These product surprises may also include compatibility with your computer’s operating system or network settings. These logos also do not mean that the review process is as comprehensive as you would like. The details of the technical review can be found at www.qpqa.com/Intuit/docs/IntertekQuickBooks%20Technical%20Review%20Guide%20_A-02_.pdf.
In addition to features of the add-on, it is critical to assess the ease-of-use of the product. Make sure you spend some time evaluating everything from basic screen designs, to product stability and the user documentation. Even the most powerful add-on will most likely fail with your clients if it’s hard to use or lacks quality online Help or user documentation. Also, make sure your clients understand the type, amount and cost of technical support.
SDK design limitations also exist. For example, a computer with more than one country’s version of QuickBooks installed on it may cause a third-party add-on to not work. This is because the SDK used by the add-on is “confused” as to which version of the SDK it should communicate with. In this situation, it is best to keep each country’s version of QuickBooks on a separate machine.
Another constraint of the SDK is that it does not support all QuickBooks fields and transactions. For example, add-on applications cannot access the details of payroll transactions, and cannot create paycheck transactions. Every new version of the SDK is aimed at improving functionality and reducing its limitations, so “stay tuned” for improvements in future versions as they become available. The following limitations are among those that currently exist in the SDK:
- Customers’ multiple Ship To addresses cannot be accessed.
- Online banking is not available (by design due to the sensitive nature of the information).
- Accessing payroll transactions is not available.
- Units of measure are not available.
Custom Developers can be found on the Marketplace by selecting the Find Custom Developers link. As with any developer or third-party listing, this is only an introduction to the software company. It is not a guarantee of future success.
ADD-ONS BEST PRACTICES
There are several “best practices” that should be used anytime you are testing, installing or using a third-party add-on.
TESTING BEST PRACTICES
Any add-on, no matter how reputable, must be tested out to assess its applicability and compatibility with a particular situation. Be sure to back up the QuickBooks data file on external media prior to initiating the installation and integration of the add-on. Be aware that in addition to the QuickBooks data file and any related QuickBooks files (such as the *.tlg and *.nd files and the Images directory), there will most likely be a separate database for the add-on program. It is important to know the precise name and location of this database file.
Furthermore, ensure that any third-party database file is adequately and regularly (i.e. daily) backed up and that anyone accessing this database file has sufficient network security privileges to do so. The database for the third-party add-on can be just as valuable to the end user as the QuickBooks data file, so treat both with respect and care.
USER NAMES & PERMISSIONS BEST PRACTICES
Most add-on products will have their own sets of user names and associated permissions, so you should not assume that a QuickBooks user’s name and permission level will automatically carry over to the third-party add-on. These user names and permission levels must be independently created in the new software.
One useful practice is to create a user in QuickBooks named after the third-party add-on (e.g. “Fishbowl” in the case of Fishbowl Inventory). This user name should have permission to access all areas of QuickBooks, and when the add-on connects to QuickBooks it should “log in” to QuickBooks under this user name. With this practice, the audit trail in QuickBooks will identify all transactions that have been entered and/or modified by the add-on application.