Learn How to Bring NetSuite Subsidiary Data into Advanced PDFs

This article is relevant if you are looking to read the NetSute subsidiary record so you can enhance your Advanced PDF and other HTML generation


The NetSuite Advanced PDF technologies have really opened up the capacity to produce good looking HTML and PDF output. In fact, the capacity has long been in the platform but it took working directly with the NetSuite SuiteScript API to produce content. Consequently, it rarely was used when it was available only under that method. Once NetSuite made a commitment to move away from its legacy form generator, and provided tools to allow easier template editing using the technology, we all welcomed the ability to produce great looking content.

Yet, NetSuite’s implementation is basic — in my mind, too basic for many real world situations. In the One World case, the subsidiary record drives the power to distinguish different business operations. Our clients want to have one form that drives a different presentation based on the company.  The subsidiary record holds basic company data elements which can drive the transactional header information. For example, a subsidiary may have a brand image, a local mailing address, and various email and telephone numbers that need to get on customer communications.

Curiously though, when NetSuite provides an invoice to the Advanced PDF template engine, it doesn’t include the subsidiary information.

Old School Technique to Solve for Advanced PDF References to Data

A technique commonly used in the NetSuite platform is to copy data from one record to another record to overcome limitations of the provided tools. In our invoice and subsidiary case, many NetSuite customers will create custom transaction body fields that automatically source subsidiary information when the invoice record is being generated. This technique will copy the needed subsidiary on to the invoice so it can be referenced with the Advanced PDF tool.

I see this technique used in other situations; mostly commonly when you want to produce a saved search but the data is more than one join table away.

The Fundamental Access to NetSuite Data Challenge

In essence, the out-of-the-box Advanced PDF template tools are limited by the scope of data that they can see. We thus are at the mercy of what the NetSuite Product Team has offered in their provided business objects. What we instead really need is a way to describe multiple saved searches that get to the data we care about. We then need a way to reference that data in the PDF engine to output to our delight.

Solved: Linking Multiple NetSuite Saved Searches

In previous articles, I have discussed how we have solved the fundamental challenge to get to NetSuite Data. In our Content Renderer Engine (CRE), we have produced a powerful mechanism to create saved searches that join to each other. The joining result is not flat; instead, it provides a list of user named objects that can then be easily referenced by the Advanced PDF engine.  Click on related image for example definition and syntax viewer.

In the case of our invoice generation, we simply create a saved search for Subsidiaries and then, through the tool, describe the relationship between the invoice and the subsidiary by referencing the matched columns between them.  Reference the image to see this relationship.  At the invoice, the link will be the ‘subsidiary’ column and at the subsidiary, it will be the ‘internalid’ column. This is equivalent to an inner join in a SQL query.

Related Content Renderer Engine (CRE) Articles

We have created a number of articles that have described how we have solved client concerns with this tool.

  1. Yes You Can: Generate a NetSuite Customer Statement on an Invoice with Customer Deposit Accounting
  2. How To: Insert Multiple NetSuite Aggregate Saved Searches to Google Charts
  3. Master Advanced PDF CRE Templates: Formatting a Number with Proper Comma and Decimal Placement
  4. Solved: Custom NetSuite Item Fulfillment Ship Notifications
  5. Supercharge NetSuite Advanced PDF/HTML Templates
  6. Video: How to Extend Advanced PDFs with Content Renderer Engine
  7. Get a Handle on NetSuite PDF Templates: Handling The Ampersand (&) Symbol
  8. Watch your Braces: NetSuite Handling Rules for HTML SuiteScript Developers
  9. Interrogating NetSuite’s Advanced PDF / HTML Templates
  10. Learn NetSuite Advanced PDF/HTML Templates with CSS Styling Variables

Get the Content Renderer Engine to Extend NetSuite Advanced PDF and HTML Generation

We offer the CRE Tool without charge to our clients. Our goal is to help our clients get the most out of the their NetSuite investment. The tool is designed for NetSuite Administrators that are comfortable with Saved Searches and existing NetSuite Advanced PDF techniques. Usually, it makes sense to identify a small project so we can help you learn how to wield the power of the CRE tool in interesting situations. Let’s have a conversation to talk about your goals.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to set up a conversation.

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