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netsuite saved search suite ql

NetSuite Saved Search vs Suite QL Query

NetSuite Saved Searches Vs Suite QL Queries

Saved Search and SuiteQL (queries) are two fundamental ways of retrieving and analyzing data in NetSuite, each with its own strengths and use cases. Let’s try to do a comparative study for both of them to understand their functionality and primary differences and also try to see the best opportunity to use each.

What are Saved Searches?

Saved Searches enable users to create, save and reuse specific search criteria to retrieve and display relevant data from the NetSuite database. Saved Searches offer a convenient and efficient way to access data and generate reports tailored to customer’s business needs. 

Features of Saved Searches:

  • Ease of Use: Saved Searches are designed to be user-friendly, especially for those who may not have a strong technical/SQL background. They offer a user interface (GUI) where users can select criteria, choose fields, and define sorting options without writing any code.
  • No Coding Required: Creating a Saved Search does not involve writing any code. Users can simply choose filters, fields, and sorting options from dropdown menus and checkboxes.
  • Flexibility: Despite not requiring coding, Saved Searches are quite flexible. Users can include various criteria, filters, and even joins to create relatively complex queries without writing any SQL-like statements.
  • Optimized Performance: NetSuite’s query optimizer automatically optimizes Saved Searches for performance, making them efficient for common use cases.
  • Secure Sharing: Saved Searches can be shared with specific roles and permissions, ensuring that only authorized users can access them.
  • Commonly Used For: Saved Searches are typically used for everyday data retrieval, reporting, and creating lists of records in NetSuite. They are often used to generate reports, export data, and provide real-time views of specific information.

What are SuiteQL Queries?

NetSuite SuiteQL is a querying language similar to SQL (Structured Query Language) but tailored to NetSuite’s data model and schema and SuiteQL Queries allow users to interact with NetSuite’s database to retrieve, manipulate, and analyze data. 

Features of SuiteQL Queries:

  • SQL-like Language: SuiteQL is a SQL-inspired querying language that allows users to write queries using SQL-like syntax. If users are familiar with SQL, SuiteQL will feel comfortable and intuitive.
  • Advanced Use Cases: SuiteQL is more suitable for advanced users, developers, or analysts who need to perform complex queries, subqueries, or joins that are not easily achievable using the user interface of Saved Searches.
  • Enhanced Control: SuiteQL offers more control over the query structure, making it ideal for complex data extraction, transformation, or loading tasks.
  • Dynamic Queries: With SuiteQL, users can generate dynamic queries based on the business logic and parameters, which may not be as easily achieved with Saved Searches.
  • Integration with SuiteScripts: SuiteQL can also be used within SuiteScripts (NetSuite’s server-side scripts) to dynamically fetch data based on business logic, allowing for powerful automation and integration capabilities.
  • Commonly Used For: SuiteQL is often used for custom reporting, specialized data analysis, data integrations, or when a more structured and controlled approach to data retrieval is needed.

Now that we have looked into what saved searches and Suite QL Queries along with their respective features, let us try to take a look at when to use each.

Use Saved Searches when:

  • You need a quick and easy way to create lists of records or generate reports.
  • You don’t have a strong SQL background and prefer a GUI-based approach.
  • You want to share the query easily with other users who may not have advanced technical skills.
  • The data retrieval doesn’t require highly complex or specialized logic.

Use SuiteQL when:

  • You need to perform complex queries involving subqueries or joins.
  • You have a SQL background and are comfortable writing SQL-like queries.
  • Dynamic queries based on specific business logic or parameters are required.
  • Enhanced control over the query structure is necessary for your use case.

In summary, Saved Searches are suitable for most routine data retrieval and reporting needs, providing an easy-to-use interface. SuiteQL, on the other hand, is ideal for more advanced queries and specialized data analysis, especially when precise control over the query is essential. Choose the appropriate method based on the complexity and specific requirements of your data retrieval task.

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