With their analytical capabilities, saved searches in NetSuite bring immeasurable value to individual users. Saved searches allow users to gather, filter, and sort data from records in NetSuite, setting parameters for the results that they need. Once a saved search has been defined, it can be used again and again. It can also be shared with other users or even placed on a dashboard for convenient access. Given the many benefits of saved searches in NetSuite, let’s take a closer look at how exactly they work.

Saved Search Permissions and Preferences

First, what are some key saved search permissions and preferences, and how are they set? Saved search permissions range from enabling users to create and run searches to allowing them to share and export search results. The administrator sets these permissions for each role on the Role record under the Lists subtab of the Permissions tab. The Permissions tab on the Role record is also where administrators give users access to specific records and transactions. The search permissions that users have work only for the records and transactions that they have access to.

What about search preferences? You can set personal search preferences under Home > Set Preferences > Analytics. Under the search section of the Analytics subtab, you’ll see a number of search preferences. One key preference that applies directly to saved searches is “Show List When Only One Result.” Unless this preference has been checked for your account, if a saved search returns only one result then NetSuite will pull up the record rather than showing the normal search results list view.

How do you create a saved search? There are a number of different ways you can do that. You could create a new saved search from the Reports menu (Reports > Saved Searches > All Saved Searches > New) or the Lists menu (Lists > Search > Saved Searches > New). On the Reports dashboard, you could create a saved search by hovering your mouse over the All Saved Searches link and selecting “New” when it pops up to the right. Both simple searches and advanced searches have a Create Saved Search button, allowing you to springboard to a saved search directly from the work you’ve already been putting into one of those searches. While on a saved search record, you could hover over the Actions link at the top and select the New button to pull up a blank saved search for the original search’s record type. Or, if you’re on the list of saved searches, you could select the New Saved Search button. If you’re creating the saved search completely from scratch (rather than from a simple search, advanced search, or another saved search), you’ll be prompted to choose the root record for the search.

Once you’ve selected the root record that your saved search will run on, you’re ready to start defining filters. If you created this search from either a simple search or an advanced search, then any criteria you had already set for the original searches will copy over to the saved search. Otherwise, you’ll be starting from scratch with your saved search definitions. Let’s walk through the subtabs on a saved search definition page and look at what you can do under each one.

Criteria and Results

The first two subtabs, Criteria and Results, are arguably the most important subtabs on a saved search. They are also the two subtabs that saved searches have in common with advanced searches. Under the Criteria subtab, you would set filters that narrow down the results your search will return. Filters can be based on root record fields or on fields in related, joinable record types. While the Criteria subtab determines the content of your search results, the Results subtab determines the appearance of search results. Under this subtab, you can sort, arrange, and group search results. You can find more details on the content in each of these tabs in our previous blog on advanced searches in NetSuite.


The Highlighting subtab, as the name suggests, allows you to highlight any search results that meet the conditions you define on this subtab.

For each condition, you have multiple highlighting options, including inserting an image, changing the text color, using a background color, or bolding the results that meet your conditions. Setting highlighting conditions on your saved search can help you to quickly locate key results when you run the search.

Available Filters

Another subtab is Available Filters. When you run a saved search, search results will appear in the list view. And, as with any list in NetSuite, the search results page has a filter section at the top.

On the Available Filters subtab, you can configure the fields and formulas that will appear as filters in the filter region of the saved search results page. If you want the fields selected in Available Filters to be the only fields that appear on the simple search form for this record type, then you can select the My Preferred Search Form checkbox. Doing this will limit your simple and advanced searches for this record type to just these fields.


Administrators and users who have the Create level of the Publish Search permission will be able to access and use the Audience, Roles, and Email subtabs while creating a saved search. The Audience subtab is where you would define specifically who in the company will have the saved search appear on their saved search lists.

There are multiple ways you could define an audience. For example, you could make the saved search available to specific employees or to all employees within a particular department, role, subsidiary, or group. If you want to make this search available to everyone in the company (at least, everyone who has access to the underlying record type), you would select the Public checkbox in the top field group of the saved search. To give your selected audience the ability to edit your original saved search (rather than editing a copy of the saved search), select the Allow Audience to Edit checkbox.


The Roles subtab may be a bit confusing. This is not where you would define a role’s access to the search—that’s what the Audience subtab is for. Rather, the Roles subtab is where you define some preferences for how this saved search affects some appearance aspects of the underlying record. These preferences can be set for particular roles or globally for all roles.

For example, the Preferred List View checkbox would make the content and filters of this saved search the default list view when users access the root record. The same goes for the Preferred Sublist View checkbox. And the Preferred Dashboard View checkbox would present the root record using this search’s filters when the root record is selected in the dashboard List portlet. All these checkbox options, located in a field group at the top of the Roles subtab, apply globally for all users. The sublist of roles, however, allows you to define the default, preferred record view options for each role.


The Email subtab (as the name suggests) is where you would set any preferences for emailing the search results.

On this subtab, you could set a schedule for emailing out results, choose specific recipients for the email, and even have emails sent out when changes are made to certain records and fields in the saved search. There’s also a checkbox that allows you to send an email even if running the saved search produced no results.

Audit Trail, Execution Log, and Search Title Translation

The final three subtabs, while somewhat less important than the preceding subtabs, still serve valuable roles. The Audit Trail subtab tracks changes made to the saved search itself. It records the type of change that was made to the saved search, who made the change, and when the change was made. The Execution Log subtab tracks the execution of the search—including when the saved search was run, who ran it, and whether or not it was exported. And finally, the Search Title Translation subtab is simply a place where, if you have multiple languages represented in your company, you can name the search in the different languages being used in your NetSuite instance.


And that’s a wrap on searches in NetSuite! If you’ve been tracking along with our SuiteAnalytics series so far, you should now have a good grasp of the three major means of data analysis in NetSuite: workbooks, reports, and searches. The final topic in our series is dashboards. In our next blog, we’ll look at the role that dashboards play in SuiteAnalytics. To have that blog delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to the SuiteRep newsletter below!