Exploring SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) by Oracle

Looking for a robust solution to enhance your NetSuite experience? SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) by Oracle surpasses traditional customization and development methods by offering unprecedented capabilities.

This blog post will guide you through the ins and outs of SDF, from setup to deployment, liberating the untapped potential within your technical teams. Stay tuned; game-changing insights await you.

Key Takeaways

  • The SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) is a tool by Oracle. It helps tech teams make and update apps easily.
  • SDF has features to save time, cut costs, and make better programs.
  • Using the right project type helps you get the most out of NetSuite’s tools.
  • You can check for mistakes fast with SDF’s built-in debugging tool.
Exploring SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) by Oracle​

Table of Contents

Overview of SuiteCloud Development Framework

The SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) is a comprehensive, cloud-based development platform by Oracle that simplifies the application lifecycle process. It offers robust functionality and features aimed at enhancing your developer-friendly platform for creating customizable NetSuite experiences tailor-suited to individual business needs. 


Furthermore, this framework provides excellent source code control, enabling team development in a project-based environment while granting utmost attention to quality assurance. With SDF’s integrated debugging capabilities and peer code reviews, technical teams can build, test, and deploy applications directly within the NetSuite ecosystem with ease.

What is SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF)?

SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) is a set of tools by Oracle. It helps in creating and working on projects on the cloud. Teams use it to write, test, and add code easily. With SDF, they can make apps for NetSuite accounts that meet business needs.

This toolset gives them control over how they plan and design their work.

SuiteCloud Development Framework Architecture

The architecture of the SuiteCloud Development Framework plays a pivotal role in ensuring efficient utilization of customized applications. It creates a robust, flexible structure that comfortably accommodates unique business requirements while endorsing effective team collaboration.

The core focus of SDF’s architecture is to provide an integrated, project-based environment for development teams to build, test and deploy SuiteApps – providing an enhanced developer-friendly platform that can revolutionize your NetSuite experience.

Architecture Overview

The SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) has a unique design. It is built in layers. The bottom layer has tools like java, XML and ANT that help to build the code. On top of this is the NetSuite Layer where we find the business data and logic.

The last layer is where SDF lives. This is where you can make your own apps to add on to NetSuite’s features. You use SuiteScript or JavaScript here for making changes.

Using SDF to Customize NetSuite Accounts

The SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) provides robust options for customizing NetSuite accounts, including features like source code control, peer code reviews, team development and integrated debugging.


Each of these elements significantly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of your personalization efforts: with source code control you can easily manage version changes; peer code reviews ensure that every piece of added function is thoroughly checked by teammates for optimal performance; through team development the ability to work collaboratively is enhanced; finally but importantly, with integrated debugging errors are identified more quickly leading to faster resolution.


The utilization of SDF makes customization a smooth journey rather than an intense project.

Source Code Control

Source code control is a big part of SuiteCloud Development Framework. This tool lets users manage changes to their code over time. It keeps all project files in one place and records any tweaks or fixes made to the code.

With source code control, more than one person can work on a piece of software at the same time. Users know who made each change. They also see what was changed and why it was changed.

This makes finding bugs in your software easier.

Peer Code Reviews

Look at your friend’s code. Add notes to what you see. This is a peer code review. It helps find problems or bugs in the software before it launches. You can give advice on how to fix those issues too.

The goal is making better, stronger software for everyone who uses it!

Team Development

Team development matters in SuiteCloud. It lets many people build a project at the same time. This makes it faster to finish big tasks. There’s also less risk of mistakes because everyone looks over each other’s work.

Even better, it can be fun to work together as a team towards one goal!

Integrated Debugging

Integrated debugging is a key part of SDF. It helps spot and fix errors in your code quickly. You can find mistakes before they cause big problems. This saves time and makes sure the end product works well.

Debugging in SDF is easy because it ties into the same place you write your code. This means you don’t have to switch between tools to check for errors.

Key Uses of SDF

Efficient Customization: SDF empowers developers to efficiently customize Oracle NetSuite applications to align with unique business needs and processes.

Application Extension: Developers can leverage SDF to create extensions that add new features, functionalities, or integrations to existing Oracle NetSuite applications.

Version Control: SDF offers version control capabilities that ensure seamless collaboration among development teams, enabling better code and account management and tracking. (Using external version control system)

Deployment Management: SDF streamlines the deployment process, facilitating smooth transitions of customized or extended applications across different environments.

Code Reusability: With SDF, developers can create reusable code snippets, templates, and components, reducing development time and promoting consistency.

Basic Workflow and Structure of SDF:

SDF uses a well known file structure within NetSuite, this includes a manifest file with the definitions and dependencies of the project. Then folders containing the XML definition files and Assets the linked account.

These dependencies could easily and automatically be added to the manifest file, running the command “project:adddependencies”. 

Basic Workflow and Structure of SDF
Root folder contains “suitecloud.config.js” - SDF

The root folder contains also “suitecloud.config.js”, which could be used to create custom behavior for the SDF commands in our projects. For example, we could change configuration within these functions instead of using the interactive command, this could be used to trigger the deployment, validation, fetching, etc, from a script to create backUps or deployments periodically without any human supervision.

Objects and AccountConfiguration folders, contains the XML files that defines the new configuration, features and files of the account; Scripts, templates and other files and its records’ information in NetSuite (Including deployments, parameters, fields, etc).

Flow:
 
Project Creation: Developers initiate a new SDF project, defining its scope and objectives.
 
Create/link NetSuiteAccount: Create or use an already defined Token to fetch and deploy the project files.
 
Development: Using SuiteScript (NetSuite’s scripting language), developers write custom scripts, create records, and design interfaces.
 
Project Validation: Validate that all the files and dependencies are set correctly in the project before deploying.
 
Deployment: Customizations are deployed from the development environment to production, ensuring consistent application functionality.

SuiteCloud-cli tool:

SuiteCloud-cli is a free to use client to use locally and manage SDF projects. It adds to our Command Line a palette of useful commands to successfully accomplish our project to be deployed in our NetSuite Account. These are some of the most used commands:

  • suitecloid-cli configure: Configures the SDF CLI with authentication details and environment settings, such as account ID, token, and role.

  • suitecloid-cli objects:import -i [sourcePath]: Imports an SDF project or files from a local directory to your development environment.

  • suitecloid-cli project:create -t [templateType] -p [projectName]: Creates a new SDF project with the specified template type and project name

  • suitecloid-cli project:deploy: Deploys the changes made in the SDF project to the designated NetSuite account.

  • suitecloid-cli project:validate: Validates the SDF project files and metadata for correctness and adherence to NetSuite standards.

  • suitecloud-cli account:authenticate: Creates or uses 2FA or HTTP token to link a NetSuite Account
 

Each command has the optional parameter “-i” that indicates the interactive mode, where we will be asked for each parameter of the command; and the parameter “–help”, that would display all the available commands and parameters that are defined in suitecloud-cli command palette.

SuiteCloud Development Framework -cli tool

Benefits of SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF)

Scalability

The SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) has a unique design. It is built in layers. The bottom layer has tools like java, XML and ANT that help to build the code. On top of this is the NetSuite Layer where we find the business data and logic.

The last layer is where SDF lives. This is where you can make your own apps to add on to NetSuite’s features. You use SuiteScript or JavaScript here for making changes.

Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the key benefits of SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF). With SDF, developers have the flexibility to customize their NetSuite accounts and SuiteApps according to their specific requirements.

The framework offers various tools and options for building and deploying customizations, allowing developers to easily adapt the software to meet changing business needs. This means that businesses can quickly respond to market demands and make adjustments as needed without having to rebuild everything from scratch.

SDF provides a flexible development environment that empowers organizations to create tailored solutions that align with their unique workflows and processes.

Collaboration

Collaboration is a key benefit of the SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF). With SDF, multiple developers can work together on customizations and applications in NetSuite. This collaboration makes it easier to divide tasks, share code, and ensure consistency across projects.

Developers can also use version control systems to track changes made by different team members. By collaborating effectively with SDF, developers can streamline the development process and create high-quality solutions for their NetSuite accounts.

Version Control

Version control is an important aspect of the SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF). It allows developers to manage and keep track of changes made to their code over time. With version control, developers can easily revert back to previous versions if needed, ensuring that they have a backup of their work.

This helps in maintaining code integrity and makes collaboration between team members easier by providing a centralized system for managing code changes. Version control also enables automated deployment processes, making it simpler to deploy updates and enhancements to your SuiteApps efficiently.

Deployment Automation

Deployment automation in SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) simplifies and accelerates the process of deploying customizations and applications to NetSuite accounts. With deployment automation, developers can seamlessly package their code and configurations into deployable bundles.

These bundles can then be easily deployed to different environments, such as development, testing, or production, with a single command using the SDF Command Line Interface (CLI). This not only saves time but also ensures consistency across different deployments, reducing the chances of errors or inconsistencies.

By automating the deployment process, developers can focus more on developing new features and enhancements rather than spending time manually deploying changes.

Disadvantages of SDF

  • Learning Curve: Developers new to SuiteScript may face a learning curve, especially if they are not familiar with scripting languages.
  • Complexity for Simple Tasks: SDF’s powerful capabilities might be overkill for simpler customization needs.

Conclusion:

SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) stands as Oracle’s powerful solution for efficient, customized, and collaborative application development within Oracle NetSuite. By understanding its uses, benefits, and potential challenges, developers can harness the full potential of SDF to create and maintain big and complex solutions easily. As SDF continues to evolve, it remains a valuable tool for driving innovation and propelling businesses forward in the competitive landscape of modern software development.

FAQ

SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) by Oracle is a set of tools and services that help you build and manage your applications.

Any developer or company who wants to create business apps using the Oracle platform can use SDF.

Using SDF makes it easier to design, develop, test, and deploy applications. It also helps keep track of changes in the app’s code.

Yes, learning how to effectively use SDF does require some understanding of software development concepts.

The cost for using the SuiteCloud Development Framework depends on several factors such as user count and additional features from Oracle.

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Fabian Rodriguez

Senior Full Stack Developer in NetSuite, with a strong background in software engineering and extensive experience in developing customized NetSuite solutions. He brings a wealth of technical expertise to the team and is dedicated to delivering high-quality, efficient, and scalable solutions for our client's ecommerce needs.

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