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    Interchange QuickBooks -- QuickBooks support for transactions and items

    This document describes software based on Interchange 4.5 and later.

    Interchange is a business-to-business and business-to-consumer internet
    ordering and cataloguing product. It has the ability to take orders via
    the World Wide Web, and store transaction data.

    This document describes how to interface Interchange with QuickBooks,
    the popular small-business accounting program from Intuit.

    QuickBooks has an import/export format called IIF, a mnemonic for Intuit
    Interchange Format. Fitting, eh?

    The standard capabilities of Interchange allow production of IIF files
    for transaction passing. With some support from Interchange UserTags,
    can even import and export item listings.

    The following files are used with this extension:

      ic_qb.pod                     The source for this document
      usertag/import_quicken_items  UserTag for importing items
      usertag/export_quicken_items  UserTag for exporting items
      pages/admin/quickbooks/*      Menu support for Interchange UI
      etc/trans_quickbooks          Report file used with quickbooks route
      qb.catalog.cfg                Route for quickbooks transaction logging

    To set up this extension, the basic steps are:

        * Create and copy directories and files.
        * Add additional database fields.
        * Modify catalog.cfg with additions.
        * Add "quickbooks" order route to checkout pages.
        * Restart Interchange.
        * Export your items from Interchange catalog (or import your
          existing QuickBooks items to Interchange).
        * Test.

  Terms and locations

    Several terms are used in the examples.

    Catalog Directory
        This is the main directory for the catalog, where catalog.cfg
        resides. It will have a NAME, the name for the catalog. (Some common
        Interchange demo names are "foundation", "construct", "barry", and

        Common locations:


        We will use the path "/var/lib/interchange/foundation" in these

    Interchange software directory
        This is the main directory for your Interchange server, where the
        file "interchange.cfg" resides. Common locations:


        We will use the path "/usr/lib/interchange" in these examples.

    Interchange User
        The Interchange daemon runs as a user ID that cannot be root. It
        will require write permission on directories it must modify to do
        its work.

        We will use the user ID "interch" in these examples.

  Create and copy directories and files

    This extension requires you to add some files to your catalog.

    It is assumed you have tools and knowledge to create directories with
    the proper permissions. Any directories that will contain varying files
    like order transaction logs will require write permission for the
    Interchange daemon user; pages and configuration only need have read

    Make orders directory
        Create the directory "orders" in your Catalog Directory if it
        doesn't already exist. (It may be a symbolic link to another
        location.) It must have write permission on it.

            cd /var/lib/interchange/foundation
            mkdir orders

        If you are doing this as root, also do:

            chown interch orders

        This directory is used to store the QuickBooks IIF files produced
        for orders. The files are created with the form:


        Each day will have a file, and when a day is complete you should
        download the orders. (There are other schemes possible.)

    Copy pages
        You will want the Interchange UI support if you are using the UI. It
        provides links for importing/exporting items, downloading and
        viewing IIF files, and possibly other functions over time. At the
        UNIX command line:

            cp -r /usr/lib/interchange/extensions/quickbooks/pages/admin/quickbooks \

    Copy report generation file etc/trans_quickbooks
        This file is used to generate the IIF file(s) for transaction
        oimport into QuickBooks.

            cp /usr/lib/interchange/extensions/quickbooks/etc/trans_quickbooks \

    Copy usertags
        If you want to use the UI item import/export, two usertags are
        required. The easiest thing is just to copy them to the Interchange
        software directory subdirectory "lib/UI/usertag", which is #included
        as a part of the UI configuration file.

            cd /usr/lib/interchange
            cp -i extensions/quickbooks/usertag/* lib/UI/usertag

  Additional database fields -- userdb

    Quickbooks requires a couple more fields than Interchange has. If you
    want the user to retain their customer number, add the following field
    to the "userdb" table:


    It can be an integer number field if your database needs that
    information. To add the field in MySQL, you can issue the following
    queries at the mysql prompt:

        alter table userdb add column customer_number int;

    If you don't add it, it just means that a new customer number will be
    assigned every time.

    WARNING: If you are using Interchange DBM files and have live data it is
    not recommended you add this field unless you are positive you will not
    overwrite your data. If you are not a developer, get one to help you. In
    any case, back up your userdb.gdbm or userdb.db file first.

  Additional database fields -- inventory

    Quicken also needs an account to debit for the split transactions it
    uses to track item sales. If you don't create these fields to relate to
    each SKU, the account "Other Income" will be used in the exports.

    Add the following fields to the "inventory" table:


    To add the fields in MySQL, you can issue the following queries at the
    mysql prompt:

        alter table inventory add column account char(20);
        alter table inventory add column cogs_account char(20);

    Other SQL databases will have similar facilities.

    If you are using Interchange DBM files, just export the inventory
    database, stop the Interchange server (to prevent corruption), add the
    fields on the first line by editing the "inventory.txt" file, then
    restart Interchange.

  Modify catalog.cfg with additions:

    Add the entries in qb.catalog.cfg to catalog.cfg (you can use a #include
    statement if you wish).

    There are some Require directives to ensure that the needed UserTag
    definitions are included in the catalog, as well as the Route which is

  Add quickbooks order route

    In the Interchange UI, there is a Preferences area "ORDER_ROUTES". You
    should add the "quickbooks" route. Place it after the transaction
    logging step, i.e.

        code     ORDER_ROUTES
            Variable log quickbooks main copy_user

    ADVANCED: If you know Interchange Variable settings, you can add it

        Variable ORDER_ROUTES  log quickbooks main copy_user

    Also, you can use other methods to set order routes. See the Interchange
    reference documentation.

  Restart the catalog

    This can be done by restarting the Interchange server or by clicking
    "Apply Changes" in the UI.

  Export the items

    You can access the Quickbooks UI index by making your URL:


    It will provide options for importing and exporting items. This is
    necessary so QuickBooks will be able to take orders for your items.

    QuickBooks uses the product "name" as an SKU, along with an integer
    reference number. Either you need to make your SKUs match the integer
    reference number, or you must ensure your product title is unique.


    Place a test order on your Interchange catalog once you have finished
    installing. You should find a file in the "orders" directory with the
    name "qbYYYYMMDD.iif". (YYYY=year, MM=month, DD=day.) Transfer this file
    to your QuickBooks machine and run File/Import and select that file as
    the source. This should import the customer and order into the system.
    If it doesn't work, it may be due to lack of sales tax or shipping
    definitions, discussed below.

    The interface provided works for the sample company data distributed
    with QuickBooks. There are certain requirements to make sure it works in
    your environment.

    Also, you can change the configuration by editing the file
    etc/trans_quickbooks to suit your IIF file needs.

  Sales Tax

    QuickBooks has a taxing system whereby tax rates are defined by customer
    location. There is usually also a generic "Sales Tax Item", such as
    contained in the sample company data. This allows Interchange to
    calculate the sales tax. If that item is not present then you will need
    to create it.


    Interchange will add a generic item "Shipping" to each order that has a
    shipping cost. Its MEMO field will contain the text description of the
    mode. If that item is not in your QuickBooks item definitions, then you
    must create it.

  Customer Imports

    To generate a QuickBooks transtype of INVOICE, a CUSTOMER is required.
    Interchange outputs a CUST IIF record for each sale with the customer
    information. Since QuickBooks uses the customer name or company to
    generate the unique listing, we place the Interchange username in
    parentheses after the company or name.

    Mike Heins, Red Hat, Inc. <>.

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