What are NetSuite CSV Imports & Exports?

CSV imports are commonly used by NetSuite customers to transfer small or medium volumes of data from other applications into NetSuite. To begin implementing a CSV import, the user must first confirm the necessary permissions. Data is exported to CSV, fields are mapped to NetSuite fields or specified to be ignored, and the import is launched.

CSV exports for NetSuite operate by running a saved search and saving the results to a CSV file. The user can specify which data should be included in the exported file. Users can export data from a variety of NetSuite modules, including Inventory, Accounting, CRM, and others. Sales orders, transactions, customer records, purchase orders, and any other form of data available in the user’s NetSuite instance can be included in the export.

There are some known limitations, and we’ll discuss those issues and workarounds in this article.

CSV Import & Export Limitations in NetSuite

Excel Docs Automatically Re-Formatting

Excel has a tendency to reformat saved CSV files when reopening. To work around this behavior, keep the CSV file being uploaded open in your desktop during import. This will ensure that the Excel application will be prevented in reformatting information within the CSV file based on Excel heuristics (formatting methodology).

Values With More Than 16 Digits

When opening a CSV file directly, Excel treats long numeric sequences as numbers and displays them using scientific notation format (e.g. 23E+10). This behavior leads to a loss of precision when the number data has more than 16 digits and consequential loss of information when digits at 16+ characters are truncated. Even when apostrophes or double quotes are used as text qualifiers, the information within the cell is still recognized by Excel heuristics as a number and an additional formatting hint must be provided. This heuristic is more commonly known in Excel as the “General” format. One way to work around this limitation is to always open CSV files using Excel’s multistep Text Import Wizard. The wizard allows the user to set column formatting in the final step to their choice. Additionally, you can use a different Office suite (e.g., LibreOffice) which always displays the import wizard when opening a CSV File.

Item’s Detailed Description Length 

When exporting search results that contain a Detailed Description field for items, the length of these fields in the exported Excel file is limited to 1,300 characters at the maximum. Although cases of breaching this upper limit are low, this is still a known limitation for extracting saved search data.

Extracting Data From Netsuite

NetSuite provides multiple data extraction methods.

  • One export function is at Setup > Import/Export > Export Tasks > Full CSV Export which is detailed in SuiteAnswers.

If NetSuite’s export functionality is not enough to meet user needs, users can opt to use a combination of the following options below to extract specific data sets from NetSuite:

    • Exporting saved search results to CSV files. For information, see Exporting Search Results.

    • Exporting report results as CSV files. For information, see Exporting a Report.
    • Writing a SOAP web services program to query record data. For information, see SuiteTalk SOAP Web Services Platform Overview.
    • Using SuiteAnalytics Connect to access NetSuite data through an ODBC, JDBC, or ADO.NET driver and an external application such as Microsoft Excel or Crystal Reports. For information, see SuiteAnalytics Connect. Please note that ODBC access is an additional paid service by Oracle NetSuite.

  • By obtaining the information with the above or in combination thereof can help users create data sheets with the required information. All of these approaches can preserve the relational aspects of data, as long as you export the Internal ID with each data row.

Wrapping Up

As a highly accredited NetSuite Solution Provider, ScaleNorth is well positioned to help you with the full scope of your NetSuite customization needs. If you require more NetSuite assistance, contact ScaleNorth today.

About the Author

Eli Alano is a Sr. Innovation Consultant at ScaleNorth and a Certified Public Accountant. With a background in finance and technology, she brings strategic thinking and transformative solutions to the team.