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FileMaker QuickBooks Online Integration

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a powerful tool that allows for easy management of invoices, payments, and other accounting tasks. Intuit announced they will have over 2.2 million subscribers at the end of the year and 40% year over year growth.  Many companies find themselves with both QuickBooks and FileMaker end up having to do double data entry from one system to the next. We will demonstrate how you can eliminate the hassle of manually copying the information by integrating your FileMaker solution with QuickBooks Online.

Creating a Free Intuit Developer Account

The first step of this integration is to create an Intuit developer account . Once you have an account, you will then need to create a new QuickBooks Online app by navigating to the My Apps page. This will take you to a setup process where you select the API you will be using. To start, you will click the Select APIs button under the “Just Start Coding” section. You will then need to select the Accounting box and then click the Create App button.

FileMaker QuickBooks OnlineNow that you have the QBO App created, you will need to set it up and get your keys. First, navigate to the settings page for your app. In here you can change the name and other options for the app. You will need to set the Launch URL to https://dbservices.com or any valid website. This is only used as a landing page for authentication and does not need to be anything special. Now that the launch URL is set, you will need to go to the Keys page. There, you will need to copy the OAuth Consumer Key and OAuth Consumer Secret into your solution. Keep your secret hidden from the world as the combination of the Key and Secret will be used to authorize your solution to make changes to the end user’s QuickBooks.

Authenticating with QuickBooks Online Using OAuth1.0

Once you have your API information, you will need to authenticate your solution with the QuickBooks Online Accounting API. FileMaker can’t set headers natively (yet), so a plugin is needed in order to make any requests to the API. I suggest using the BaseElements Plugin as it is a free and powerful plugin that can handle all of our HTTP request needs. For any questions regarding how requests should be built, please reference the QuickBooks Online Accounting API Documentation. To authenticate your solution, please reference the documentation on OAuth1.0. The main goal of OAuth1.0 is to make sure the signature string matches what the API expects. The signature string is an encrypted combination of all parameters passed in the request in alphabetical order. The authentication process can be quite tricky, so I highly recommend taking a look under the hood of the example file we have provided. Once you get everything set up the way it needs to be, the user will be prompted to authorize the QBO API with FileMaker.

FileMaker QuickBooks Online authenticationOnce they have agreed, they will be sent to the address specified in your Launch URL. In the address, there will be URL encoded parameters, one of which will be the authentication token and another the realm ID (QuickBooks Company ID). Finally, you will use the token provided, along with your consumer key and secret to get your access token which will be used to make any API requests.

Making Requests and Parsing the Response

Many of the QuickBooks Online API requests require additional parameters outside of the URL encoded parameters. The Create Customer request, for example, is a POST request which requires additional fields like the company, billing address, and many other settings for the customer. These extra fields will need to be JSON-encoded text, passed as the parameter in the BaseElements function BE_HTTP_POST ( URL ; parameters ).

Set Variable [ BE_HTTP_POST ( "https://quickbooks.api.intuit.com/v3/company/[Realm ID Here]/customer ; $data ) ]

Once a successful request has been made, a JSON encoded response will returned. You will then be able to use the function BE_JSONPath( ) to pull any information out of the response that you wish.

{  
   "Customer":{  
      "Taxable":true,
      "BillAddr":{  
         "Id":"1",
         "Line1":"8604 Allisonville Road",
         "Line2":"Suite 231",
         "City":"Indianapolis",
         "Country":"USA",
         "CountrySubDivisionCode":"IN",
         "PostalCode":"46250"
      },
      "Notes":"Some notes can go in here!",
      "Job":false,
      "BillWithParent":false,
      "Balance":0,
      "BalanceWithJobs":0,
      "CurrencyRef":{  
         "value":"USD",
         "name":"United States Dollar"
      },
      "PreferredDeliveryMethod":"Print",
      "domain":"QBO",
      "sparse":false,
      "Id":"1",
      "SyncToken":"0",
      "MetaData":{  
         "CreateTime":"2017-03-20T13:55:13-07:00",
         "LastUpdatedTime":"2017-03-20T13:55:13-07:00"
      },
      "GivenName":"Brendan",
      "FamilyName":"McBride",
      "FullyQualifiedName":"Database Services",
      "CompanyName":"DB Services",
      "DisplayName":"Database Services",
      "PrintOnCheckName":"DB Services",
      "Active":true,
      "PrimaryPhone":{  
         "FreeFormNumber":"(317) 288-4244"
      },
      "PrimaryEmailAddr":{  
         "Address":"consulting@dbservices.com"
      },
      "DefaultTaxCodeRef":{  
         "value":"2"
      }
   },
   "time":"2017-03-20T13:55:13.630-07:00"
}

For example, you can get the newly created customer ID by using the following set of functions:

Set Variable [ BE_JSONPath ( $result ; "$.Customer.Id") ]

Sandbox QuickBooks Company

When you create a developer account, you will be given a sandbox QuickBooks Online company for testing. This is great, as this allows you to test your integration without fear of deleting or modifying anything in your live QuickBooks company account. If you go to the My Apps Dashboard, and go into your app, you will notice that you are on the Development section by default. If your integration is ready to go live, you will need to go into the Production section. In here you will set up your production settings and then submit your request. You will then be given a production consumer key and secret.

QuickBooks Online: Things to Keep In Mind

There are a couple of important items to remember when working with the QuickBooks Online API. Here are a few points to look out for when integrating your FileMaker solution with QuickBooks Online:

  • The QBO API uses OAuth1.0, which means all parameters that may be required will need to part of the signature passed in the request. Also, the signature needs to be raw URL encoded as well.
  • The QBO API uses SyncTokens when making updates to existing records. A SyncToken is a way to lock a record. If you do not pass the expected SyncToken when making an update, the request will fail.
  • Certain tables in QuickBooks require other related records to already exist. For example, when adding an invoice to QuickBooks, the customer assigned to the invoice needs to exist in QuickBooks before the invoice can be created.
  • You may use Web Hooks to have QuickBooks Online automatically make updates to FileMaker as well.
  • QuickBooks Online integration with FileMaker is very different then QuickBooks Desktop integration with FileMaker.

Conclusion

QuickBooks Online can be fully integrated with your FileMaker solution! You can create, update, query, or delete just about any QuickBooks entity you would like all from within FileMaker. Automate your accounting processes, eliminate double data entry, and human blunders. Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance or to discuss getting your QuickBooks system integrated with FileMaker.

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