NetSuite Account Types : Understanding Your Environments

Whether you’re an administrator, developer, or user, understanding the different NetSuite account types allows you to make informed decisions and optimize your NetSuite experience. In this article we will focus on the four primary account types: Production, Sandbox, Development, and Release Preview and discover a little more about their use cases, benefits and nuances.

The Production account is the core of your NetSuite system, housing live data and driving your day-to-day operations. The Sandbox account offers a secure testing environment to experiment, customize, and assess changes without affecting live data. The Development account provides a dedicated space for customization, scripting, and application development, ensuring stability and minimizing risks. Lastly, the Release Preview account allows you to preview upcoming updates, enabling you to plan and prepare for a seamless transition.

Now let’s delve in to the nuances of each of these NetSuite account types in order for you to maximize the potential of this hierarchy.

The Four Primary NetSuite Account Types

The Production Account

The Production account is the most important of the NetSuite account types. For most users this is the place they will spend the vast majority of their time.

The Production account serves as the live environment for your NetSuite system. It houses your actual business data, financial transactions, customer information, and other critical records. Day to day operations are carried out in the production environment.

Here are some key features and considerations of the Production account:

  • Data Integrity: As the core of your NetSuite system, maintaining data integrity is paramount in the Production account. You can be more relaxed about data in your other environments but your Production account is the auditable instance that produces your financial statements. Ensuring accuracy, consistency, and reliability of your data is essential.
  • Business Continuity: The Production account is where your business operates in real-time, making it vital to have measures in place to ensure continuity. Regular backups, disaster recovery plans, and most security protocols are mainly managed on the Oracle side but you should also have internal plans in place for when the system might go down for a period.
  • Access Control: Controlling access to the Production account is of utmost importance to protect sensitive data and maintain security. Implementing strong user roles and permissions ensures that only authorized individuals have access to critical functions and information. Monitor your login audit more closely than you would with your other environments and consider implementing additional barriers such as Single Sign On.
  • Change Management: Proper change management practices are vital in the Production account to minimize disruptions and avoid loss of data. Make benefit of your Sandbox and Development environments with rigorous testing procedures before make changes to your Production account.

By understanding the role and considerations of the Production account, you can make informed decisions, maintain data integrity, and optimize your NetSuite system for seamless operations. Treat this one with care!

The Sandbox Account

The Sandbox account in NetSuite serves as a dedicated testing and development environment, providing a safe space to experiment, customize, and test changes before implementing them in the Production account.

You’ll know you are in your Sandbox environment because it kindly says Sandbox at the top left of the screen.

Identifying the Sandbox Account in NetSuite

Here’s what you need to know about Sandbox accounts:

  • Testing and Development: The primary purpose of the Sandbox account is to facilitate testing and development activities. It allows you to try out new configurations, customizations, workflows, and integrations without impacting the live data in the Production account.
  • Experimentation and Customization: The Sandbox account provides a playground for exploring new ideas and making customizations specific to your organization’s unique requirements. It enables you to experiment with different settings, configurations, and workflows to find the most optimal solution for your business processes.
  • Creating and Managing a Sandbox Account: Creating a Sandbox account involves cloning your Production account. This copies the account structure, configurations, and data. The Sandbox account operates independently from the Production account, however, allowing you to make changes and test them without those changes affecting your live environment.
  • Refreshing: To keep the Sandbox account up-to-date with the latest changes made in the Production account, periodic refreshes are necessary. Refreshing the Sandbox account brings in the most recent data and configurations from the Production environment, ensuring a reliable testing and development environment.

Having a dedicated Sandbox account provides numerous benefits, such as the ability to experiment, customize, and thoroughly test changes before introducing them to your live environment. It allows for greater control, reduces risks, and enhances the overall efficiency of your NetSuite space.

Speak to your NetSuite account manager if you are not using or do not think have a Sandbox account.

The Development Account

The rarest of NetSuite account types, the Development account, plays a crucial role in some advanced development lifecycles. To hold a development account is a major advantage when there are complex and risky concepts being built. Not every business, however, will find a need for this.

Here’s what you need to know about the Development account and its significance in customizing, scripting, and developing applications within NetSuite:

  • Customization, Scripting and Application Development: The Development account serves as a dedicated space for creating and trialing customizations, scripts, and integrations within NetSuite. It allows developers to modify existing features, build new features, or prototype more complex add-ons.
  • Development over Testing: Development accounts are designed for development and not full end to end testing. One clear distinction from the Sandbox account is that it does not contain any of the production data. The Development account holds the same system build as your Production account but none of the customizations so a level of testing may need to be carried out in a recently refreshed Sandbox account as well.
  • Third Party Access: The Development account does not hold sensitive business data so it is a safer environment to allow outside development partners access to.
  • Unique Names: If you have multiple Development accounts you can rename them to indicate what project they contain. This allows quick auditing of environments and improves access security.

The Development account can be a crucial component for organizations seeking to customize their instance or build software on top of NetSuite. Not every organization has a need for this NetSuite account type but for the right company it has important benefits.

Use Development accounts correctly to maintain the security, integrity and effectiveness of your other NetSuite environments.

The Release Preview Account

The Release Preview account plays a pivotal role in the NetSuite update process. Unlike your other NetSuite account types, which allow flexibility of use, Release Preview has a specific purpose at a particular time in the year.

The purpose of the NetSuite Release Preview Account

Here’s what you need to know about the Release Preview account and its significance:

  • Previewing New Features: The Release Preview account allows users to get an early look at functionality in the upcoming NetSuite release. It provides an opportunity to explore and evaluate these updates before they are made available in the Production environment.
  • Testing and Identifying Issues: By testing updates in the Release Preview account, organizations can proactively identify any potential issues, conflicts, or compatibility challenges with existing customizations, configurations, or workflows.
  • Validation of Business Processes: The Release Preview account is populated with a copy of the Production environment including it’s data. This makes it the perfect setting for regression testing of current business processes in the new system version.
  • Training and User Adoption: The Release Preview account can also serve as a training ground for users to familiarize themselves with new features and functionalities. It enables organizations to conduct training sessions, create documentation, and prepare user adoption strategies before the updates are introduced to Production.

By leveraging the Release Preview account, organizations can proactively evaluate, validate, and prepare for NetSuite updates. It ensures a smoother transition to new features, minimizes potential issues, and empowers users to embrace and make the most of the latest enhancements.

Not all companies will receive a Release Preview account. if there is an upcoming release and you are not sure if you are going to be receiving a Release Preview, reach out to your NetSuite Account Manager for clarification.

In conclusion, understanding and effectively managing the different NetSuite account types is crucial for optimizing your use of your businesses systems.

Remember, a well-structured account setup sets the foundation for success. Each account type fulfills a need. Make sure you are playing to their strengths.

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