How to load data from NetSuite to MS SQL Server

This post will help you with syncing your NetSuite data to MS SQL Server. By doing this you will be able to perform advanced analytics on a system that is designed for this kind of data payloads, like MS SQL ServerAlternatively, you can simplify the process of syncing data from NetSuite to MS SQL Server by using Blendo, where the whole process will be handled by Blendo and you can focus on what matters, streamlining mission-critical processes of your business and accelerating growth from advanced  financials to supply chain management to billing. By analyzing the data produced by NetSuite you can react to new market opportunities swiftly and confidently.

Access your data on NetSuite

The first step in loading your NetSuite data to any kind of data warehouse solution, is to access your data and start extracting it.

NetSuite’s data model comes into to three following versions:

  1. SuiteScript Model: Suitable if working with Script or the Workflow Tool.
  2. Web Service Model: Suitable when external applications need to connect to NetSuite.
  3. ODBC/JDBC Model: Available when SuiteAnalytics module is purchased. This allows you to connect to a real-only version of NetSuite using ODBC or JDBC drivers.

Although differences do exist among the aforementioned models, the main types of information are always present and, among others, include the following:

  1. Accounts
  2. Transactions
  3. Campaigns
  4. Revenue Recognition

You will need more time to read this post than integrating NetSuite to MS SQL Server.

Effortlessly Sync All Your NetSuite Data to MS SQL Server

When working with the SuiteScript Model, you can extend the SuiteScript API using RESTlets.This way you can deploy server-side scripts that interact with NetSuite data following RESTful principles.  RESTlets offer ease of adoption for developers familiar with SuiteScript and support more behaviors than NetSuite’s SOAP based web services, which are limited to those defines as SuiteTalk operations.

On the other hand, if you choose the Web Service model you will have to work with the NetSuite’s web services API which is implemented using the SOAP protocol, adding some complexity to your development as you will have to manage SOAP and XML responses.

Also, keep in mind that as in every other API, you will have to respect the API usage limits and make sure that you handle errors correctly.

About NetSuite

NetSuite is a cloud service that is widely used from medium and large sized companies for the management of all core business processes in a single system. Netsuite has expanded its capabilities far beyond of all traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems by offering its users the following:

  1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): for managing processes like accounting, inventory, supply chain and orders.

  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): for keeping track the company’s interaction with current and potential customers.

  3. Professional services automation (PSA): for accurate planning and execution of projects.

  4. E-commerce: for managing order management, marketing, merchandising, financials and support.

  5. Retail: for satisfying omnichannel customers.

  6. Manufacturing: for delivering products and services.

Transform and prepare your NetSuite data for MS SQL Server

After you have accessed your data on NetSuite, you will have to transform it based on two main factors,

  1. The limitations of the database that the data will be loaded onto
  2. The type of analysis that you plan to perform

Each system has specific limitations on the data types and data structures that it supports. If for example you want to push data into Google BigQuery, then you can send nested data like JSON directly.  Keep in mind that in the case you are working with the web services SOAP API you will get XML responses. Of course, when you are dealing with tabular data stores, like Microsoft SQL Server, this is not an option. Instead, you will have to flatten out your data, just as in the case of JSON, before loading into the database.

Of course, when you are dealing with tabular data stores, like Microsoft SQL Server, this is not an option. Instead, you will have to flatten out your data, just as in the case of JSON, before loading into the database.

Also, you have to choose the right data types. Again, depending on the system that you will send the data to and the data types that the API exposes to you, you will have to make the right choices. These choices are important because they can limit the expressivity of your queries and limit your analysts on what they can do directly out of the database.

With the NetSuite web services API you also have two main additional sources of complexity. When it comes to data types you have to keep in mind that SOAP is using XML to describe the service and the data, so the data types that you have to map are coming from XML and might have automatically be transformed into the primitive data types of the language that you are using.

Load your NetSuite data into Microsoft SQL Server

So, after you have managed to access your data on NetSuite and you have also figured out the structure that the data will have on your database, you need to load the data into the database, in our case into a Microsoft SQL Server.

As a feature-rich and mature product, MS SQL Server offers a large and diverse set of methods for loading data into a database. One way of importing data into your database is by using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. With it and through a visual interface you will be able to bulk load data from a number of data sources that are supported.

Another way for importing bulk data into an SQL Server, both on Azure and on premises, is by using the bcp utility. This is a command line tool that is built specifically for bulk loading and unloading of data from an MS SQL database.

Finally and for compatibility reasons, especially if you are managing databases from different vendors, you can you BULK INSERT SQL statements.

In a similar way and as it happens with the rest of the databases, you can also use the standard INSERT statements, where you will be adding data row-by-row directly to a table. It is the most basic and straightforward way of adding data into a table but it doesn’t scale very well with larger datasets.

Updating your NetSuite data on MS SQL Server

As you will be generating more data on NetSuite, you will need to update your older data on an MS SQL Server database. This includes new records, together with updates to older records that for any reason have been updated on NetSuite.

You will need to periodically check NetSuite for new data and repeat the process that has been described previously while updating your currently available data if needed. Updating an already existing row on a SQL Server table is achieved by creating UPDATE statements.

Another issue that you need to take care of is the identification and removal of any duplicate records on your database. Either because NetSuite does not have a mechanism to identify new and updated records or because of errors on your data pipelines, duplicate records might be introduced to your database.

In general, ensuring the quality of the data that is inserted in your database is a big and difficult issue and MS SQL Server features like TRANSACTIONS can help tremendously, although they do not solve the problem in the general case.

The best way to load data from NetSuite to Microsoft SQL Server and possible alternatives

So far we just scraped the surface of what can be done with MS SQL Server and how to load data into it. The way to proceed relies heavily on the data you want to load, from which service they are coming from and the requirements of your use case.

Things can get even more complicated if you want to integrate data coming from different sources. A possible alternative, instead of writing, hosting and maintaining a flexible data infrastructure, is to use a product like Blendo that can handle this kind of problems automatically for you.

Blendo integrates with multiple sources or services like databases, CRM, email campaigns, analytics and more. Quickly and safely move all your data from NetSuite to Microsoft SQL Server and start generating insights from your data.

Help your sales and executive team take ownership of the insights that live in your NetSuite.

Blendo is the easiest way to automate powerful data integrations.

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