Print This Post

Is Intuit Abandoning QuickBooks SDK Developers?

October 16, 2012 | By | 30 Replies More

The answer is “not quite”, but I have concerns. This is a complicated issue, so bear with me while I work through it in this article. I’m going to lay out some background info (“what is the SDK and why do I care?”), talk about what Intuit is changing, and make some guesses as to where this is going and how it affects YOU. Intuit is changing things and these changes may be very important to people who use, or recommend, QuickBooks compatible programs.

What is the QuickBooks SDK?

QuickBooks is a very flexible accounting program, but Intuit doesn’t have ALL the features built in that EVERY business might need. To address this there are several ways to access data in QuickBooks:

  • Excel Imports and Exports: There are a limited number of places where you can get data into or out of QuickBooks, using Excel. Intuit has been expanding these (Batch Enter Transactions in QuickBooks 2013 for example), but they don’t cover all the bases.
  • IIF Imports and Exports: Found in the File/Utilities menu, this is an older method of exchanging data with QuickBooks that you should avoid if possible. It has very poor error checking, and it hasn’t been updated to keep up with new developments in the QuickBooks database since around 2005 (just minor changes since then). When talking to developers, The Sleeter Group always recommends that they do NOT use this method of exchanging data with QuickBooks.
  • Custom Reporting: This is an optional ODBC access method that is found in QuickBooks Enterprise. It is complicated to use, and it can only be used to extract data (not import).
  • QuickBooks SDK: This is a “software development kit” that was introduced by Intuit to take over from the IIF format. It is a programming interface that can be used to develop add-on programs that can read and update QuickBooks files. There are hundreds of programs available that use the SDK. There are versions of this for QuickBooks for Windows, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Point of Sale, and QuickBooks Merchant Services (but not QuickBooks for Mac). Some of these are more fully developed than others (the QuickBooks Online SDK hasn’t been updated for a couple of years, for example).
  • Intuit Partner Platform (IPP): This is an “API” (application programming interface) that was introduced by Intuit a few years ago to take over from the SDK. It is a programming interface that can be used to develop add-on programs for QuickBooks for Windows and QuickBooks Online. As it stands now, it provides access only to web based programs.

For an in depth review of the difference between the SDK and IPP interfaces see Chuck Vigeant’s article.

Intuit has testing programs in place for both SDK based programs and IPP based apps. SDK based programs that have been approved are listed in the Intuit Marketplace, although you can find other SDK based apps that haven’t been approved (Intuit charges a fee to be tested) in other places. IPP based programs that have been approved are listed in the Intuit App Center. Intuit collects a fee from the developer for each sale of an IPP app, and you won’t find any apps that use this interface that are NOT listed in the App Center.

Why Should I Care?

If you are using, or recommending, add-on software that works with QuickBooks for Windows, the distinction between these access methods is important. Excel imports and exports are very useful, but very limited in what they can do. IIF should generally be avoided as you run the risk of corrupting your data file. Custom Reporting is limited to Enterprise, and is really only a reporting tool. For the most part, all good QuickBooks add-on products use either the SDK or IPP programming interfaces.

What is the difference between these two approaches?

  • In general, the SDK is a desktop programming interface. Most programs are Windows programs that you install on your computer, although there are a number that use the “web connector”, which allows a web based program to access your desktop data.
  • The IPP is a web based programming interface. These apps don’t access your QuickBooks desktop data directly. Instead, you have the “Intuit Sync Manager” installed on your desktop, which sends your data to the “cloud” to be stored in the Intuit web servers. The IPP app will interact with that cloud data, which is kept in sync with your desktop data via the Intuit Sync Manager.

You will generally see IPP apps charging you a monthly fee, since Intuit is charging the app developer a monthly fee for each connection to the database. SDK apps are not controlled by Intuit, so the fee structure is entirely up to the developer.

There are over 300 programs in the Intuit Marketplace, and the majority of those are SDK apps. These include programs that you see recommended in many places, such as the Baystate Consulting import and export tools (Transaction Pro Importer, Transaction Pro Exporter), database maintenance tools by Karl Irvin (the Data Transfer Utility and others), CRM products like Results CRM, document management products like SmartVault, inventory products like MiSys and ACCTivate!, reporting tools like QQube, and many more. The SDK has been around since about 2002, so many of these products have been around for a long time.

There are less than 100 apps in the Intuit App Center at this time (but that number is growing). Intuit is strongly recommending that developers work only with the IPP interface, but it has taken them a long time to get this technology settled so it has taken developers longer to take up this approach.

The Sleeter Group has an annual Awesome Application award program that recognizes the best applications each year, and many of these are programs that work with QuickBooks. If you look through the list, just about all of these are SDK programs found in the Intuit Marketplace, rather than being IPP apps found in the Intuit App Center.

So, back to my question – why should I care?

QuickBooks users and recommenders need a wide variety of add-on products. So, looking at the SDK versus IPP, I have a few observations:

  1. There are many more SDK applications now than IPP applications.
  2. As it stands NOW, the IPP interface is not fully developed. There are numerous functions that it does not support that the SDK supports. This makes it difficult for some developers to move to the IPP. I’ll use my own company as an example (CCRSoftware) – I have a very popular SDK program that works with assembly items in your QuickBooks database (CCRQBOM), but I cannot convert to the IPP interface because the functions I need are not supported. Other developers have reported the same issues. I asked an Intuit representative “AT THIS TIME, does the IPP environment provide access to all of the data that can be obtained via the SDK?” The answer from Intuit was “The short answer is no and the follow-up response is that there are no current plans to have parity in the near term. We will continue to evaluate the delta though to determine if it is something that should be prioritized.”  This means that many very popular and important QuickBooks Compatible programs, such as comprehensive data import/repair tools and reporting tools (amongst others), cannot be developed using the IPP interface at this time.
  3. The IPP interface is still evolving and that has been a problem for many developers. If you started working with the IPP product back in 2009, you would have had to start all over at least three times because Intuit has made drastic changes in the interface.
  4. IPP apps require the use of the Intuit Sync Manager, and what we used to call “business profiles” in the App Center. Although it is improving the Intuit Sync Manager has proven to be complicated to support (Intuit is now pushing end user support of this off to the developers), and the “business profiles” can be a complicated mess (I have at least 13 of them, and you can’t delete them once created). If you are a ProAdvisor, these business profiles are closely related to your “company account numbers” in the ProAdvisor site, which is another mess at this time.
  5. Many IPP developers are unhappy with the technology, and the support they get from Intuit. This is a tough one to prove, as none of the developers I interviewed would go “on the record”. They still have to rely on having a good relationship with Intuit. However, at The Sleeter Group we constantly hear complaints from developers about incomplete API’s, poor response to problem reports, continually changing development platforms, poor communications, and flawed customer billing processes. I’m not finding a lot of happy IPP developers.

There is no doubt that the IPP programming interface is the future for QuickBooks, and they are working hard on improving the IPP development system, but in my mind, at this time, we cannot rely solely on IPP apps to fill all of our needs. There are many good IPP apps now, and more coming, but we still need SDK apps for QuickBooks desktop users.

What is Intuit Changing?

OK, so you are saying “we have the best of both worlds now” – we have both SDK apps that we know and are comfortable with, we have IPP apps that are moving us into the connected future, it’s great! What’s the problem?

To be listed in the Intuit Marketplace you had to apply, and pay a fee. There are two levels of products, Gold and Silver, based on customer reviews and other criteria, and it has always been better to be listed as a Gold level application. However, Intuit recently changed their web site to say:

We are no longer accepting new QBSDK, QBOSDK, QBMSSDK or QBPOSSDK applications for Intuit Marketplace.

Existing applications can no longer upgrade their application status (Silver to Gold…).

This means that no additional SDK applications can be enrolled in the program, no more will be listed in the Intuit Marketplace. This has been the most important source of information for people who are looking for QuickBooks compatible programs, and it is an important source of leads for the developers. Now it is being limited.

In addition, if you go to the Intuit Marketplace to look for applications, IPP apps are always listed before SDK apps. Preference is being given to IPP apps, pushing SDK apps further out of the picture.

Where is All This Heading?

I can only speculate, but I have great concerns over the future of the Intuit Marketplace. Intuit is starting to shut off access to this by SDK developers (no new apps accepted, no ability to move from Silver to Gold). How long will it be until they shut this down altogether?

There will always be alternatives for finding QuickBooks Compatible applications. The Sleeter Group is developing a marketplace for products that it has evaluated (not limited to just QuickBooks compatible apps),  and there are other sources.

Note that limiting the Intuit Marketplace is NOT the same as saying that Intuit will stop development of the SDK. Intuit IS continuing to develop the desktop SDK (not the QuickBooks Online SDK), and they are in the process of updating it for QuickBooks 2013 (although a bit late in this support, since QuickBooks 2013 is already shipping). For now, at least, Intuit is continuing to add features that SDK developers need to keep up to date with QuickBooks.

However, I fear the end is near. How long will it be until they discontinue the Intuit Marketplace altogether?

Tags: ,

Category: For Consultants/Accountants, For Small Business Owners, QuickBooks Add-ons

About the Author ()

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He's been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had a one-floppy disk drive system, loading the program from one floppy and then replacing that with the other floppy to hold the data. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise. He also is a Xero Certified Partner. Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. Charlie can be reached at [email protected] He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog Connect with Charlie at Google

Comments (30)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hi Charlie,

    What a disappointment, just recently I began offering my CartSpan eCommerce integration (SDK) for QuickBooks and was intending to pursue listing in the Intuit Marketplace.

    Strategically, this (theoretically) makes sense for Intuit to channel consumers to its QB Online offering and get paid for every application that connects to its servers. But I suspect the unintended consequence will be the eventual loss of add-on options for customers if the SDK program is ‘sunsetted’.

    This marketing strategy also has the affect of ‘locking in’ the customer with additional loss of control over one’s own data. When it comes time to get ‘divorced’, customers might find themselves in a difficult spot gaining access to their own company files to support migration to another accounting system. This market move reminds me of the parable of the ‘boiled frog’ that didn’t realize it was too late until he was dinner.

    I believe these type of high-level marketing strategies will continue to drive people to open-source alternatives. I have been evaluating FrontAccounting as one of the first such systems to extend support for.

    Anyway, nice article! Thanks for being a sentinel for such subtle movements on the landscape.

    Scott Wheeler

  2. Thanks for the posting. I’m also very concerned about the commitment of Intuit to the QuickBooks SDK. There is so much work to be done for IPP that I think it is premature for Intuit to make this move.

    Have you been out to the main QuickBooks.com web site lately? I’ve noticed for the last few months that QuickBooks Online edition is very prominent on this page and you have to hunt for links to the desktop editions. This has me concerned for several reasons, but here are a couple: (1) many new users may adopt QuickBooks Online only to discover it won’t do what they need then will either abandon QuickBooks altogether or need to have it converted to the desktop. The “gap” between the two versions may grow so that it becomes increasingly more difficult to convert. Online does have a suitable audience, but isn’t a fit for the vast majority. (2) it is another indicator that there may be less support for the SDK as time moves forward.

    I find all of this confusing because QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is a big bread & butter product for Intuit. Not having robust extensibility that SDK apps currently provide can cause them to lose customers to their competitors.

    I realize the “cloud” is the direction they need to continue to move toward, but their is much work to be done to adequately get there. The desktop editions can’t “go away” any time soon.

    • Intuit senior officials have stated, very emphatically, that the “desktop isn’t going away”. However, it is also clear that mobile/cloud is the future. There are many more engineers at Intuit working on QB Online than QB Desktop at this time. Saying that the desktop won’t go away soon isn’t the same as saying that the desktop will be developed as much in the future as it has in the past.

      On the other hand, I’m encouraged by the amount of changes that have been coming out in the desktop product recently – they aren’t freezing it at this point.

      I actually don’t have a problem with their emphasis on developing QB Online. My issue is that the IPP development work should have been focused on QBO – they wasted TONS of time in trying to get the desktop to sync with the cloud, and that effort could have been focused elsewhere. I pointed that out very emphatically when the IPP initiative was first introduced. But, that is a long story, and water under the bridge, and all that.

  3. Steve Batten says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I am very glad you choose to write this post as an Intuit Developer whose livelihood largely depends upon the SDK this has been a growing concern for us too. We have been working with QuickBooks interfaces for 13 years firstly with IIF, then the SDK and now IPP, we have also worked with other vendors like MYOB and Xero. Overall Intuit make excellent APIs which are getting better and provide great support to their developer partners.

    We agree that the future of small business technology lies in the cloud and Intuits strategy to move to the cloud is the right one. The Quicken/Mint experience has focussed Intuits efforts to not face the same situation with QuickBooks, imagine Intuit having to purchase Freshbooks or Xero in 2015 having let them gain steal the lead in the race to the cloud.

    We are in the process of moving from the SDK to IPP just as we moved from IIF to the SDK, but we still need the Intuit Marketplace in order earn the income to reinvest in our move to IPP, and we need the functionality of the IPP at least match if not exceed the SDK in order to provide the same experience to our customers. So I think the sunsetting moves to the Marketplace are premature and it should be given a 2 year extension to enable to IPP technology to catch up and mature.

    • Steve, as an SDK developer myself, I might argue with some of what you say, but in general I agree. I don’t think that they make “excellent APIs”, working with the SDK is a struggle in some cases, and with IPP you had to redo your product at least three times over the course of the years. The IPP API will eventually be good, but it has been a struggle.

      You never know what Intuit will do as far as acquisitions until they announce them. I think that if they had made a few key acquisitions a few years ago instead of going the route they did with IPP (and the desktop) that they would have been far ahead of the game now. You know more about Xero than I do at this time (but I’m learning!).

      The timing of the downplay of the SDK is puzzling to me, given the current state of the API. I suspect that there are people inside Intuit who aren’t happy with that. I know that the Enterprise sales department really likes certain SDK apps, as they really improve their odds of making a sale. I get a lot of leads from those people…

  4. John Power says:

    Great article Charlie.
    I’m sure reflects it the concerns of many Intuit developer partners.
    Of more importance to Intuit though (given they are the custodians of 3rd party access to QB data in any form)is the dependence their customers have on various add-ons. Nobody buys or use any addon unless there is a real business need. Both the SDK and the recently revamped IPP program are incomplete and IMO suffering from a lack of engineering resources. This is ultimatley more important to Intuit’s customers as it negatively impacts 3rd party addon developers capabilty to “delight the customer” and deliver sustained value.

  5. Mike Branch says:

    Charlie – Thanks for a great overview of the SDK/IPP situation. For the long term, I think the move to IPP is a good thing. But as a developer of mostly custom applications, my 2 big concerns are:

    1) SDK support for QB Online. Even in its current form, SDK functionality for QBOE is better than nothing. But Intuit could turn it off at any time. They have a history of doing things like that with little or no warning.

    2) A gap in support for custom apps in general. In the rush to the cloud, there seems to be a feeling that custom apps don’t matter. Intuit has sent mixed signals regarding IPP support for custom apps, but when pressed they say they do not currently support them. I fully expect that there will be a period where the SDK has all but disappeared, but Intuit is still not allowing custom apps on the IPP.

    In general, a developer can take the SDK and a copy of QB and do just about anything. With the IPP, we’re playing on Intuit’s court with their rules. I hope those rules don’t put some of us out of business.

  6. Ian B says:

    Good and timely article. Thank you

    I think it would be worthwhile to form an advocacy group of developers so we can speak with one voice to Intuit.

    What I would have expected is Intuit to share their plans with SDK developers so we can prepare our businesses appropriately. To my knowledge no one was informed that the market place would not be open for new applications. Am I wrong? Also if there are plans to shut the Mark place altogether then I would like to have a timetable.

    I would also like to lobby Intuit not now totally shut out the SDK developers from visibility through QuickBooks desktop. Again, if 300 developers speak in one voice, I think it would make a stronger impact.

    Charlie, you seem to have the ear of someone at Intuit. Will you lead the charge?

    • Ian, there have been multiple attempts over the years to form an “advocacy group” of SDK developers. They have always failed to “gel”.

      Nancy Smyth had the “IDNAC” group many years ago, it got started, but lost steam. A few years ago Nancy (with support from others, including me) tried to restart that, about the time that the IPP stuff first rolled out (and I was yelling about my fear that the SDK was going to die), but we couldn’t get it restarted.

      I also (back then) started a LinkedIn group for SDK developers to talk about the issue of the possible demise of the SDK. It didn’t get a lot of participation, and in fact some members strongly disagreed with my fears about this issue.

      So, Ian, at this point I don’t feel that it is something that I would be successful in doing. The best that I can do is to write articles like this, and get people to leave comments.

      Honestly, it has been apparent that IPP is the direction they are committed to, and I don’t have a problem with that in general. My problems are that the IPP platform isn’t fully developed and that they are starting to shut off the SDK developers too soon. I think that this is calculated to try to pressure SDK developers to get into the IPP platform faster, because many are just avoiding it.

    • John Power says:

      Ian, I have to fully agree with Charlie on this. I know it is not what you would want to hear but he is correct – an “advocacy group” is a waste of time. I know this because way back in the very early days of the IDN/SDK circa 2003 I sat on Nancy’s (she’s a legend IMO)IDNAC and chaired the “Non North American” developers subcommittee. You’ll still see some of my posts in the forums today. Several other people, some who are well regarded developers today also contributed a lot of time and effort. Bottom line it was ineffective and I ceased involvement out of frustration.

      Personally I don’t care about the marketplace – I do care about the technical quality of the SDK and IPP, their completeness in terms of access to ALL data, speed, architecture stability and relative parity where possible. For any given application, there’s a whole different set of “gaps” in terms of data access (an I’m just referring to read only) between the SDK, IPP for desktop and IPP for online.

      Intuit is a great company but even great companies make mistakes and I have made it known (for what that’s worth) that I think they have made a mistake here by under resourcing their engineering efforts on both the SDK and IPP. I think the core issue is that (and this is an assumption on my part) the whole IDN effort is not profitable, never has been and is unlikely to ever be unless there is huge growth via IPP under the recently revamped commercial terms.

      The “benefits” that may accrue to Intuit via keeping customers longer as they grow and realizing a net increase in new customers (say with QBES as an example) because of the availability of an API and 3rd party add-ons is difficult to quantify. Therefore it is difficult to justify and allocate resources (that cost money) as there are many competing uses for those resources. The IPP, unlike the SDK has a directly measurable revenue stream…so the future is quite clear (and consistent with Intuit’s messaging)I think.

      The big frustration for me though around the IDN is that without a really solid technical platform (the “steak” that costs real money), the marketing “sizzle” will flip/flop around and possibly fail. At the end of the day, QB customers dependant on add-on applications are most at risk.

      • Nancy Smyth says:

        Charlie, you said “I think that this is calculated to try to pressure SDK developers to get into the IPP platform faster, because many are just avoiding it.”

        I agree and disagree.

        I agree that this is a calculated measure by Intuit to pressure SDK developers to get into the IPP platform.

        However, I can’t say that I totally agree that many of us developers are just avoiding it. Actually that one is sort of a double-edge sword. Our situation at Sunburst, is that we CANNOT make the move to the IPP platform because the data access level and functionality does not match the level of the SDK.

        And then of course, there is the “other” side of that sword – and that’s the fee’s charged by Intuit – I don’t recall that IDN and 3rd party developers were supposed to be a revenue stream for Intuit – I thought it was to create the atmosphere of NED2 (Never Enter Data Twice) and to delight the customer. I realize that things have a habit of changing…………

        I agree with John that an “advocacy” group is a total waste of time. As both John and Charlie mentioned, in 2003 I in conjunction with several other Developers and a few ProAdvisors formed IDNAC (or the Intuit Developer Network Advisory Council) http://www.idnac.org

        Back then IDN was headed by Mark Berkow and Ed Schaeffer – and it was actually a fairly productive group that included monthly conference calls with IDN and other Intuit Business Groups. After IDN management changed and Ed Schaeffer left, things really went downhill. Yes, dealing with Intuit is extremely time-consuming as well as frustrating.

        Things really tapered off in 2006, when all of the IDNAC work had fallen on the shoulders of only a few active participants. Trying to get people involved was difficult. To be extremely blunt – everyone wanted the exposure but only a few were actually willing to put in the time to make it work and it became too much for those that remained.

        In 2009, there was renewed interest in revamping the website and restarting the group. But as Charlie said, only a few actually put in the work to make it happen – and frankly it was something that could not be managed by a handful of people. The site still exists today and will remain live for the next 2 or 3 years when the domain name expires. While the content on the site is quite old – it is still a pretty active site, receives a fair amount of traffic and the content is still being downloaded today. Which leads me to believe that the need is there – but the willingness to put forth the effort to make it a thriving community is not.

        I agree with John that IDN is not a profitable business group in the eye of Intuit and never has been. Back in 2003 the discussion occurred that Developer sales needed to be tracked and reported to Intuit so they could “see” if 3rd party applications were important to QuickBooks users. Discussions involved simply reporting the number of new sales each month and then the number of “maintenance/upgrade” sales occurred each year. Numbers at that time were not “good enough” – rather Intuit wanted customer names, at which many of us objected to. After all, Intuit would never provide Developers with their customer database…… The justification at that time was that it was “easy” for Intuit to track sales via ProAdvisor sales….

        And yes, at the end of the day it’s the QuickBooks users who are most at risk.

        • Nancy, thank you for filling in more of the “back story” about IDNAC. I wasn’t involved in SDK software back when you started it so I didn’t find out about it until later.

          As far as my “just avoiding it” statement – perhaps I could have phrased that differently. My point is that many developers, for MANY reasons, are not switching to IPP in spite of the pressure to do so. You cite one very good reason – IPP isn’t technically advanced enough. I’ve mentioned before – my own SDK product can’t be moved to IPP because of the lack of support for features it needs, just as you state. I know of LOTS of products in that same situation, products that users and ProAdvisors use very often. So we aren’t moving to IPP. You can’t create “custom programs” using IPP at this time as Mike Branch mentioned. There is still resistance from users of desktop software to go to an addon that uses the Cloud. There is the problem of a development platform that has been restarted at least twice, making developers have to start all over again (hard for smaller companies). There is the added cost of having to pay Intuit a monthly fee for data access. There is the problem of the technical difficulties that we’ve seen over the years with the “Sync Manager”. There are the complaints I hear about poor customer service to developers. The list goes on. My point is that, for whatever reason, SDK developers aren’t all happily changing over to the IPP platform, and it feels like Intuit is trying to increase the pressure…

          • Nancy Smyth says:

            Charlie, you’re welcome. IDNAC sort of formally made it’s appearance at the 2003 IDN Conference and several of us met with various Intuit folks at that time. While there was seemingly a lot of private support for our endeavor by Intuit – there was never much public support.

            Actually I think your “just avoiding” statement was spot on – personally, I think that is how Intuit views the fact that many developers haven’t made the switch to IPP.

            I think that they mistake the valid reasons given (no mechanism for the development of custom apps, user resistance, development platform restarts, lack of functionality, monthly fees, etc.,) as “avoidance”. This is simply my own observation and opinion based on several past conversations about our own products – when we expressed our reason for not moving to IPP due to lack of functionality and availability of data – it was suggested that we create a less functional product (that ultimately would delight no one). When we declined that was the end of communication.

            I do agree that it feels like Intuit is trying to increase the pressure, but I also think they are going about it in the wrong manner. Rather than putting a stop to accepting new SDK apps or letting Silver Developers move their apps to Gold – they should be trying to sweeten the pot with increased data access and functionality via IPP (among other things). Again – just MY personal opinion.

            And yes, Developers receive horrible customer service. As a ProAdvisor I can call a toll-free number, talk with a live person, and get an issue resolved. Developers do not receive that same level of support – at least not SDK Developers – and it’s been that way for the last 4 or so years.

      • John, for many SDK developers, the Intuit Marketplace is a major source of leads. So this change could have a big effect for those people. I wonder if the next step is to remove it altogether? Then both the developers and the users lose an important tool.

        You are right as far as IPP is a direct, measurable revenue stream for Intuit. and that it isn’t complete enough for Intuit to devalue the SDK at this point.

        • John Power says:

          Charlie, yes I understand the importance of the Marketplace to many developers and how it can be a useful place for customers to find solutions…for us though it’s less of a priority. I still maintain that technical completeness & quality of both the SDK and IPP should be prioitized over any marketing programs.

          The “handing over” of frontline support of the Sync Manager to developers is of concern. I can see why Intuit might want to go down this path (in some aspects it makes sense) but if they don’t invest as required and build a fast, reliable and robust sych manager, the IPP will crash and burn.

          • John, I WANT IT ALL ! I want the technical development, I want the marketing opportunity. Any pullback from either has an impact.

            This article focuses on the marketing aspect. This is a point where Intuit has made a decision to pull back, at least partially, from what they have had in place.

            From the technical standpoint, Intuit has stated on many occasions that they are continuing to develop both the SDK and IPP platforms. They recently released an updated SDK that has numerous bug fixes and enhancements (some of which will need an updated copy of QB itself before we can use them). Also, see this article from Alex Chriss about their commitment to the support of both platforms: http://ippblog.intuit.com/blog/2012/10/the-quickbooks-sdk.html

        • John Power says:

          Charlie, Thanks for the link to to Alex’s recent update/clarification. It is very encouraging and certainly will bring some comfort to those developers (like BizTools Analytics) that are dependant on the SDK today and are seriously looking at the IPP for future generation solutions. I can understand Intuit’s move to scale back on the current marketplace and I guess it will be closed at some point in the future. Equally, I can understand the pain this might cause developers who are getting lead flow and subsequent sales that help fund their ongoing development efforts.

          • Nancy Smyth says:

            Charlie and John
            Back to the marketing aspect of this article.

            Charlie, you said:
            In addition, if you go to the Intuit Marketplace to look for applications, IPP apps are always listed before SDK apps. Preference is being given to IPP apps, pushing SDK apps further out of the picture.

            This is quite true, IPP apps are given top listings at the Marketplace and have been for quite some time and I’ve seen the writing on the wall for several years as new version of QuickBooks have no links at all to the Marketplace. If you look at QuickBooks 2013 the only links for 3rd party apps go directly to the App Center from both the left navigation pane and from the Help menu.

            This makes it look like the Applications on the App Center are the “only game in town”.

  7. Jim Hargreaves says:

    “Everyone to the lifeboats! Please check with your unit commanded to see when the assembly of your boat will be completed.”

  8. Alex Barnett says:

    Hi Charlie,

    The IPP team has published a blog post this week making sure we clarify our position regarding the the QBSDK. Here’s a snippet:

    “We currently have no plans to retire the SDK. We have thousands of SDK developers who rely on that technology to deliver applications and services to our collective customers – So again, it’s not going away.”

    More here:

    http://www.sleeter.com/blog/2012/10/is-intuit-abandoning-quickbooks-sdk-developers/

    thanks,

    Alex Barnett
    Group Manager
    Intuit Developer Relations

  9. Another interesting aspect to all of this is the issue that Michelle Long points out in this blog post: http://longforsuccess.com/2012/10/19/you-are-probably-syncing-quickbooks-data-with-intuit-servers/

    Note that the “Sync Manager” is the tool that enables QuickBooks Desktop and IPP apps to work together.

Leave a Reply