I’m currently developping an application, to allow for fast import of data, which is going to stem from a larger project to allow for better online service delivery.
The accounting application used is one of the known brands of accounting applications – there’s only two in Aus, and it’s not MYOB.
The company who develops or on-sells this international application to Australian users has it’s international version SDKs – pretty much a requirement for developping targetted applications to interoperate with their software – the SDK for US, UK, CA, and Online are available freely, online. Register, download a file, install it, SDK access in your browser in just moments.
The Australian version however, doesn’t differ significantly from the US and UK versions, with one exception. Tax. There is a feature built into the application to allow for a transaction to be entered as amounts ‘include’ tax, or, if not ticked / or in SDK terms ‘specified’ – then it assumes it isn’t tax inclusive and adds tax.
So, I dug through the SDK, found a “IsTaxIncluded” option related to non US versions – sweet, plug that option in, run an import and we should have tax inclusive accounting – it’d make it presented better when they are ‘printed’.
That didn’t work, the result from my XML request was a rather standard reply, showing it successfully took my request, processed it, and in my request, I specified “IsTaxIncluded” with a true parameter.
In the result, I read through, saw that it had added tax, and it simply ignored my “IsTaxIncluded” parameter. I’ve looked at the SDK information for what I am importing, and if I was running the UK version or the CA version, this would probably work without question, tax included.
The problem with the Australian version is the company that distributes in Australia charges $1999 to register as a developer, and the API is available, for a fee of $199, or the SDK for $499.
Interesting, I want to develop a rather small application that will simply interoperate with this companies bulk, slow processing peice of junk – and they want to rip my wallet out for $500 to provide only SDK access so I can see if there is a feature that can do it. Of course, I’m not going to pay that to see if such a TaxIncluded feature is on offer in their new SDK. Get stuffed. Why would I pay for information that the parent or development company provides freely for all other international versions, and the Australian company are simply stifling the development options?
I understand businesses are in business to make money, but fair dinkum, this company really don’t want to encourage users to take up their offering, there are alternatives which simply don’t require outlays of funds to do such a simple task.
It’d be OK to charge for SDK if they exposed the object via a query for a specific item- so let’s say I pushed through a query with a “Describe” option, it would give me back XML with all possible properties that can be set for that specific transaction – but nope – empty.
Even more so, this same company offers an Idiot Interchange File format (IIF). The file format has to be one of the worst. It’d have been easier to offer XML as an IMPORT method rather than work on a file format which has many, many flaws and restrictions.