Thursday, February 5, 2009

Status Update and QuickBooks Online Outage

You might have noticed I have been blogging less frequently. That is largely due to a heavy focus on core development work on OEcompanion. Very soon I will release some screenshots and maybe even a brief demo. I want to say again how much I appreciate those of you who have sent suggestions and comments via email. Now is the time for feature requests, as it takes longer to make changes once the app is released.

One other item of note ... you are probably aware that QuickBooks Online went down for a while earlier this week. Intuit has not publicly commented on the cause of the outage. Certainly outages like that are unacceptable. However, in their defense I will say that this is the longest unplanned outage I have seen in the almost 3 years that I have used QBOE. I think a lot of the complaints stem from two things.

First, it took them a while to notice there was an outage. I didn't keep exact times, but I first noticed a problem at least 2-3 hours before they posted anything about it. It would have helped greatly if they had posted a notice immediately on the home page, instead of leaving everyone unsure what was going on.

Second, Intuit has not been very forthcoming about the problem. Perhaps that is due to the nature of the problem. Maybe they don't really understand it yet and will tell us in due time. That's fair. I just hope it was a random hardware failure as opposed to some type of hacker attack.

In any case, outages are an unavoidable part of web applications. The next time your hard drive crashes and you lose all the data on your local computer., just remember how great web applications are as well.

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