netsuite Governance

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"Governance" is the name given to NetSuite's system for detecting and halting long-running, runaway, or resource-intensive scripts.

Each script type has governance limits that it cannot exceed, and there are four types of governance limits in place for each script type.

  • API usage limit
  • Instruction Count limit
  • Timeout limit
  • Memory usage limit

If a script exceeds its governance limit in any one of these four areas, NetSuite will throw an uncatchable exception and terminate the script immediately.

API Usage Limit

NetSuite limits the API usage of your scripts with a system based on "usage units". Some NetSuite API calls, particularly the ones that perform a read or write action on the database, cost a specific number of units each time they are invoked. Each script type then has a maximum number of units that can be used during each execution of the script.

If a script exceeds its API usage limit, NetSuite terminates the script by throwing an SSS_USAGE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED error.

Below are a few examples of unit costs for common operations. For an exhaustive list of Governance costs, see the article titled "API Governance" in NetSuite Help.

OperationUnit Cost
Loading a Saved Search5
Retrieving Search Results10
Scheduling a task10
Requesting a URL10
Sending an email10
Creating a custom record2
Creating an Employee record5
Creating a Sales Order record10
Saving a custom record4
Saving a Contact record10
Saving a Purchase Order record20

Different operations use different amounts of units, and certain operations cost a different amount based on the record type being used. The larger the number of units a function costs, typically the longer it will take to execute.

Transactions are the largest of the record types, so working with them costs the largest amount of units. Conversely, custom records are very lightweight, and so do not cost many units. Standard NetSuite records that are not Transactions, like Customers, Employees, or Contacts, sit in between the two in terms of cost.

These are the usage limits by script type:

Script TypeUsage Limit
User Event1,000
Workflow Action1,000
Bundle Installation10,000
Mass Update10,000 per record

Timeout and Instruction Count Limits

NetSuite also uses the governance system to detect and halt runaway scripts by using a timeout mechanism and an instruction counter.

If a script takes too much time to run, NetSuite will stop it by throwing an SSS_TIME_LIMIT_EXCEEDED error.

In addition, runaway scripts can be detected and halted based on their "Instruction Count". If the defined instruction count limits are exceeded, NetSuite will stop the script by throwing an SSS_INSTRUCTION_COUNT_EXCEEDED error.

There is, unfortunately, no Help documentation that defines:

  • the timeout for each script type
  • the instruction count limits for each script type
  • what constitutes a single "instruction"

It is simply important to know that if you encounter either the SSS_TIME_LIMIT_EXCEEDED error or the SSS_INSTRUCTION_COUNT_EXCEEDED error in one of your scripts, you have processing that is taking too long. Focus your investigation on your loop structures to determine where optimizations may be made.

Memory Usage Limit

If your script exceeds the memory usage limit, NetSuite will terminate your script by throwing a SSS_MEMORY_USAGE_EXCEEDED error.

Every variable declared, every function defined, every Object stored contributes to the memory usage of your script.

Both the Scheduled Script and the Map/Reduce Script have documented 50MB memory limits. There is also a documented limit of 10MB for the size of any String passed in to or returned from a RESTlet. There is no other documentation on the specific limits for a given script.

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