Monday, February 16, 2009

The Joys of Developing Add-Ons for QuickBooks Online

One of the really neat benefits of OE Companion (OEC) is that you don't have to worry about any tedious details of making your inventory data work with QuickBooks Online. You just enter your information in one place (either QBOE or OEC), and the software takes care of the rest. It is designed to be a seamless experience.

So imagine my surprise when I was doing some testing on the lastest prototype of OE Companion and found that some of my items weren't being properly updated in QuickBooks Online after I edited them. My first thought of course was that there probably was a bug in the OEC code. So I started debugging and to my surprise saw that OE Companion was behaving properly - it was sending the correct information to QBOE. Yet nothing was happening in QBOE. Weird!

After a little digging, I found this thread on the QBOE developer forums. It turns out that this is a known bug in QuickBooks Online. Even worse, it has been around for over 18 months with no resolution. Wow! Just ... wow! I contacted someone at Intuit, and they basically confirmed that is indeed a known issue and that it probably won't be fixed anytime soon. Hmmmmm ..... OK.

As they say, knowing is half the battle. Now that I know exactly what is going on, I can tell you that this won't significantly affect OE Companion. You will still be able to sync item info with QBOE. In fact we have taken steps to hide this problem from the user, so you might not even notice it. We are committed to making OEC the best add-on for QuickBooks Online. If that requires working around the bugs in QBOE, then bring 'em on. :-)

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