QuickBooks API now Easier, Open, Global, and FREE!

  2013-11-11 | by David

Last Monday (11/4/2013) evening, our CEO Brad Smith made some great developer focused announcements during his keynote at The Sleeter Group Accounting Solutions Conference. I am pretty sure there is not a recording of the keynote available, so I’ll include some “live” tweets, that way it’ll feel like you were there in person. (I have also include a summary of all the changes, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post.)

Brad Smith Keynote:
In Summary:

  • New v3 of the QuickBooks Online REST API is available now.
  • QuickBooks Online REST API is FREE.
  • We are the Small Business Platform and we are OPEN, some first partners include Square and American Express.
  • We now allow developers to reach the global market.
  • We have an incredible channel of 500,000 QuickBooks Online subscribers and 1.3 million small business users, with an even more incredible domain, Apps.com. Which also happens to live right inside of QuickBooks Online.
  • Easier to understand development paths.



Blair Connolly | 2013-11-12

Is it just me, or has nobody yet mentioned that half of the v3 API has already been officially depreciated? You know, the half that connects to QB desktop files… which means that there is no API to connect to what most established companies are actually using.

David Leary | 2013-11-12

@Blair – We covered the QuickBooks Desktop REST API v3 a bit in today’s webinar. The QuickBooks Desktop QBXML SDK is more robust, and with QuickBooks Online being the future, the reality is that the QuickBooks Desktop REST API v3 was never going to get to feature parity. So instead of dangling a promise of full parity “someday”, the right thing to do is to allow developers to use the QuickBooks Desktop QBXML SDK to create their integration. It allows developers to create a deeper and better integration for QuickBooks Desktop customers.

Simon Vansintjan | 2013-11-13

I noticed that you’ve completely removed the documentation for V2, which I, and I assume many other people, still use in their applications. We weren’t able to just switch over night, especially with no warning. It’d be nice to have those be available again, and let us phase out V2 in a sensical manner.

Similarly, I have a problem with accessing the API that I don’t feel comfortable discussing in a public place like SO, because, after all, this has to do with the finances of my company. It would be great if there was a private support system in place, or at least one that I could find.

Thanks for making the API free. Considering people were already paying to use Quickbooks, it didn’t make sense that it wasn’t.

Jarred Keneally | 2013-11-13

@Blair the QBD v3 API is not deprecated it is available to select partners and those that are already using it. Please see Alex Chris’s blog post for more info.

@Simon the documentation is still available from the bread crumb navigation menus.

Simon Vansintjan | 2013-11-13

@Jarred thanks, I managed to find it, though the drop down menu in a breadcrumb trail is hardly where I would start looking.

I’m still having issues with V3 of the API though, and the support I have received so far has not been incredibly helpful.

Blair Connolly | 2013-11-13

I am on board with the overall strategy of pushing and encouraging everyone to use the QB Online as much as possible, I get that it is the way things are moving and is a good idea. The problem is that, even though I will be able to continue to use v2/v3 API for desktop (which I have invested significant time and effort into) there is a very real possibility that v3 for desktop will never include all of the features that I need for our business to run, and v2 will most likely (and understandable so) no be functional for the long run. This is kind of a big hit for my small business and I just wish that these announcements were made with ample time for us to have made a viable strategy to move forward. We will be spending a LOT of time, money, and effort to readjust our strategy and change our timelines for our development. Overall it’s been a rather large pain for me and my company.

David Leary | 2013-11-13

@Blair – You are 100% correct: “there is a very real possibility that v3 for desktop will never include all of the features that I need for our business to run,”

To some extent that is exactly what was occurring and is what drove these changes. Dan Wernikoff’s comments here: http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2013/11/intuit-and-the-future-of-quickbooks/#comment-279160 really capture the “why”.


Blair Connolly | 2013-11-13

Thanks @David, I had read the original post but had not yet seen Dan’s response. I am fully on board with the long term strategy that Intuit is taking, and I believe it to be the right decision.

The biggest problem I have with all of this is that until last Friday all of your documentation fully endorsed developers like me using the API as the recommended way to connect to QB desktop. So I took this advice and invested a lot of time and effort using the API. Last Friday, with no warning, Intuit made a U-turn on that, and until yesterday there was little to no communication as to what was actually happening. Since yesterday the communication channel has been wide open, and that is much appreciated, but you have no idea how helpful it would have been to have this information earlier.

It seems that my investment in the recommended use of the API has created a large problem for my small company, and I’m not yet sure how we’re going to recover. I do appreciate you reaching out to me directly, and I look forward to hearing more. I do not mean to gripe for the sake of griping, I really do hope that you can all understand how this change has affected me. Not in the long term, because as I said I fully agree with the long term strategy, but the way that the depreciation was handled. Until a week ago everyone was pushed to use the API, and now I feel that I am being punished for following your advice. I feel that I am in a fairly unique situation here, and am probably not in the majority, but the way this has gone down has really put a hurt on me in the short term.

mark robertson | 2014-01-06

Hi I run a software company and looking to develop a couple of Add ons for INtuit..can someone please tell me how many UK online paying customers Intuit have. In addition how do my team get access to the APi

David Leary | 2014-01-06

@mark – Your team can access the API for the UK here: https://developer.intuit.com/gb
I’ll see if I can track down the number of QuickBooks Online users in the UK.


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