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NetSuite tips – creating custom fields for your records

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Our NetSuite tips are designed to help you get the most out of using NetSuite. This month’s guide is all about creating custom fields to add to your records and transactions in order to make them more specific to your business.

This guide explains what custom fields are and the different types available; how you set them up and assign them to the desired forms; how you set the display properties; and how you edit them.

Our next guide will take this a step further and explain how to set the validation and defaulting properties; how to set the sourcing and filtering criteria; how to set any access restrictions to the fields; and more.

 

What are custom fields?

Custom fields are fields that you can add to your records and transactions to record information specific to your business needs.

Record custom fields can be added to existing and custom subtabs on the entry forms you use to enter records in your NetSuite account.

Transaction custom fields can be added to the top (body) or the line items (columns) of transactions.

In order to create a custom field you need to do the following:

  • Set the basic properties for the field
  • Assign the field to the desired forms
  • Set the display properties for the field
  • Set the desired validation and defaulting properties
  • Create dynamic defaults and hyperlinks
  • Set any sourcing criteria for the field
  • Set any access restrictions to the field based on department, role, or subsidiary
  • Set any filtering criteria for the field

There are many fields types that you can create including check boxes, free form text, percent, phone number and hyperlink.

Before we go on, it’s important to note that there are numerous standard fields and field types that are available for your use. Each type of custom field has standard fields that can be sourced from. To see a list of those available, please search ‘Available standard fields and field types’ in the NetSuite help centre.

 

Types of custom fields available

The following are the different types of custom record and transaction fields you can create:

  • Custom CRM Fields – Used to add fields to CRM records. These records include Activity, Marketing and Support records — such as tasks, events, campaigns or cases.
  • Custom Entity Fields – Used to add fields to entity records. These records include Relationship and Employee records — such as customers, vendors, employees, contacts, partners or groups.
  • Custom Item Fields – Used to add fields to item records. These records include Accounting and Website item records — such as inventory, non-inventory, service, other charge, group, kit/package and assembly/bill of materials item records.
  • Custom Transaction Body Fields – Used to add fields to the body of transaction records. These records include purchase, sale, journal entry and expense report records — such as sales orders, invoices, purchase orders, opportunities, web store transactions or item receipts.
  • Custom Transaction Column Fields – Used to add fields to the columns of transaction records. These fields display in the line-item columns of transaction records and include fields such as expense items, purchase items, sales items, store items or opportunity items.
  • Custom Transaction Item Options – Used to add fields to the line items of your transaction records such as purchase items, sales items and web store items. When adding a custom field to the line items of a transaction, you apply the field to the type of line item.
  • Custom Item Number Fields – Used to add fields to serial and lot numbered inventory records to track information specific to each item or workflow unique to your business.This could include quality control procedures or recall information.
  • Other Custom Fields – Use to add fields to custom records not defined by the above categories, including campaign events, classes, competitors, departments, and locations.

 

How to create a custom field

1. Go to Customization > Lists, Records, & Fields > [Custom Field] > New, where [Custom Field] is the desired field type.

NetSuite_tips_creating_a_custom_field

 

NetSuite_tips_custom_CRM_field

2. In the Label field, enter a name or description for the field. This label is displayed by the field on the transactions you select.

3. If desired, enter a unique ID for this field. This can be set to an alphanumeric string up to 30 characters long. This string must not include any spaces but can include underscores (“_”).

4. NetSuite automatically modifies the ID entered into this field with a prefix that corresponds to the type of field being created as listed below:

  • CRM: custevent
  • Entities: custentity
  • Items: custitem
  • Transaction Column: custcol
  • Transaction Body: custbody

Note: If you don’t  enter an ID now, NetSuite automatically assigns one. Entering your own IDs enables you to maintain them in your SuiteScript.

Tip: In order to identify the location and purpose of the custom field, it is recommended that you establish a naming convention such as using an underscore followed by the field name. For example, all custom CRM fields would result in a name custevent_fieldname.

5. Select the owner of this custom field. Only the owner can modify this record. Your name is selected by default.

6. Enter a description of this field.

7. In the Type field, select the kind of custom field you want to create. The type of field you select determines the other options you can set on this page.

8. If you have chosen List/Record or Multiple Select in the Type field, select the list or record that contains the items for the list field.

Note: If you later edit this field and change the type, any data stored for the field is deleted.

9. By default, the Store Value option is enabled so that custom field values are stored in your NetSuite account. Clear this box to indicate that this custom field’s values are display only and should not be stored.

10. Some custom field data types provide a Use Encrypted Format option you can enable to encrypt the field values stored in the database.

Warning

Once a custom field has been saved, the Use Encrypted Format setting cannot be changed! Before you set this option, be sure that you fully understand the consequences of your selected setting.

When you specify that a field be encrypted, any value in the encrypted field displays as ENCRYPTED in all environments except the environment where the value was first created.

11. Tick the Show In List box to have this field automatically show in the list of records the field is applied to.

12. You can index this field for global searches if Store Value is ticked, and if you have chosen any of the following in the Type field: Currency, Decimal Number, Email Address, Free-Form Text, Help, Hyperlink, Inline HTML, Integer Number, Percent, Phone Number, Text Area.

13. You cannot index a custom field for global search if None is selected for any Level for Search/Reporting option on the Access subtab of the custom field record.

14. If you are creating a List/Record custom field, tick the Record is Parent box to indicate that the record type selected is a parent record. This field is used to create a parent-child relationship between two record types. If you later want to inactivate this field, tick the Inactive box.

15. Once you have created a custom field, you should define which record types the field can be used in. (Unless you are creating an ‘Other’ custom field, where you do not assign the field to a specific record type.)

 

Assigning custom fields to specific record types

You must select the record types the field is available on. If no record types are selected, the field cannot be used.

Once a record type is selected, the field is automatically displayed on all forms of that record type including any custom forms of that type. If necessary, custom forms can then be edited to not show the new custom field.

NetSuite_tips_assigning_custom_fields_to_specific_record_types

1. Click the Applies To subtab.

2. Tick the boxes to indicate the records you want this field to display on.

3. Note the following:

  • Record custom fields can be added to existing and custom subtabs on the entry forms you use to enter records in your NetSuite account.
  • Transaction custom fields can be added to the top (body) or the line items (columns) of transactions. When adding a custom field to the body of a transaction, you apply the field to the type of transaction.
  • When adding a custom field to the line items of a transaction, you apply the field to the type of line item.

Warning

If you assign a custom field to a record type that is a child of another record, that custom field may not always show on the parent record forms.

 

Setting display options for custom fields

For each custom field, you can specify the exact location within the form that the field is to be displayed relative to other fields and subtabs on the page.

NetSuite_tips_setting_display_options_for_custom_fields

1. Click the Display subtab.

2. The fields on this subtab depend on the kind of field you are modifying.

3. In the Insert Before field, select where to place your new field on records.

4. This field lists custom fields of the same type that have already been created.

Note: This only affects the placement of fields on standard forms and on the placement of newly created fields. To change the arrangement of fields on a custom form, you must edit the custom form.

5. You can also choose to have the custom field span the column at the top or bottom respectively (‘Outside columns at top’ / ‘Outside columns at bottom’). This is especially useful to add a text area field at the top or bottom of a tab or section which provides explanatory information.

6. In the Subtab field, select the subtab you want this field to display on. For example, select Main if you want this field to display in the top portion of the record.

Important

If a subtab is NOT selected, the field is automatically displayed on a custom subtab for the record. Select a subtab that makes sense for the type of information the custom field stores.

7. Select the Display Type. This allows you to specify how your custom fields behave in NetSuite.  These are the available display types:

  • Normal: A normal field can be edited. You can use this field with custom code calculations, defaulting and sourcing information. For example, you create a custom field on employee records for a spending limit. The Spending Limit field has a display type of normal because you want to edit and store the information entered in this field.
  • Disabled: A disabled field cannot be edited. You can use this field with custom code calculations, defaulting and sourcing information only. Any field with a display type of disabled that does not have default, sourced or custom code information will not display on forms. For example, you create a custom field on expense reports for a spending limit. The field has a display type of disabled because you want the information in this field to be updated but not edited.
  • Inline Text: An inline text field is for informational purposes only. The information in this field is the result of custom code calculation, defaulting or sourcing information only. Inline text fields of the List/Record or Check Box type are not available for use with custom code. These fields are also not available for transaction column fields. For example, you create a Tax ID custom field for your purchase orders. The field has a display type of inline text because your tax ID is for informational purposes only, and you do not want the information stored with each transaction.
  • Hidden: A hidden field cannot be seen on the record or transaction you apply it to. You can perform a search to display the value of this field. The information in this field is the result of custom code calculations and defaulting information. For example, you can use a hidden field to store your support reps case quota. The support reps do not see the field but the information can still be searched and reported on.

8. If applicable, enter field height and width properties.

9. If applicable, in the Link Text field, enter text to display instead of a URL for hyperlink fields. Users see this text instead of the URL on records and transactions.

10. In the Help field, enter a brief description of the kind of information you want entered in this field. This help is available when the name of the field is clicked.

11. Once you have set the display properties, you should define any validation and defaulting properties. This will be covered in our next guide.

 

Editing a custom field

1. Go to Customization > Lists, Records, & Fields > [Custom Fields], where [Custom Fields] is the type of custom field you want to modify. This page lists all custom fields configured for that field type.

2. Click the name of the custom field you want to modify. On this page you can modify the following:

  • Label
  • Field ID
  • Field Owner
  • Description
  • Type
  • Whether to store values for this field
  • Whether to use an encrypted format
  • Whether to have the field automatically shown in the list of records the field is applied to

3. After you are satisfied with modifications for this field, click Save.

 

To apply a new name to custom forms:

When you change the name of a custom field, the name is not automatically updated on custom forms that contain the field. For this, you must:

1. After making changes to your custom field, click Apply to Forms.

NetSuite_tips_apply_custom_fields_to_forms

2. On the Apply Custom Field to Forms page, change the field label for each form that you want to reflect the change.

3. Click Save.

 

Mass updating custom fields

To be available for mass update, a custom field must meet the following criteria:

  • It must support inline editing.
  • It must be displayed on your preferred form for the record type being updated.
  • It must be stored.
  • It must not have a sourcing relationship.

Our next guide will take this a step further and explain how to set the validation and defaulting properties; how to set the sourcing and filtering criteria; how to set any access restrictions to the fields; and more.

 

I hope this has been a helpful walkthrough for setting up custom fields for your own records and transactions in NetSuite. If you would like to find out more about how NetSuite works, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts or view our other ‘NetSuite tips’ guides below.

Feel free to share this guide with your colleagues or comment below.

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