NetSuite Integration: Custom Vs. Pre-Built - Which Is Right for Your Business?

Integrating your business applications with NetSuite? 

NetSuite is a powerful cloud-based ERP system that can streamline your business operations, but it’s even more effective when integrated with other applications you use, like your CRM, eCommerce platform, or marketing automation tool. 

Today, we’re exploring the two main approaches to NetSuite integration: custom and pre-built solutions. Here’s how to choose the best fit for your business needs. 

What Is NetSuite Integration? 

NetSuite integration refers to the process of connecting NetSuite with third-party software or applications, allowing data to be exchanged between them. This integration eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures you always have up-to-date information in NetSuite. There are two types of data flows: 

  • One-way data flow: In this type of integration, data is transferred from a third-party tool into NetSuite. For example, if you’re using Shopify for eCommerce orders and data management, integrating Shopify with NetSuite allows order information and customer data to automatically sync with NetSuite. 
  • Two-way data flow: In two-way integration, NetSuite both sends and receives data from another program. This enables bidirectional data exchange between NetSuite and the integrated software. For instance, if you integrate NetSuite with your CRM platform, you can sync customer data between the two systems, ensuring consistency and avoiding duplicate entries. 

Custom Integration vs. Pre-built Integration

What Is Custom NetSuite Integration?

Custom integration involves developing a unique solution specifically designed to connect NetSuite with other software applications according to your specific requirements. This approach offers the highest level of flexibility. 

Pros of Custom Integration

  • Complete control: Custom integration provides you with full control over the integration process. You can design the solution to match your exact specifications and business processes. 
  • Meeting unique requirements: This solution is ideal for businesses with complex integration needs or unique workflows that cannot be fulfilled by pre-built solutions. 
  • Fine-grained control: You’ll have fine-grained control over data mapping, transformation, error handling, and security. 

Cons of Custom Integration 

  • Time and resource intensive: Custom integration requires significant time and resources for planning, development, testing, and ongoing maintenance. It may involve hiring additional developers or reallocating existing resources, potentially impacting other projects. 
  • Specialized technical expertise: You may need to hire experienced NetSuite developers or work with a trusted integration partner if you don’t have experience with NetSuite’s API or coding languages. 
  • Higher upfront costs: This type of integration usually involves higher upfront costs compared to pre-built solutions. However, it eliminates the need for ongoing subscription fees associated with pre-built connectors. 

What Are Pre-built Integrations?

Pre-built integration, also known as out-of-the-box integration, involves using pre-built software connectors or integrators developed and maintained by third-party vendors. These connectors are designed to work with specific applications, including NetSuite, and can be readily configured for seamless integration. 

Pros of Pre-built Integration

  • Faster deployment: Pre-built integration solutions can be quickly implemented, often in a matter of minutes or hours. They come with pre-configured settings and connectors, eliminating the need for extensive development work. 
  • Cost-effective: These integrations are generally more cost-effective than custom development. They also offer a one-time purchase or subscription fee, so you don’t have to worry about ongoing development or maintenance costs. 
  • Ease of use: Pre-built integrations are designed to be user-friendly, with intuitive interfaces and simple setup processes. They require minimal technical expertise, making them accessible to businesses without dedicated IT teams. 

Cons of Pre-built Integration

  • Limited customization: This solution may have limitations in terms of customization. Pre-built options are designed to cater to common integration needs and might not fully meet complex needs. 
  • Less control: While they offer predefined functionality, pre-built integrations provide less control over the integration process compared to custom solutions. 
  • Compatibility issues: Depending on the specific software applications and versions you’re integrating, there may be compatibility issues with pre-built integrations. Make sure the pre-built solution supports your desired software stack. 

What Is an iPaaS?

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) provides a middle ground between custom integration and pre-built solutions. iPaaS platforms offer various integration tools and connectors, allowing you to create multiple integrations on a single platform. With iPaaS, you can integrate NetSuite with multiple third-party platforms without the need for extensive coding. 

Pros of iPaaS

  • Flexibility: iPaaS grants you the freedom to create custom integrations between various software applications. 
  • Ease of use: These platforms typically provide user-friendly, guided integration processes. They eliminate the need for in-depth technical knowledge and allow businesses to set up integrations with minimal resources. 
  • Scalability: iPaaS platforms can scale as your business grows, and offer the ability to add new integrations or modify existing ones as your software ecosystem evolves. 

Cons of iPaaS

  • Learning curve: While iPaaS platforms are designed to be user-friendly, there may still be a learning curve associated with setting up and managing integrations. It’s important to allocate resources for training and ongoing support. 
  • Annual subscription fees: iPaaS platforms typically require an annual subscription fee. While this may be more cost-effective than cost development, it’s still an ongoing expense to consider. 
  • Limited customization: While iPaas platforms offer flexibility, customization options may be limited compared to custom integration.  

Partner With SuperSync for Seamless NetSuite Integration

Regardless of your integration approach, partnering with an experienced provider like SuperSync can streamline the process and ensure success.

Brooks Flanagan
Last updated on 
December 5, 2023