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A Node.js QuickBooks Inventory Tracking Sample App

We’re happy to announce a Node.js QuickBooks inventory tracking sample app has been published in the Intuit Developer GitHub repo.  This app showcases how easy it is to create a meaningful flow that you can piece together to create your own QuickBooks Online application.

The use case demonstrated by this sample is the following: Login -> Populate list of customers and items -> Select a customer and item, quantity, and amount -> Create the invoice

There is also an additional flow for creating an inventory item:  Fill out Item Creation Form (Name, Quantity, Purchase Cost, Unit Price, Income Account Ref, Expense Account Ref, Asset Account Ref) -> Create the Item

Several routes have been created for functions such as Item Search, Account Search, Invoice Creation, and Item Creation. Each route can be used as a real world example of how to perform QBO functions using the Node.js SDK for QuickBooks Online.  Please note that while these examples work, features not called out above are not intended to be taken and used in production business applications. In other words, this is not a seed project to be taken carte blanche and deployed to your production environment.


In order to successfully run this sample app you need a few things:

  1. Node.js
  2. A account
  3. An app on and the associated app token, consumer key, and consumer secret

First Time Use Instructions

  1. Clone the GitHub repo to your computer
  2. Fill in the config.js values (consumer key, consumer secret) by copying them over from the keys section for your app.
  3. In your terminal, navigate to the local repo folder and type ‘npm install’
  4. Goto the application folder in your local repo, and type node app.js (An alternative is to install and use nodemon)
  5. In your browser, navigate to localhost:3000

Project Structure

Root Folder –

– application Folder

– views Folder   -> contains ejs files, which are the templates for each page or view of the application

– routes Folder -> contains a single routes.js file, which holds the programming logic for the functionality of the app

– app.js -> this file contains the initial setup of the express server, authentication, and has logic for getting data for the first view

– package.json -> list of dependencies

– config.js -> put application credentials here

Invoice Creation

This flow works the following way.

1. The view Customer.ejs, collects the data required for an invoice. In order to get the data needed for this view, the Customers and Items need to be queried. This happens in the intialCalls function in the app.js file. Since this is the first view after OAuth is complete, we do this in the app.js file.

    var initialCalls = function (qbo) {
    //The first QBO request made in this app is a query to get a list of 10 Customers in the user's company
      limit: 10
      function (e, searchResults) {
      customers = searchResults.QueryResponse.Customer;

    //This request finds the first 10 items for which inventory tracking is enabled
        type: 'Inventory',
        limit: 10
      function (e, searchResults) {
        items = searchResults.QueryResponse.Item;
        }, this)}


2. Once the Customer.ejs view is rendered, the user selects the Item, Customer, Quantity, and Amount for the invoice. The /createInvoice route is used to make the invoice create call. Also in /createInvoice, GetItem is called twice, once before the invoice is created, and once afterwards. This is done to get the data from QuickBooks to highlight that the inventory within the item has changed due to the invoice.

//a route which creates an invoice
app.get('/createInvoice', function(req, res) {
    //Check to make sure the front end is sending an item selected, if it is null, render the error page
    if (!req.query.itemSelect) {
        res.render('errorPage.ejs', {locals: { errorMessage: { Message: 'No Item Selected', Detail: 'You Must Select an Item' } }})
    else {
        var CustomerId = req.query.CustomerId;
        var InvoiceQty = req.query.InvoiceQty;
        var ItemRef = req.query.itemSelect.split('; ');
        var InvoiceAmount = req.query.InvoiceAmt;
        var ItemBeforeInvoice;

        //Make getItem request to get Item data
        qbo.getItem(ItemRef[1], function(err, item) {
            ItemBeforeInvoice = item;

        //The post body for the Invoice create call
            "Line": [
                "Amount": InvoiceAmount,
                "DetailType": "SalesItemLineDetail",
                "SalesItemLineDetail": {
                "ItemRef": {
                    "value": ItemRef[1],
                    "name": ItemRef[0]
                "Qty": InvoiceQty
            "CustomerRef": {
            "value": CustomerId
        }, function(err, invoice) {
            //If there is an err, render the errorPage with the errorMessage from the response
            if (err) {
                res.render('errorPage.ejs', {locals: { errorMessage: err.Fault.Error[0] }})
            else {
                var Item;
                //Make a getItem request to get Item data (to highlight difference before and after an invoice is created)
                qbo.getItem(ItemRef[1], function(err, item) {
                    Item = item;
                function renderPage() {
                    res.render('createInvoice.ejs', { locals: { ItemBeforeInvoice: ItemBeforeInvoice, Invoice: invoice , Item: Item }});
                //Add a timeout of 2000 in order to allow the Invoice response to complete before rendering the page
                setTimeout(renderPage, 2000);



3. Once the requests are complete, we render createInvoice.ejs


Item Creation

The item creation flow follows a similar pattern to invoice creation. First view allows the user to enter the parameters related to the item to be created. In this case, we have the route /invoiceCreationForm, which renders a view that allows the user to select the accounts, name, and quantity related to the item being created. When the user submits within this view, the route /createItem will create a postbody based on the parameters selected by the user. Once the response from the request is successful, the view /createItem will show the results of the item create call.

//a route which populates the Create Item Form with a list of Accounts
app.get('/createItemForm', function (req, res) {
    //Retrieve all accounts to populate the createItemForm
    qbo.findAccounts(function(_, accounts) {
        res.render('createItemForm.ejs', {locals: {accounts: accounts.QueryResponse.Account}})
//a route which creates an item, the name is passed in
app.get('/createItem/', function (req, res) {
    //Checking to make sure that the fields for AssetAccountRef, ExpenseAccountRef, IncomeAccountRef are not null
    if(req.query.AssetAccountRef && req.query.ExpenseAccountRef && req.query.IncomeAccountRef){
        var ItemName = req.query.ItemName;
        var AssetAccountRef = req.query.AssetAccountRef.split('; ');
        var ExpenseAccountRef = req.query.ExpenseAccountRef.split('; ');
        var IncomeAccountRef = req.query.IncomeAccountRef.split('; ');
        var ItemQuantity = req.query.ItemQty;
        var CurrentDate = GetCurrentDate();    

        //qbo createItem Post Body
            "Name": ItemName,
            "IncomeAccountRef": {
                "value": IncomeAccountRef[0],
                "name": IncomeAccountRef[1]
            "ExpenseAccountRef": {
                "value": ExpenseAccountRef[0],
                "name": ExpenseAccountRef[1]
            "AssetAccountRef": {
                "value": AssetAccountRef[0],
                "name": AssetAccountRef[1]
            "Type": "Inventory",
            "TrackQtyOnHand": true,
            "QtyOnHand": ItemQuantity,
            "InvStartDate": CurrentDate
        }, function(err, item) {
            //Render error page if err is returned
            if(err) {
                res.render('errorPage.ejs', {locals: { errorMessage: err.Fault.Error[0] }})
            //Render createItem on success
            else {
                res.render('createItem.ejs', { locals: { item: item }})
    //Render an error page when AssetAccountRef, ExpenseAccountRef, IncomeAccountRef are null
    else {
        res.render('errorPage.ejs', {locals: { errorMessage: { Message: 'Missing parameter', Detail: 'You Must Select an Account' } }})



When you start the application you will see this for the home page: Start Login

This is the OAuth authentication screenshot:OAuth Auth

This is the invoice creation view (customer.ejs):Home Page

This is the invoice created view:

About Page

 June 2, 2017 | Jimmy Wong