Method Community



October 2008 - Posts

  • Can poorly written add-ons to QuickBooks impose a drag on your QuickBooks’ performance?

    If you take a look at the Intuit Marketplace, several applications state they have “syncing” capabilities with QuickBooks.  If you have ever shopped for an add-on to QuickBooks, you know that the degree in which these third-party applications can sync with QuickBooks varies depending on who created the application.

    The QuickBooks SDK allows developers to also create “listening” add-ons to QuickBooks.  So your next question is going to be, “What are listening add-ons” right?  These are QuickBooks third-party applications that keep an open ear to activity that is taking place in QuickBooks while it is open.  When something does happen in QuickBooks (such as adding a customer, creating a new item, etc.), it then notifies the third-party application that something has taken place.  The third-party app can stay current with what is happening in QuickBooks without having to perform a manual sync process.  Sounds good, right? Confused

    Here in lies the problem.  Many of the developers out there are writing poorly written apps that use these “listening” abilities.  As a result, they cause QuickBooks to slow down in performance and end up wasting any time that was saved through the automatic syncing process.  Not only that, it gives us “good guys” a bad name.  By “good guys” I mean, software developers who write properly written programs.  

    Naturally, when a person experiences this, they easily lose faith in “listening” applications and won’t want to use or recommend them to their customers.  So here are some quick things you should know about well-written and poorly written programs.

    No First the “bad guys” or poorly written program:

    The program acts ‘synchronously’, in that it will perform extra functions during the listening.  This means QuickBooks has to sit there and wait for those functions to complete before moving on to do more important things.  

    So breaking that down into more detail:

    1. QuickBooks provides the event details that are taking place to the third-party application.
    2. App then performs one or more additional functions like getting more information from QuickBooks, updating its own database with changes, etc.
    3. App then returns control back to QuickBooks so that QuickBooks can continue doing what it was doing before.

    Yes Now the “good guys” or well written program (like Method of course! WOOT WOOT!)

    The program acts ‘asynchronously’, in that it will immediately return control back to QuickBooks and perform any additional actions on its own time.  

    So what does that mean?

    1. QuickBooks provides the event details to the listening app.
    2. App simply takes note of the event details.
    3. App immediately returns control back to QuickBooks so that QuickBooks can continue doing what it was doing before.  
    4. App, on its own time, performs additional functions like requesting more information from QuickBooks, updating its down database, etc.

    So there you have it!  Next time someone asks you “Can poorly written add-ons to QuickBooks slow things down?” you’ll know exactly how to answer.  Or at the very least, point them to this article.


    Danny Do Couto
    Method Integration

    View Danny Do Couto's profile on LinkedIn
  • Method spotted on Facebook and LinkedIn

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have a clue what the “Internet” is, you’ve probably heard of the sites called Facebook and LinkedIn.  Both of these social networking sites have grown in popularity over the last few years.   

    Method now has a developer network group available on Facebook and LinkedIn.  This is a great way to keep in touch with other Method users/developers, ask questions, hear about events and even find local help in your area! 


    Want to learn more about Facebook or LinkedIn?  Click on the appropriate image to the left!



    To join the Method Developer Network for Facebook, click the link below:

    To join the Method Developer Network for LinkedIn, click the link below:


    Danny Do Couto
    Method Integration

    View Danny Do Couto's profile on LinkedIn
  • Who wouldn’t want “real time” syncing?

    Yes, you read the title right.  While at the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Conference I was asked not once, but on a couple of occasions, if it was possible to not have Method update QuickBooks in real time.

    Can you say baffled?  Confused  I was, especially after we worked so hard to have the integration seamless and not require any manual sync process.  My curiosity grew of course and I had to learn why a person would want to deprive themselves of such a cool feature!

    So here was a scenario I was given which helped shed some light on the situation.  For this example, I am just going to call the company ABC Company (creative isn’t it?).  Stick out tongue


    ABC Company provides tutoring services and employs college and university students on a part-time basis.  Tutors currently get their schedules emailed to them and need to fax in a detailed report of the services they provided.  The office then needs to manually enter in each service that was made and type in a description of the work that was completed. 

    After hearing about Method, the wheels of course started spinning especially when I mentioned the ability to have tutors login to Method via a Third Party Portal and create invoices themselves.  The invoice would show up directly in QuickBooks thus eliminating the manual entry.  This did raise one concern though.  What if the tutor accidentally entered in the order incorrectly?  Would it be possible to have the office manager approve and review the orders before giving the green light to send it to QuickBooks? 

    It sounds like a special situation, doesn’t it?  Well I was surprised by how many people had specific niches where this would be helpful.  For the most part, people want to update information in real time.  But for those specific situations, we needed a way to deal with this. 

    Here is how we solved it!

    New Feature: IsWaitingForSyncApproval

    Now any table or screen that has to do with QuickBooks transactions can be modified to include a new field called “IsWaitingForSyncApproval”.  With this field added, until the checkbox is cleared, the transaction will not go over to QuickBooks.

    Here are the steps you’ll want to follow:

    Step 1:

    Check to see if the field exists in the transaction table you want to use.  To do this:

    1. Click Customize > Tables/Fields.
    2. Click the Edit Fields for the transaction table.
    3. Check to see that ‘IsWaitingForSyncApproval’ is listed.

    Step 2:

    1. Click Customize > Screens.
    2. Edit the screen you would like to add this field too. 
    3. Drag the ‘IsWaitingForSyncApproval’ field onto the screen.
    4. Click Publish.

    Step 3:

    The next question of course is “How do you prevent users from clicking the checkbox?”  Here are some suggestions.

    1. Edit the checkbox for ‘IsWaitingForSyncApproval’ so that it is “checked” by default.  Also, click the “Advanced” link and make it ‘hidden’.
    2. Make another screen, using the Copy/Import Screen that would be a “manager” screen.  Here you would also have the checkbox but the person approving the entries can clear it so that it can be sent to QuickBooks.

    So there you have it!  Looking back at it, I don’t think it was so much a question of “Who wouldn’t want “real time” syncing?” as much as it was a question of “How do I control certain portions of “real time” syncing?” Geeked

    Questions, comments, feedback!  I want to hear them all.


    Danny Do Couto
    Method Integration

    View Danny Do Couto's profile on LinkedIn