Back in October 2010 we launched Intuit Data Services for QuickBooks Online in open beta with the Intuit Partner Platform (IPP). Since then, the QuickBooks Online (QBO) Web Services team has focused on developing new RESTful APIs, stabilizing our platform, helping our first customers onboard onto Intuit Data Services (IDS) for QBO, and adding commonly requested functional enhancements to support you, our developers.
We’ve expanded our web services with five new publically available entity and transaction APIs during that time, and we have more new APIs and enhancements forthcoming. The broader team also added an IPP toolbar to the core product. It’s been a busy time for us and we have learned a lot – thanks for sticking with us through it all! There are always opportunities to improve, but with our v41 product release we reached our defined quality goals and have declared Intuit Data Services for QuickBooks Online ‘out of beta’!!
What does “Out of Beta” mean?
We looked to internal and external best practices to define our process for moving an API out of beta, and settled on quality criteria in three key areas: performance, test coverage, and defect management. Performance and test coverage in particular are key concerns for any best-in-class web service, and our APIs are doing well against our internal metrics.
While all our APIs have passed beta-level testing and performance criteria before being publicly exposed, we’ve focused our release-quality testing efforts on the Money-In APIs. This is where we saw the vast majority of usage during our beta, and we wanted to prioritize the completeness and stability of those APIs to enable your applications to go to market sooner. Money-Out APIs, as well as newly exposed APIs, will be transitioning out of beta on a case-by-case basis in the coming months. We encourage you to use all of our documented and released APIs, beta or not, and welcome your comments on them!
Even though we’ve already achieved release quality you should expect to see continuous improvement in performance and test coverage. Release-by-release we are tuning and optimizing our web services and database layers, and our test coverage grows daily – speed and stability will help our developers deliver better applications to the end user, and that’s good for all of us.
Where we are: Launched and Learning
We spent our first six months in open beta so that we could make sure we were solving both for our developers and for the end users of your (and our) applications. There were some big surprises and challenges, but we think the platform is headed in the right direction. We’ve got a backlog of feature and data requests, and it is revisited regularly when the team plans out our releases.
Just because we’ve moved our primary APIs out of beta doesn’t mean we’re done asking questions, listening to feedback, and trying to improve our services. Our team has adopted the mantra of “Launched and Learning” – we’ve launched, but want to make sure we continue to learn and improve the way we did during our open beta. Keep giving us your suggestions, comments, and feature requests – we want to make our APIs the best they can be for our developers, and we adjust our roadmaps based on our day-to-day learning.
There are currently nineteen APIs available for your use, and you can find out more about them at our documentation page. Speaking of documentation – we’ve heard your comments and are hard at work improving our current documentation and processes to maintain quality for the future. The docs should have improved in detail, accuracy, and clarity over the last couple of releases, and you should expect more improvements soon.
There are already 6 great QBO-enabled applications live on the Intuit App Center, built by some awesome third party developers. A big thanks to Bill.com, Expensify, AuditMyBooks Analyzer, Quickbooks Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Transaction Pro Importer and Full Slate for being early adopters! And there's more great apps in the works.
Where it’s headed
Over the next few months you can expect to see work on new APIs and enhancements continuing. Time Activity, Reporting, Jobs, and moving OAuth for QBO out of beta are all projects in the pipeline so you should be looking out for them soon. We’re still evolving our longer-term roadmap, so please let us know if you’ve got requests – you can get them on our radar by posting to our “Change Requests - QBO data” thread on the IDN Forums. There is a great group of developers building additional applications on top of our web services, and we hope to see them going live to customers soon.
If you haven’t already started developing with us, would you like to learn more? You can get started building apps for small businesses nationwide by reading our documentation page, and by checking out the Intuit Data Services for QuickBooks Online forum over at IDN. Let us know if you run into any problems by posting on the forums – we’re actively monitoring them and a QuickBooks Online web services engineer will get back to you as quickly as they can. We hope your application is the next to go live for on the Intuit App Center with Intuit Data Services for QuickBooks Online!
Intuit Partner Platform and QuickBooks Online teams