Importing Data to NetSuite through a CSV File Upload

by Caleb Schmitz in , , February 6th, 2023

CSV uploads are a great way to bring a lot of data into NetSuite without much work. All you need is a CSV file, and then you can import a ton of information onto the record. In this example, we are going to show you how to do a customer record upload.

Understanding the Data You Need

Before you can prepare your CSV file for import, you need to have an understanding of what type of information to set up in the CSV file.

In this tutorial, we will be looking at an example of importing new Customer Records. If we go to Lists > Relationships > Customers and open a customer record in View mode, we can see that there's a lot of information on there.

netsuit test customer record example

Red stars indicate required fields, so those would be the fields we need to import at a minimum in order to create new records. You can see that some fields on this test customer record are dropdowns, which means you might have to have that information in a different record before running your import. There are also different types of fields like boolean values which typically would be a checkbox. If you know that a field requires a true/false value, you might have to set it up like that in your excel sheet before the upload.

Check out the video above to learn about more about knowing what information you need for an import, and preparing you CSV file.


Import Type & File Mapping

Since we are importing Customer records, which are a type of relationship in NetSuite, here, for the Import Type, you would select 'Relationships'. Then you'll notice there is a Record Type option for 'Customers Only' that we can select in the next field.

You generally won't need to edit the Character Encoding or CSV Column Delimiter fields, but they are there in case you need them.

scan and upload csv file for netsuite import

As a general rule of thumb for beginners, we recommend selecting just a single file to upload at a time. So for our example, we are going to select the One File to Upload option, and then select the CSV file that we prepared.

When you have completed these fields and are ready to move on, click 'Next' at the bottom of the screen.

NetSuite Import Options

The second step in the NetSuite Import Assistant is definitely the simplest. Here you can determine the behavior of the importer using the options 'Add', 'Update', or 'Add or Update'.

netsuite import assistant step 2 import options add or update

'Add' just adds more data and doesn't override anything; 'Update' will update existing data already in NetSuite; and 'Add or Update' decides what's most appropriate based on the data you already have. In this example, we know we are importing brand-new customer information, so we are using the 'Add' function.

Note on File Mapping

In this tutorial, we chose to upload only one file in the first step of the import. Because of this, the Import Assistant will automatically skill its third step, File Mapping. As mentioned above, we recommend uploading one file at a time in most cases. But, be aware that you will encounter a file mapping step if you upload multiple files simultaneously.

Need help with NetSuite Import File Mapping? Contact us!


Import Field Mapping

Here's where we start mapping the fields.

netsuite import assistant step 4 field mapping

Notice that it already prepopulated some that had just been recognized, like "Job Title" on my excel sheet over here. It could tell that it was probably located on the customer record job title.

netsuite import assistant step 4 field mapping pre-mapped fields

On the left-hand side of the page, you can see all the fields in your CSV file that are available to be mapped.

netsuite field mapping csv file fields

The green check mark by your CSV field means it's already in the center mapping area, so you can see we've got a couple more things to add.

On the right-hand side of the page, you can see all the fields in the customer record that can be mapped into your CSV upload for this particular one.

netsuite import assistant mapping netsuite fields

At this point, we need to drag in all the missing fields and complete the mapping. Here is our completed field mapping for this tutorial example:

netsuite import assistant completed field mapping


Troubleshooting CSV Upload Errors

Let's go back and review our excel file real quick. You'll see that I've got "Individual" in each cell of the 'IsPerson' column:

field mapping error example

We set this up as a troubleshooting example, so when we click 'Next' we will get a Field Mapping error:

netsuite field mapping error message

The error message tells me what we need to fix. In this case, it says checkbox/boolean data must be T or F for the NetSuite field 'Individual'. So essentially, this is just a true or false button that is labeled differently, so it's a little harder to tell what it is.

To resolve this, go back into the excel file and change those cells from "Individual" to a "T" value. After saving the CSV file, simply click the 'Back' option to get back to the first step in the import assistant, Scan & Upload CSV File. Select your newly corrected CSV file, and click next. You'll notice that your settings and field mapping are still in place because we just clicked 'Back' instead of canceling our import and starting over.

Note: If you don't have time to fix an error in your CSV file right away but still want to save your settings and field mapping, you are given the option to save your import from the screen with the error message.

Saving and Running an Import

The final step in the Import Assistant is to save the mapping and start the import. Be sure to assign the import a Name and provide a Description so other NetSuite users in your account can easily re-use it in the future if needed. If you suspect that you may want to reference your import in SuiteScripts in the future, you can also assign it a unique ID which will be prefaced by CUSTIMPORT. When you have entered the desired information, click 'Save and Run'.

save import mapping and start import


Reviewing an Import

Now that you've run your import, you will then see a confirmation message, indicating that the import is in progress. This message includes a link to the Job Status page, where you can review the import job status.

import confirmation message

Remember, all this confirmation message means is that the import is running. It is not necessarily complete at this point. When the import has been completed, you will receive an email notifying you that it is finished. If you have a lot of information, it may take a while (anywhere from just a few minutes, to upwards of a couple of hours, depending on how many thousands of lines you have to import). But, you can check the import job status at any time to see how far it's come.

While imports are pending they will have a Status of "In Progress". You can see how far along an import is by the value in the Percent Complete column.

Be aware that even once the status is shown as Complete, your import still may not have brought in all the records, so you have to double-check that. You can always check to see why it didn't work by looking at the CSV response file, and then making the necessary changes to the import.

job import status


Wrap Up & Scheduling Imports in NetSuite

In this tutorial we successfully uploaded a CSV file and looked at a troubleshooting example to help you understand what to do when the upload doesn't go as planned.

One limitation of the Import Assistant in NetSuite is that NetSuite's native CSV import functionality only allows you to run imports at the time you create them. There is no native functionality available for scheduling imports in NetSuite. However, Anchor Group developed a CSV Import Scheduler that enables you to schedule CSV file uploads via email or from within the NetSuite UI!

That's all for now! Hopefully, this post gives you something to work with while trying to understand NetSuite and what it can do for your business. If you have any questions and want some free consulting advice, feel free to contact our team at Anchor Group.

Get stuck in a step during this article?

We like to update our blogs and articles to make sure they help resolve any troubleshooting difficulties you are having. Sometimes there is a related feature to enable or a field to fill out that we miss during the instructions. If this article didn't resolve the issue, please use the chat and let us know so that we can update this article!


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