A portlet is essentially a visual plug-in that you can add and arrange on NetSuite dashboard to highlight specific information. It gives a snapshot of the business, and there are a plethora of portlets options in NetSuite that allow tailoring and improving your day to day experience.

In this article, we will dive into the different types of Portlets used for different dashboards in NetSuite. We will primarily discuss Portlets which are used in the Home Dashboard, but many of these are also available in the customer dashboard, vendor dashboard and any other work centre in the system.

What is a NetSuite Dashboard?

A dashboard is a page which provides a visual representation of accurate real-time data that gives users better visibility about different processes inside NetSuite. The data displayed in the dashboard is based on the role of the user viewing the page. This view will help the users to make efficient decisions and edit records based on the information displayed on their personalised dashboard. There are different types of Dashboards present in NetSuite, like the Home Dashboard, the Project Dashboard etc.

Different Types of NetSuite Portlets.

Dashboard content can be displayed in various types of Portlets based on the user’s requirement. Some portlets provide access to raw data, and other portlets display data that have been transformed into different types of business metrics, i.e. Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Trend Cards, Performance Scorecards, chart-based workbooks and report snapshots.

For each Dashboard page, NetSuite provides a default set of portlets to be displayed on the page. The Administrators have the freedom to change the look and content of the dashboard as per their organisation’s requirements. This personalisation can also be applied to a group of users, e.g. Accounting role or Finance role etc. The Administrator can also give access to users to modify their own dashboard as per their daily needs.

Let’s talk about different types of commonly used portlets in detail.

Lists and Saved Searches

This type of portlet is used to show a list of records of the selected record type. When the user adds a new List type portlet, they have to configure it in the set-up option. The user can choose the record type, number of results that they need displayed and whether they want to allow in-line editing for the records in the result page.

One of the most powerful features of NetSuite is that these dashboard lists are also directly editable through in-line searching. That means you can update the record straight from your dashboard, without having to go into the record, edit and save.

When used right, this saves NetSuite users HOURS every week.


NetSuite lets users publish their calendar to their desktop so they can manage their phone calls, events and tasks quickly, and give visibility of their activities to the rest of the business. NetSuite calendars can also be integrated into Gmail and Outlook, which will synchronise the data between the two and keep everything up to date.

With this portlet, users can display activities for a particular period, and see their activities in different views, i.e. Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Agenda. The list of activities includes events, phone calls or task. By default, seven activity records are displayed, and we can change it as per the requirements.

Custom Search

We can display the results of a saved search using this portlet. In the set-up option of this portlet, the user can configure the search whose results are to be displayed, the portlet title, no. of results, allowing in-line editing etc.

Key Performance Indicators

This type of portlet is used to display raw data as a quick view of Key Business Metrics. These metrics are summarised data from reports or saved searches within the selected date range. It also has the functionality to show the comparison between date ranges and highlight results if targets are not met.

A maximum of four KPIs is allowed to be defined as headlines. The rest of the KPIs are listed in the lower panel.

KPIs can be minimised as per their usability.

There are three types of dashboards portlets that display Key Performance Indicators:

Key Performance Indicators portlet. Displays summary line for each selected portlet.

KPI Meter portlet. Visual Representation of KPI data in a semi-circular meter showing a comparison between date ranges.

Trend Graphs portlet. Displays the differences in data for different time intervals for multiple KPIs in a single chart.

KPI Scorecard Portlet

KPI Scorecards display a performance scorecard which includes numerous types of comparisons between various KPIs over different date ranges or accounting periods.

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You might have noticed that some of these portlets look different to the NetSuite user interface. That is because in NetSuite 2019.1 Release we are seeing a massive update to UI, Portlets and reporting functionality. If you are interested in finding out more about NetSuite 2019.1 release, then subscribe to Klugo Insiders to receive early updates, webinar invites and NetSuite hints and tips straight in your inbox.

If you enjoyed this tip, come back next week for part two of our NetSuite Portlets 101.


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Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

Read more posts and articles from Michael in his LinkedIn profile. Follow him for tips and tricks on leveraging the power of NetSuite.

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