NetSuite EDI INTEGRATION- A complete Setup Guide

Introduction

Oracle NetSuite is claimed to be one of the world’s most renowned Cloud based ERP for fast-growing businesses. It  is a unified business management suite that offers support with the following services like financials, accounting, CRM & eCommerce. NetSuite stands out from its competitors as its built-in functionality allows it to support multiple applications under one platform, thus reducing costs and enhancing productivity. The major differentiator lies in the easily customizable dashboards.

NetSuite EDI Integration Options

NetSuite EDI integrations are customizable according to your partners (Retail, 3PL, Transportation, etc). But, it doesn’t have an in-built EDI capability. Usually NetSuite EDI Integrations are carried out by using an external EDI Platform or Service. NetSuite lets you integrate with EDI through,

  • SOAP(Simple Object Access Protocol) 
  • REST based APIs. 

The most preferred method of integration is REST-based APIs as modern-day developers are habituated to using this.

NetSuite REST API overview

NetSuite follows a particular design pattern to request or make an API call. Here are some of the important design features of NetSuite’s REST based API:

  1. Its a CRUD based API that has API endpoints to Create, Read, Update, and Delete:

REST APIs use Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to address resources. This is a typical API URI to fetch a sales order numbered 8689

  1. It uses HATEOAS (Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State) that distinguishes it from other network application architectures. With HATEOAS, you can interact with other network applications to fetch information dynamically through hypermedia. 

Let’s say you’re fetching sales order data that in turn has sub-records like billing information, the customer information, etc. Instead of giving the data in an expanded form, the API provides the URIs. You can use this URI to make another API call to fetch the billing information of the sales order.

NetSuite REST API Beta Features:

NetSuite also has some other APIs in the BETA Phase. Of which there is one inteRESTing feature called the transform API. It lets you convert one record type into another. 

For example you can convert a sales order into an invoice. The only downside here is that they can scrap these BETA features without notifying you. So it makes sense to speak to your NetSuite support contact about their plans.

The other APIs in the BETA Program include:

  1. Transfer Order
  2. Return Authorization
  3. Assemble Item
  4. Vendor
  5. Credit Memo
  6. Inventory Count
  7. Partner

NetSuite Tracking Events

Traditionally there are a couple of ways to track events that happen inside NetSuite or any ERP for that matter:

  1. Webhooks:

A webhook is the way of invoking an API callback URI for a given event.For example, you can invoke a webhook when a new Purchase order is created inside your ERP. So when a change happens inside your system you can notify/track the changes to the API URI defined in your webhook setting. Bad news is, webhook feature is not available in NetSuite yet.

  1. Polling:

Polling your NetSuite environment periodically may not be elegant but it works in some cases. It could be once every minute, or once every 30 minutes depending on your process and convenience.

  1. Suite Script:

This is the closest alternative to webhook. NetSuite has something called SuiteScripts. They are user event scripts that are executed on the NetSuite server. You can execute custom scripts on events such as create, load, update, copy, delete or submit. It is based on javascript with additional modules and features. So if you are familiar with Javascript, you should be able to handle it. 

It supports most of the standard and custom records with exceptions in storing  personal identification like a driver’s license or passport and other govt. Issued IDs.

How to set-up the NetSuite REST API?

There are three high-level steps to follow to set up the NetSuite REST API.

  1. Create a role for REST API

Create a role where you can define the permissions, and RESTrictions with different levels (View, edit, full, etc) for permissions. These permissions are applied to Transactions, (Bill, invoice, SO, PO, etc.)  reports, lists, setup and custom record.

  1. Create Custom Integration manager:

The second step is to create an Integration manager. While creating a custom integration manager, you can decide whether you want to use a Token based authentication system or a OAuth 2.0 based authentication system. 

  1. Create access tokens with integration manager and role:

Finally, using the Role and the Integration manager you created in step 1 and 2, creating the access token will give you a token ID and a token secret. You will be using the token ID and the secret to make API calls. 

How can Zenbridge help?

Zenbridge is a cloud platform to send and receive edi using api. Zenbridge is different from traditional EDI systems as it gives you freedom from dealing with EDIs. You can send your data as an API and we will convert it into EDI and forward it to your partners. The advantage here is that you don’t have to invest or go through the steep learning curve of understanding EDI which is quite traditional and complex. 

Zenbridge for NetSuite EDI Integration:

Steps for NetSuite EDI Integration are as follows:

Sending EDI-AS-API:

  1. Send the API request either by using polling for events inside NetSuite or using suite script to send in data as API to zenbridge 
  2. Zenbridge receives an API call from NetSuite, we validate that data against your partner’s compliance requirements.
  3. The compliant data is converted to EDI and sent to your partner.
  4. If the data is non-compliant, you will be notified in real time that reduces the chargebacks.

Receiving EDI-AS-API:

  1. Partner sends an EDI to your Zenbridge AS2 Mailbox 
  2. Everytime an EDI File is received, the EDI file is converted to JSON and fire an API request to your NetSuite environment

Zenbridge Features:

NetSuite and Zenbridge have APIs and facilitate effective and seamless communication between the two thus facilitating NetSuite EDI Integration. Here are some of the features of Zenbridge:

  1. Ready to connect with all major Retailers and supermarkets across the US. Zenbridge has all their EDI Specifications already configured as API Endpoints
  2. Real-time compliance validations as Zenbridge is an API based system thus eliminating chargebacks
  3. Only platform to support API for all X12, EDIFACT documents across all versions.
  4. Unified worldwide partner support system as X12 is used primarily in North America and REST of the world and EDIFACT is used in Europe
  5. Customised dashboards for different stakeholders.

Who can use Zenbridge?

The Primary customers are:

  1. Retail brands:

Our platform is preloaded with APIs for EDI documents of all major US retailers. EDI integration with your retail partner is just an API call away.

  1. Transport and Logistics:

If your customers are expecting to be EDI Capability, you can use Zenbridge. 

  1. ERP or custom Applications

Zenbridge has an extensive application that could be applied for multiple industries like supply chain, healthcare, etc. 

Having chosen an ERP like NetSuite that comes with API, is a great sign that you have set your company well for integration and automation in the future. APIs make it possible for organizations to be more automated, transparent, and proactive. With the Zenbridge platform you can carry out EDI integrations without understanding EDIs or setting up EDI infrastructure.

Happy Integrations!

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