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bmagistro's picture
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I have a client who is using ubercart and I decided not to use a osc or zen solution with t-hub since they want some cms stuff as well. One of the things they wanted was qb integration so I will be working on this. I have downloaded the stuff that has been posted in the main thread and will be basing my work off of that. As a note I will not be implementing and testing all features at once. It will probably just be orders and customers with inventory if possible. As I get different parts working I will be posting them here for others to use. Do NOT expect something for at least a month still so asking what the status is will not speed up development. I am hoping to have the first portion that supports customers to qb done within the first few weeks. I do not remember what version they are using but that is what I will be developing against. I also do not have plans to take data from qb to ubercart. that might be something to do with the inventory but that would not be till a much later version.

If anyone has something that is working and is willing to share that would be appreciated if not i would like to thank ryan for the samples and information to get me started in the other thread.

TR
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bmagistro wrote:It will
bmagistro wrote:

It will probably just be orders and customers with inventory if possible. As I get different parts working I will be posting them here for others to use. Do NOT expect something for at least a month still so asking what the status is will not speed up development. I am hoping to have the first portion that supports customers to qb done within the first few weeks. I do not remember what version they are using but that is what I will be developing against. I also do not have plans to take data from qb to ubercart. that might be something to do with the inventory but that would not be till a much later version.

If you had a choice, would you maintain inventory in Ubercart or QuickBooks? And would you want to export/import stock levels from one to the other? I'm interested in the way you *think* it should work, not what you actually intend to *do* Smiling

<tr>.
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Maintain Inventory in Ubercart or Quickbooks?

There are advantages either way.
In my experience, making Ubercart (or whatever e-commerce software you are using) your primary inventory system can be advantageous for your support staff. No matter how good your website, you will probably get some calls with questions from potential customers. A common question is about stock levels. Generally the person answering phone questions has a browser open to check order status, shipping addresses, correct payment info etc. . . It is nice to have accurate inventory in the same location.
The advantage to keeping inventory in your accounting software is accurate accounting information. Inventory affects asset calculations, taxes, profit, etc. . . Plus, you will probably generate purchase orders for more inventory from your accounting software. If you have a formula for stock levels, you can usually plug it into your accounting software to automatically determine how many and which items to order.
Ideally you have accurate inventory in both locations, but that is difficult. I have found it best to keep Ubercart accurate, my accounting pretty accurate, and then make monthly adjustments to update the accounting software. But that is because we get a lot of sales calls, and need very accurate inventory due the the small (usually 1-3) quantities we keep in stock.

TR
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Re: Maintain Inventory in Ubercart or Quickbooks?

One of the reasons I'm asking is that, as I rewrite the Ubercart Inventory API module, I'm thinking about how to make the code flexible enough to allow extensions that meet many needs. For instance, if Quick Books has an API available for an external application to use to get/set stock levels stored in the QB database (does it?), then the Ubercart Inventory API could easily allow you to keep all your inventory in Quick Books while at the same time present real-time inventory status to the customer (e.g., disable add-to-cart button if out of stock) and to the admin (e.g. show reports of current stock for all products).

Alternatively, the Ubercart Inventory API could provide a method to allow external programs like Quick Books to get/set stock levels stored in the UC DB. Assuming of course that QB can be set up to use an external DB for stock control (can it?).

Maybe the UC Inventory API could even allow for both ways of doing things... Hmm...

<tr>.
bmagistro's picture
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Re: Re: Maintain Inventory in Ubercart or Quickbooks?

My ideal situation is realtime updating of both systems but I don't think quickbooks supports a "push" in the same way we can with ubercart.

In implementation (if possible), I plan on having ubercart update qb at the time a purchase is made. Then having a hook in the cron job system to have it make the necessary adjustments that way. I would like the option to just keep inventory there and not have it disable the add to cart in case someone has a drop ship system setup where it doesn't matter if they have the item in stock or not. Does that last part make sense? If nothing else I will use cron to update the inventory along with some options to say only update quickbooks, ubercart or both.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

TR
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Re: Re: Re: Maintain Inventory in Ubercart or Quickbooks?

I like to think about Ubercart Inventory as the "View" and "Controller" in a "Model-View-Controller" architecture. The "Model" is the data store where stock levels are kept, along with the functions that interface to the data store. For example, the core uc_stock module could be used as a model which keeps the stock data in the Drupal DB. A new module, for example uc_quickbooks, could provide a model which keeps the data in QuickBooks and accesses it from UC using the QB SDK. UC Inventory could then use *either* model, or *both* at the same time. UC Inventory would contain admin pages and forms which let the admin check/set stock levels (this would communicate with QB to find out or change the data stored in QB), and would provide user interface components to notify the customer about available stock, notify the admin if stock falls below a threshold, and optionally prevent the customer from purchasing more than is available.

The goal is an extensible architecture where the actual stock database can be on any system, either within Drupal or on an external computer, while still allowing your Ubercart store to limit on-line purchases and giving UC admins the ability to see inventory reports.

Based on a brief look at the QB SDK documentation, QB has a web services interface, so I think this would be easy to do.

<tr>.
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New Quicbooks Ubercart module

I'm not sure the current status of the above mentioned work, but there is a new working solution with this Quickbooks API improvements patch (http://drupal.org/node/298079) and the new Ubercart Quickbooks Integration module

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Re: New Quicbooks Ubercart module

Hi, I came across this software that does integration with QuickBooks its called Courier, Ive been using it for my site and it works great. Check it out at www.deepthoughtsoftware.com

hope this helps

bmagistro's picture
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Re: Re: New Quicbooks Ubercart module

It's probably a good thing (in disguise) that i haven't had time to work on this... Thanks for the update guys. I will have to look into those.

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Re: Re: Re: New Quicbooks Ubercart module

I'm curious to hear updates on what you guys are using for your Ubercart + Quickbooks integrations. I'm planning a project which will use something like you guys have mentioned and would be interested in hearing what you guys are doing.