Thursday, 19 May 2016 11:20

Software development inside and outside NetSuite

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iTWire spoke toEvan Goldberg, founder and CTO of NetSuite. iTWire asked about how software is developed at NetSuite, and what news is there for app developers?

1. Development at NetSuite

Being a developer, Goldberg was directly instrumental in the first builds of NetSuite and original code by him still remains in production today.

"I had a reputation as being the fast bug fixer," he says, citing a quick mind and good memory of the codebase.

In the time since NetSuite commenced development, trends have changed — "back then, scrum was still a rugby term," he says — and Goldberg's own role has changed. He is no longer a coder, with his time more efficiently used in leading the design and making sure his engineers have access to the best tools and methodologies.

NetSuite is very much a Java shop, with Goldberg stating "Java is the leading language for commercial software".

"The way you program in Java has radically changed over that time," he says. Although new languages, for example, Apple's Swift, keep coming out, he says Java is still very current. NetSuite is moving to Java 8 and keen to leverage its features.

NetSuite is also very much an Oracle environment, though Goldberg says not exclusively. While there is "nothing like a relational database for general business use where you can't predict what a user will want to do" he says NetSuite does use a variety of technologies including some NoSQL.

A driving philosophy, Goldberg says, is "what will deliver the best customer experience," even if it is some other database than Oracle.

On the topic of whether Oracle pricing is a risk to NetSuite, Goldberg says the cost of NetSuite services is primarily in data centre costs and, while Oracle is not cheap, any changes in Oracle licensing costs are not expected to affect NetSuite pricing.

2. SuiteScript

iTWire put it to Evan Goldberg that one complaint amongst developers is the rate limit on web services. Goldberg says this is a pricing issue, and humorously adds that when there is a discussion on pricing, he leaves the room.

However, more seriously, Goldberg says improvements have been made in MapReduce on SuiteScript 2.0 to reduce loads and eliminate headaches, providing a more efficient way of developing for concurrency.

3. Roadmap

Goldberg says he is most proud of the SuiteCloud platform and extensibility. He says he did not come to NetSuite with an accounting or e-commerce background, but he did know how to build tools for developers. He says NetSuite is "super easy to extend however you need" and this was built-in by design from the onset.

He says there is an unparalleled ease with which you can develop for NetSuite, with support in custom fields, custom records, SuiteFlow and SuiteSegments. Further, customisations doesn't cause problems with upgrades, unlike traditional on-premise ERPs.

As to what Goldberg looks forward to releasing, he says SuiteAnalytics will deliver next generation reporting and capabilities. It allows businesses to build complex queries with conditions in a way he believes makes it a pleasure to use.

"We want you to like using it," he says.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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