Lesson 1: High Level Overview Of The QuickBooks Web Connector (QBWC)
What is the QuickBooks Web Connector?
Let's talk at a high level about what the QuickBooks Web Connector (or QBWC) is and how it provides integration to QuickBooks Desktop (QBD). Take a look at Figure 1 as well. First, know that QuickBooks Desktop only runs on Windows and it is sort of like a program in and of itself. It acts like a middleware agent that will talk to your web app server, which you must configure as a SOAP server. You can create an integration between your app and QB Desktop using COM objects as well but that is beyond the scope of these lessons.
QBWC is a SOAP Client
On your end you have to create a SOAP sever because the QBWC is SOAP client. SOAP is an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol, which is a protocol that sends text back and forth so you can integrate two systems no matter the operating systems. In the case of QBWC it is just XML going back a forth.
How is the QBWC Setup?
So how do you get your SOAP server to talk to the QBWC? Through a "application file" (.qwc file) that you would have to set up. That will be another another lesson, but in short you provide a URL for connecting to your SOAP server (I'll be helping you create this SOAP server in other lessons) and some other parameters. Every two minutes (this is the default but this duration can be adjusted higher), the QBWC kicks up and goes out to ask the SOAP server if it has anything for it to do.
You would make a queue on your SOAP server with different things for the QBWC to do. Let's say you wanted to know if certain payments in QuickBooks Desktop have now been put in the Deposited Funds chart of account. Your app puts something on the queue asking to query QB Desktop (via the QBWC) for recent payments and what chart of accounts they are in. Or if you wanted to make a customer on your app and then make it on QBD also you would put that request on the queue and on the next two minute run you'll have a customer in QBD. Simple, right? Maybe to explain but not in practice but remember, I'm here to help but again that'll be in another lesson.
That's the QBWC in about 3 minutes and instead of being a high-level overview it probably feels more like a 10,000 foot view. Don't worry, there are over 30 lessons in the master class series and every aspect of doing a proper integration will be gone over in detail.