connect internal and external systems seamlessly.
Where SOAP comes in
SOAP is a web services platform that makes all this possible because it provides users with programmatic access to data and business processes through an XML-based API.
SOAP uses XML to gather data so it can be transmitted between software applications. The kind of encoding it uses in NetSuite is called document-styled encoding, also known as document-literal or message-style encoding.
So that users can learn what is happening under the hood, NetSuite has made the SuiteTalk SOAP Schema Browser available to users.
What does the NetSuite Schema Browser do?
The NetSuite Schema Browser provides users with a summary of the SOAP web services:
- Available objects.
It provides detailed information about each element and displays this data in tables. This configuration makes it easy to browse and find information. NetSuite has also integrated the Schema Browser with the SuiteAnalytics Connect Browser and the SuiteScript Records Browser. This merge enables users to compare records across:
- SOAP web services
- and SuiteAnalytics Connect.
How does NetSuite Schema Browser work?
When you first open the NetSuite Schema Browser, you'll notice tabs for:
- Schema Browser
- Records Browser
- Connect Browser
- Analytics Browser
These enable users to tab through the different types of NetSuite browsers.
Below that, there is an A-Z to help you find records easily.
The far left-hand side panel shows alphabetized lists of records and sub-records.
Summary of the record
The center pane shows the details of each record presented in a table.
The namespace link (just below the individual record name) links to the namespace where the record belongs. When you click this link, the left-hand panel is updated to show a list of all the objects in the namespace. You can easily tab through the list or search it.
The center-pane table is where information about each record is. They are broken into columns for ease of readability.
These columns are:
Here is a quick rundown of each header.
Name: The field name in the SOAP web service.
Type: The data type, i.e. boolean, DateTime, RecordRef, etc.
Cardinality: The number of basic measures in a set.
Label: The fields label when viewed in the UI
Required: This shows if the entry form in the UI needs a value for the field.
Help: Additional information about the field.
Below the center panel, you can find additional data, namely Attributes and Related Searches.
Attributes: Data on related attributes, like internalID or externalID
Related Searches: Lists corresponding search objects for the record. These related objects are hyperlinked, and you can click through to find extra information.
As mentioned above, the NetSuite Schema Browser's default view lists records on the left-hand side that can be tabbed alphabetically, while the center pane shows the details of one record. However, in some scenarios, you might need to navigate to different views that are for certain namespaces.
These alternative views include:
a) a tabbed list of all objects contained in the namespace and
b) a summary of details about a specific object.
The center pain typically shows information about an object. These objects are generally records. However, you can select objects that are not records, too.
Finding different objects
When you need to navigate to a different namespace object, use the left-hand side tabbed list. It contains four subtabs, which are:
Record = All of the namespace's records and sub-records
Search = All of the namespace's search objects
Other = Sublists, child elements, and other objects in the namespace
Enum = All of the namespaces enumerations
Finding the namespace view
There are a few different ways to return to the namespace view if you have clicked away from it.
- Use the dropdown list below the A-Z index
- Click the namespace link in the center pane
- Click the name of a data type in the Type column
- Click the name of any listed search object, which you can find at the bottom of the record reference page.
Finding records or sub-records
The NetSuite Schema Browser was built for quickly browsing records and sub-records by:
Here is how you can find them
Use the A-Z index when you already know the name of the record or sub-record. To do this, simply:
- Click the letter it begins with
- Select the record or sub-record from the left-hand panel
The record details will populate in the center pane.
Namespace Dropdown List
If you don't know the record or sub-record name, use the dropdown list below the A-Z. To do this:
- Browse through the namespace dropdown list
- Select the record or sub-record in the left-hand side panel
Again, the record details will populate in the center pane.
How to find other objects
Users typically use the NetSuite Schema Browser to find a record's details. However, you can also use it to find information on
- Search objects
- Data types
Here is how to find them with the NetSuite Schema Browser
Namespace Dropdown List
Navigate to the object's namespace by using the dropdown list below the A-Z.
From there, select the desired namespace. The left-hand side panel will update to show a list of objects related to this namespace. The center panel will update with information about the first record.
Of course, when you want to change this view, you can:
- Click the Search tab to find search objects
- Click the Other tab to find sublists, child elements, and other objects
- Click the Enum tab to find enumerations
As you tab through the views on the left, it will update the left pane. From here, you can locate objects and click them to display them in the center pane.
If you need to find an object related to the record you are viewing in the NetSuite Schema Browser, you can easily locate them with these methods.
Finding searches: You can locate a search at the foot of the page that contains the record summary. This is where any search objects with a direct relationship with the record are listed.
Clicking the name of a search will redirect you to a page that summarizes the search object.
Values: Quite often, the values that populate the Fields table contain hyperlinks that bring you to reference pages in the NetSuite Schema Browser. Types columns include:
- Object types, like RecordRef.
Clicking these objects will bring you to their reference page.
Objects: When viewing a record, you can locate objects that are listed within the same namespace. To delve further, click the URL that is underneath the record. When selected, the left-hand pane will update automatically, giving you access to a list of the object that is contained within the namespace.
How Seller Universe Ecommerce Group Can Help
Even though NetSuite has powerful features out of the box, adding third-party integrations can make it fit any business or workflow. Studying the structure of NetSuite, via the NetSuite Schema, helps businesses understand the protocols that determine how different software integrations work within the environment.
If you need support or consulting for third-party integrations or a NetSuite implementation, Seller Universe Ecommerce Group is here to help. Because we know a lot about business processes, NetSuite customizations, and development, we can help you find your way through the specialized world of adding new tools or functions to your ERP system.