With just weeks until the newest NetSuite release rolls out (2018.1), how should you be preparing?
As a Cloud platform, NetSuite releases scheduled updates to its entire customer base twice a year – continually improving its solution by adding new functionality or enhancements to existing features. These changes affect every customer, as well as any Built for NetSuite (BFN) partner solutions they are running (like RF-SMART).
NetSuite uses a phased roll out approach, making the updates live for a small percentage of customers first, then continuing through its entire customer base. The 2018.1 Release will start going live for 5% of customers on February 16, 35% on March 16, and the remaining 60% on April 13.
This means the majority of customers have significant time to do the most important thing – test.
Using Your Release Preview Account
Every customer receives a preview account leading up to a release that includes the latest functionality for their specific instance of NetSuite. With 92 pages of release notes for 2018.1, you can start with a sneak peak of feature updates. These videos give some direction of what is new. But to gauge the impact for you, you will want to log in to the preview account and test … everything.
Unless you have zero customizations to NetSuite (odds are you have at least 1, maybe hundreds), you’ll want to test your instance to make sure the new updates do not break your current processes. Updates can affect anything – from basic customizations like a custom field, to the more advanced logic modifications. This means you will want to run each transaction from beginning to end in your preview account to validate the expected results – don’t just validate it works.
We also advise testing each transaction again right before switching over to your live account, as NetSuite might have made additional changes.
Its best practice to get with your implementation partner and put together a testing plan to make sure you validate any customizations done by your partner or internally. If you are looking for a partner, we can help get you introduced.
BFN SuiteApp Solutions
Speaking of partners, if you have integrated a NetSuite BFN solution, know they are actively testing and reporting to NetSuite in order to remain a certified App. Depending on the level of integration (Native, Integrated, Hybrid), partners are required to test their solution to certain levels.
Integrated and Hybrid SuiteApps test portions, typically excluding customizations done for particular customers. If this is you, you will need to be sure and complete the testing in your preview account.
As a Native SuiteApp, RF-SMART’s entire solution goes through testing in the new NetSuite environment. We have five different NetSuite accounts set up in order to support our customers in multiple configurations.
Over the course of a month before any release, we are testing every single RF-SMART function and validating it still works as expected. There are literally thousands of tests, and the goal is to ensure our customers roll into the new NetSuite release operating as they did the day before.
If you have further questions regarding the 2018.1 release, our team is here to help.