Intuit QuickBooks may be the most popular financial software in the United States–one consulting firm reports that Intuit’s accounting and tax programs control more than 90% retail market share–but the company has struggled with moving its desktop-based software into the cloud. Sure, there’s an API for QuickBooks Online, but what about the many offline users who continue to rely on the finicky helper program QuickBooks Web Connector? MetricsAPI is working on one possible solution, in the form of a QuickBooks REST API.
Do a Google search for “QuickBooks Web Connector” (QBWC), and you’re likely to turn up at least one or two articles detailing how to use QBWC to connect QuickBooks data to a customer-facing web site, and also when it might be easier to use other methods. QBWC is the only Intuit-supported method of connecting a web application to QuickBooks, but implementing it requires writing a custom SOAP service. This has led to many instances of “reinventing the wheel:” a search on GitHub reveals a myriad of QBWC-to-webapp implementations in different programming languages with slightly different interfaces.
Enter MetricsAPI, a project from web design firm Bright March which “aims to simplify complex APIs with beautiful RESTful interfaces.” MetricsAPI currently offers free registration for two products, a Google AdWords REST API and an Intuit QuickBooks REST API. The stated goals for the latter include “clear documentation, an intuitive SDK, understandable error messages, and a gorgeous API.” Developers can sign up now to be notified by e-mail when the API is available for private beta testing.
The PHP code examples show how to manage customer details, items, and invoicing. MetricsAPI plans to releases SDKs in other languages as well, including Ruby, Python, and Java.