Why should you learn SuiteScript 2.0?

In the few weeks since SuiteWorld this year, the question of “Why should I learn SuiteScript 2.0?” has come up several times in various forms. In talking to so many new SuiteScript developers, I also get the question “Should I start with 1.0 or 2.0?” very often as well.

I wrote this response originally for the Effective SuiteScript mailing list, but the questions come up so frequently I think it deserves a public statement, as it were.

My Thoughts

My personal experience with 2.0 has been excellent. I much prefer the modular approach to design, and I’m really loving the newer features like the Map/Reduce script.

2.0 is certainly not perfect; there are plenty of pains and inconsistencies, but that was always just as true in 1.0. I simply knew where to expect them in 1.0 because I’d been working with it for years; the same will be true of 2.0 as I adjust.

What I don’t know yet is how exactly NetSuite will stop supporting 1.0, or when that will be. Will 1.0 scripts simply cease to function? How much warning will they give us? NetSuite hasn’t given us any indication whatsoever, so that represents a very significant risk in my mind.

It would be flat out negligent of me to write something new for a client in 1.0, then have to go back to them and tell them I need to rewrite everything – even though it’s working fine for them, and they won’t be getting anything new out of the deal. That would sour even the best of my client relationships.

What I do know is that NetSuite is no longer adding new features to 1.0 (e.g. Map/Reduce scripts, SFTP support). I would rather take advantage of these new features as early as possible. I would also much rather know 2.0 already when NetSuite does eliminate 1.0, rather than having to simultaneously learn 2.0 and rewrite all of my 1.0 work. That seems like a nightmare to me.

My Recommendations

If you are just getting started on your SuiteScript journey, then I don’t believe there is any value in learning SuiteScript 1.0 that you won’t get from starting straight away with 2.0. In fact, at this point I believe you’d only be putting yourself further behind by starting with 1.0.

If you are an experienced 1.0 developer, I recommend learning 2.0 as soon as possible. Start writing any new code in 2.0 as quickly as you can, and start trying to convert your small 1.0 scripts over to 2.0 wherever possible. You’re not in control of what NetSuite will do with 1.0 in the future, but you do know that 2.0 is the way forward, and you are in control of learning it whenever you wish.

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