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Subject: [ubl-comment] Your battle not mine

I said, Intuit's interfaces are proprietary and that's bad.
Mike is hardly the only one who thinks otherwise, that
integration will be established by the dominant vendor,
and perhaps believes that is the only possible way.  Which
is it, folks?  Intuit of course remains silent.

On Sat, 14 Dec 2002, in alt.accounting Mike Block 
CPA  <mblock@blocktax.com> wrote:
On Mon, 09 Dec 2002, tboyle@NoSMAProsehill.net (Todd Boyle) wrote:

 >Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 10:36:57 -0800
 >Subject: [ubl-comment] Re: [oagis-users] Big News from OAGI
 >To: oagis-users@yahoogroups.com
 >Cc: ubl-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
 >At 04:40 AM 12/9/2002, David Connelly (OAGI) wrote:
 >MEMBERSHIP:  We celebrate the following new members in the
 >Open Applications Group:
 >[.......]- Intuit (<http://www.intuit.com/)>
 >Does this imply that Intuit will in future, provide any standards-based
 >interfaces?  That would be an excellent development.  I would regard
 >that as an earthquake, and should set off a stampede by users as well as
 >the IT and financial services industries, into the OAG.

I appreciate Todd's continued strong advocacy of accounting
program connectivity, but he now seems way off base. The
user stampede has already begun. Intuit already has:
     88.2% of its small business accounting program market.
     11,000+ DEVELOPER COMPANIES working with it.
     160 to 1,000 connected products

The stampede started in 2001 as Intuit made developers
its #1 priority and offered its Software Developer Kit for
NOTHING. The first partly open QuickBooks arrived last
December and a year later we have a much better SDK
that adds QB Canada, Enterprise, Construction and Non

There also is a SDK for the high end Intuit Master Builder
construction program. Intuit used its own SDK to expand
QB2003, so making it better, expanding it to their very fast
growing product line and satisfying 11,000+ developers
is very important . The lead SDK manager goes around
asking people what QB data we want exposed next and
often hears that we want it all. Intuit is actually well on its
way to limitless links to business management products
for companies with up to 500 employees, employing 51%
of private sector employees. To the contrary, Todd only
envisioned accounting program/data links.That is why
his $145 billion annual saving for U.S. business may be
very low.

You can download Intuit's free SDK and link support at
http://developer.intuit.com/downloads/includes. It says
"Upgrade for FREE  - For the price of a FREE download,
why not get FREE technical manuals, documentation
downloads and more?

Plus free access to the QuickBooks Foundation Classes
Library? Plus our Developer Network Newsletter, our
Developer Forum, and unlimited access to the QuickBooks
Technical Knowledge Base ­ all FREE. You’ll also receive
access to QuickBase forums, technical documentation and
sample code to aid in your QuickBase development."

There is are $1,195 and $295 paid memberships at
http://developer.intuit.com/Membership/. As with QB,
they lead to as Compare link at
The $1,195 membership includes about that much in
QB products and personal tech support, plus being
eligible to list your application at the very popular
http://marketplace.intuit.com/. It links to many Intuit
websites and all recent copies of QB.

Yes, Intuit is not active in open interface standards.
However, their users and users of their developers
far outnumber corresponding accounting users of
the open committees. No standards committee I
know votes based on relative user/developer
numbers, but even that would probably slow down
the integration and links we all want. More important,
they really have the only committee that really matters.
Todd and I know that Oracle / NetLedger long ago
patterned their XML links after the Intuit one. While
NL still has only 7,000 or so customers, this means
their small company links also must link to very big
business Oracle customers.

Other members of the informal Intuit committee
include Sage, (owner of Peachtree, which links
Timeslips and the ACT contact manager), ADP, the
U.S. Post Office, etc. Net Ledger's CEO long ago
said that their different XML dialects could be
easily resolved on the fly with remote Microsoft
Biztalk servers.

The question now is do we wait on the standards
committees that Todd favors or do we immediately
begin using the very profitable integrating linked
products as fast as we can. I want to help clients
save time, reduce errors & better run businesses
now, with inexpensive QB integrated products.
When and if a standards committee helps bring
me still more products I doubt it will be noticed

Todd has long wanted web applications for this.
However, Intuit knows that small businesses do
not trust their data to be only on the web. That is
why Intuit already lets QB online users backup
in regular QB desktop format. They are not far
away from full openness, but why would we

More important to me, what can and should
Intuit do to make accountants try hard to match
the many add-ons to their clients?

 >Excuse me however, if I am a bit skeptical. The small business community
 >has for *many* years, needed open APIs or at least, document
 >import/export from Intuit Quickbooks and Quicken, and has only recently
 >begun to see a very expensive "developer network" empowering VARs, ISVs,
 >etc. to make a living from their APIs.
 >Market dynamics did not allow shrinkwrap vendors to publish efficient
 >import/export for interoperability (general ledger) because that allowed
 >users to migrate to other packages.  That translates into higher prices
 >for users. To this very day it remains impossible or uneconomically
 >expensive, to migrate a Quickbooks company to any other software.
 >Everybody knows, you just start over with Peachtree or whatever, on
 >January 1 with an empty installation.
 >Does the adoption of global standard like OAGIS overcome this well-
 >known, long-established economic problem (that shrinkwrap cannot allow
 >customers to export)?
 >Does the "network effect" from participating in electronic markets,
 >access to greater revenue, lower sales, etc overcome the loss of
 >stickiness for the software vendor?  Do these things compel a higher
 >price from consumers?  Does the improvement in integration?
 >Until knowing the intention of Intuit I will remain quite puzzled by
 >this Intuit membership.  I must assume, they are studying standards-
 >based interfaces for their midrange version, whereas, it is most needed
 >by Individuals and SMEs in Quickbooks Basic, and in Quicken. Since they
 >are a newcomer to the Midrange market they're singing a different tune.
 >Newcomers always espouse open interfaces :-)
 >An Intuit employee was announced as reaching voting membership in the
 >OASIS UBL group March 26 by Jon Bosak but Intuit is no longer show in
 >the membership and Intuit's participation or adoption of UBL is not
 >evident anywhere I can see, http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/ubl/#members
 >Intuit should port their software to BSD (which is, MAC OS/X).  Intuit
 >should implement an integrated RADIUS server, ebXML MS, or other
 >standards-based transport, to provide a monolithic end-to-end alignment
 >of ARs and APs between Quickbooks users.   These measures would enable
 >individuals and SMEs an independent capability to conduct business
 >without portals.  OAGIS semantics will be a good step, but don't really
 >get us all the way home.   That's like unlocking the prisoners from
 >their cells while, the main gate is still locked.
 >Todd Boyle CPA  9745-128th Ave NE  Kirkland WA
 >International Accounting Services, LLC  www.gldialtone.com
 >425-827-3107  editor, AR/AP everywhere  www.arapxml.net

    Mike Block, QuickBooks Tax Cut CPA, 954-566-7540
      Charter Member:  QuickBooks Advisory Council
Lowest QB Prices   http://blocktax.com/lowest_QuickBooks_prices.htm
Free 462p QB Book  http://blocktax.com/free-quickbooks-book.htm
Error Codes/Fixes  http://blocktax.com/quickbooks-errors.htm
Shortcuts Download http://blocktax.com/quickbooks_shortcuts.htm
200 QB Add-ons

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