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seanmccabe

[Development] Integration into Xero Accounting Software

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Hello all,

 

I am huge user of osCommerce and myself have added a few smaller contributions to the Add-ons section and they seem to have gone down quite well.

I am now looking at my next project, and something this time a little bigger...integration into the online accounting system Xero.

 

For myself, processing invoices and adding notes in osCommerce is straight forward, but at the time, or the end of the week, recreating the customers and the invoices in my accounting system is a tedious chore, and I am sure my customers don't appreciate having to wait to receive a tax invoice.

 

At the moment, said integration would be manual, given the limitations of the their public API (a Partner API is required to remove many of the limitations), but this would allow:

  • an admin to create an invoice from the osCommerce order page for a specific order. Order would appear as a multi-line invoice, under the correct accounts, with shipping etc. included in Xero, stored as Draft, Submitted or Authorised.
  • Upon creation in Xero, the system will automatically download and store a .pdf copy of the invoice in the store against the order. This would let and admin view again later, helpful for returns/warranty claims. The customer can also have access to the invoice from their account history, so storing it in the future if they need it for tax purposes, or warranty claims etc.

At this stage it is just have an outline of a road-map, and an idea of what I would like to do, and not just limited to invoices, but adding customers, and recording payments, but before going any further I am keen to know if anyone else would be interested in using this?

Specifically I am interested in numbers of users, expected/preferred features, and amount you would pay for said system, whether you would expect it for free or would pay a monthly license for support and updates, or would pay X amount to have it.

 

Your comments are appreciated and I will endeavour to take them on-board.

 

Thanks, Sean

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For an update I have created the first draft of the add-on for Xero and it will be going for their approval shortly to potentially gain access to their Partner API so the add-on can be further upgraded.

 

As it stands the add-on currently:

  • Connects to Xero using their Public API. A user can grant the add-on access to their Xero organisation and be given a 30 minute window to complete tasks
    • The add-on checks the 30 minute window is still valid, it not a message in the admin panel will inform the user and provide a link to re-authenticate.
  • While authenticated, in an order summary, or in the list of orders a user can create an invoice, simply by pressing the "Create Invoice" button that is added. (The idea here is it replaces the invoice button osCommerce has, as you will be using the Xero invoices).
    • Pressing the "Create Invoice" button activates a function and creates an invoice in Xero, upon completion, saves a pdf copy to the server (and can send said invoice to client with an editable HTML email message).

The add-on has a variety of options for customising including:

  • Option to enter the account number for line items, freight, totals, discounts and etc. to be used in Xero.
  • Include or exclude tax in each of the line items.
  • Customised reference number, unique for each invoice.
  • Choose how to create invoice; Draft, Submitted, Authorised.
  • If Invoice created as Authorised, option to send invoice from osCommerce automatically is available.
  • Set the order status. Order status is saved with the invoice number and other details useful for administrators.
  • Debug mode is an option, so output from errors can be checked. An error log is on automatically to check for errors that can come up.

 

Anyway, this might pique someones interest, and as before appreciate comments, feedback and wishlists.
Will soon be looking for people interested in testing this in a more public environment also.

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Hi Sean,

 

I'm interested.  I run an osCOmmerce business and I'm also a professional software tester, so happy to partner with you on testing this.

 

 

I'd like to see this plug into the code and draft an invoice (updating/adding any included addresses or products to the xero database) whenever a new order is processed (ie it sends to the payment gateway) and a payment record sent to xero after it returns from the payment gateway with a success.

 

Mike

 

 

 

For an update I have created the first draft of the add-on for Xero and it will be going for their approval shortly to potentially gain access to their Partner API so the add-on can be further upgraded.

 

...

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Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

That is pretty much what I'm hoping for. Though going on adding the products to the Xero database being optional, but if chosen, a job would run automatically adding the products to the Xero database on a regular basis, perhaps every 24 hours or whatever the user set the CRON job too, otherwise a manual update would also be possible.

 

Currently I am waiting to hear back from Xero what they think of the first alpha release, if given the all clear and they can give me access to the Partner API I can then focus on getting the add-on to do things more automatically and integrate into the actual checkout process, rather than everything being post completion.

 

I will keep this page updated, and once I am looking for testers will keep you in mind :)

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Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

That is pretty much what I'm hoping for. Though going on adding the products to the Xero database being optional, but if chosen, a job would run automatically adding the products to the Xero database on a regular basis, perhaps every 24 hours or whatever the user set the CRON job too, otherwise a manual update would also be possible.

 

Currently I am waiting to hear back from Xero what they think of the first alpha release, if given the all clear and they can give me access to the Partner API I can then focus on getting the add-on to do things more automatically and integrate into the actual checkout process, rather than everything being post completion.

 

I will keep this page updated, and once I am looking for testers will keep you in mind :)

 

Whatever happened to this? I'm looking at Xero and thinking I'll have to write my own CSV exporter. 

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Whatever happened to this? I'm looking at Xero and thinking I'll have to write my own CSV exporter. 

 

Still somewhat on-going, I've been using it myself for testing and have had Xeros input, and they have mentioned some changes they would like to see before allowing me to move any further forward.

 

It is somewhat on the back-burner whilst I upgrade my store to make it mobile responsive, so hoping to continue development more actively next month.

 

In regards to the product however, this was likely going to be one of the last things I added. You can add the products via csv very easily if you just export from PHPMyAdmin as so. Its an inconvenience having to add them all the time when you add products, but will look at bringing this further up the development line.

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Just a small update, as I've finished upgrading my store to a custom bootstrap build, I've begun work on more of the Xero integration.

 

I've actually changed my approach on this a little, instead of going for a Public application, I've moved it to be a private app. This means no re-authenticating, and less oversight by Xero (whether good or bad, we will see), just means I don't need to jump through the hoops to get it approved by Xero.

 

So what does this mean?

  • A store will stay consistently connected to Xero (it makes a connection as required in the background).
    • This means more automatic actions can take place, so when a user makes an interaction an action can be fired to Xero. I so far have it so when a user signs up to the store, it creates the contact in Xero.
  • On the admin side;
    • Invoices can be manually created as before, will be moving this so that everything is created and sent to Xero at time of checkout complete.
    • Credit Notes can be manually created (still needs a little tweaking).
    • A full list of accounts can be selected from to assign invoice line items too as default. (In the future looking at adding this to the product add page, so you can assign specific items to specific accounts for better reporting and tracking).

Will be keeping this more updated from now on as development continues, and hope to release the first version within the next month, although with perhaps limited functionality, it should be enough for most people using Xero, to at least speed up the process.

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Most of the accounting software have this problem. Integration problem. I faced problem while I was using my online bookkeeping services software ZipBooks with Winehq in linux. I have also tried with parallel. Dev. team of parallel helped me. Faced problem with QB also.

Edited by Antony Ratcliffe

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3 hours ago, Antony Ratcliffe said:

Most of the accounting software have this problem. Integration problem. I faced problem while I was using my online bookkeeping services software ZipBooks with Winehq in linux. I have also tried with parallel. Dev. team of parallel helped me. Faced problem with QB also.

I actually got this fully working, working great on my site. 

Have products added as items, creates invoices, adds customers, generates purchase orders. 

Does everything I want it to do which is great. Xero API is very easy to use. 

Unfortunately I never got around to releasing this publicly, due to time constraints, and also from osCommerce being a bit up in the air as to what was happening with releases at the time. 

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:( And I've got a NZ site too now :)

Edited by mglew

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