Sacramento Area Drupal Users Group

carsonblack's picture
Start: 
2015-07-15 19:00 - 20:30 America/Los_Angeles
Organizers: 
Event type: 
User group meeting

Sacramento Drupal Users Group

--- When ---
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
7:00 PM - 8:30PM

--- WHERE ---
Hacker Lab
1715 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

--- Agenda---
• Free Pizza! Thank you Symsoft Solutions!
• Presentation: Connecting Drupal and Quickbooks - Hugh Kern
• Show and tell: Discuss a cool module or site building technique.

More information available at https://groups.drupal.org/sacramento-area

See you there!
Carson Black (carsonblack)
SacDUG Chairperson

Comments

Quickbooks and Drupal

geru's picture

It's a tale of need, sorrow, and the thrill of success...

It's a web tale of HTTP requests and responses.

It's a SOAP opera of the woes of a schizophrenic illegitimate child (the Quickbooks Web Connector) that can't decide if it will be master or slave or both at the same time.

It's a Drupal tale of hooks, queues, Rules, Feeds, and Views.

And, ultimately, it is a quest for interoperability and how to achieve it in the lightest package and integrating with the power of PHP and Drupal rather than cobbling some massive library together that defines its own world.

I will be presenting three interrelated, never-before-published modules in a suite of tools that aims to resolve the dual server-client nature of the Quickbooks Webconnector to generate a pathway between a standalone Quickbooks installation and a Drupal installation.

The modules start at the bottom of the HTTP request-response level and work their way up through the PHP system and into the Drupal system. They use Drupal's built in tools such as queues and hooks and Rules, until they get passed through the Feeds and Views modules to be processed by Drupal.

What is the point?

Any business using Quickbooks might want to achieve any of the following results:

  • import Quickbooks client, vendor, product, transaction, and accounts information into Drupal [Did I hear someone mention Commerce?];
  • export and merge the same data back to Quickbooks;
  • handle inventory receiving information online;
  • update pricing and inventory quantities on Drupal Commerce automatically;
  • generate sales receipts and invoices from Drupal Commerce directly into Quickbooks;
  • web-based point of sale;
  • even silly little things like having employees log their hours on a website and sending the data directly into Quickbooks.

All of these results are possible with these three modules. They navigate the treacherous waters of SOAP protocols, Quickbooks XML, and data translation.

See you there. --Hugh

RE: QuickBooks and Drupal

dfylstra's picture

Sounds very interesting -- will try to make the meeting, though it's a two hour drive for me. Is there anything available online yet about these modules?

Hi, Thanks for your interest.

geru's picture

Hi, Thanks for your interest. No I haven't written anything about it. This thread is all there is. Please don't read on if you aren't interested, as I will cover some details, and don't need to learn more clever internet slang.

I have developed these modules and, other than asherry's tips on debugging HTTP level problems and understanding Drupal architecture, it has been mainly a solo, rather than collaborative effort.

As I alluded in my prose, this integration is tricky because the Quickbooks Webconnector establishes a client-server relationship with Drupal, whereas the Quickbooks XML processing works on a server-client basis. Therefore, the Drupal installation has to work in both capacities -- and do so headless / without user interaction.

Because it seemed conceptually cumbersome and unduly complicated to integrate this with Services, I just made my own very simple PHP Soapserver integration and then have a second module that works tightly with the former to do the server-client role reversal.

Security issues have been interesting.

These two modules form the underlying architecture. The rest is a system for relaying information into and out of Drupal using the heavy-lifters: Views and Feeds, with some Rules glue.

I would like to get the system into the community asap, and I think it's all very close, but I've never contributed a module before, much less several at once, so it's a chance for any interested parties to help influence that process and provide guidance or support.

It's been amazingly satisfying to push a button in Drupal and have entire XML lists of any Quickbooks data list magically appear and fly directly into the Drupal database. I have been running my business on Quickbooks for 15 years and I've queried for all transactions for all years and had very fast results. My entire 1200+ item inventory happens in seconds, and it's all in native Quickbooks XML format rather than IIF files.

This is something with broad applicability.

Currently, it's the two-way data synchronization aspect that still needs the most work (managing database collisions and dirty fields).

Hope to see you there, --Hugh

boy that's a tl;dr if I've

asherry's picture

boy that's a tl;dr if I've ever seen one. :-)

SF Bay Area

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