Today we’re delighted to release a completely redesigned Developer Center for our API users at developer.xero.com.
With the growth in the API, and the inclusion of the additional Payroll API, it was time to build a new home. We’ve taken all the good aspects of the previous site, restructured our home page, documentation and getting started guide, and implemented a new main navigation menu that gets you to the important stuff right away.
We also have a new home for our developer partner program. Here you will find not just information on our various developer partner programs such as Add-on and Xero Developer, but also some fantastic testimonials from some of our partners on the ecosystem we have built together:
This week I’m at Apple’s big event of the year – the World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco. Yesterday’s keynote introduced the next major release of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7.
Following the unexpectedly rapid departure of Scott Forstall as the Senior Vice President of iOS Software at Apple last October, speculation had been mounting that significant changes were in the air for iOS 7, which is exactly what we got.
Most obviously, iOS 7 takes a radically different visual design approach from the previous iterations of the operating system, which until now could be considered on the more skeuomorphic end of the spectrum. That is, the visual design reflected highly detailed graphics simulating real world objects, to give users hints and clues as to how a particular app was to be used. For example buttons had outlines, gradients, and shadows, just like real world mechanical buttons, providing a familiar cue to users that it was a button, which could therefore be tapped, and would perform a given action.
QuoteRoller is a Xero Add-on that helps small businesses create polished, professional proposals quickly and easily. Creating, sending and tracking sales quotes and proposals is all done online through the QuoteRoller application.
Once sent to your client, they can review, sign and accept proposals right away.
Who is it for?
Whether it’s the time saving features of quickly generating professional proposals, or the advanced features such as in-proposal analytics, QuoteRoller will have advantages for businesses that rely on proposals to generate sales.
Today we’re excited to release the first integrated version of the Xero Payroll API, which offers developers many new features and end users an easier experience to get up and running with payroll add-ons. The payroll API follows our open API and self service approach allowing individual customers to use the API too.
The Payroll API covers the main use cases including employee information, applying for leave, updating timesheets, and processing payruns. Developers will be familiar with the same pattern being used as the core Xero API endpoints (with some enhancements like support for paginating results). The same OAuth process is utilised, but with the addition of granular permissions.
The Xero Developer Centre is the best place to learn more about all the new endpoints and the finer points of the Payroll API. To give developers a head start, we’ve updated the Xero API .NET wrapper and PHP code samples to show how to utilise the permissions model and new endpoints. We hope the community will pitch in and help add support for the other popular wrapper libraries too.
We have talked previously about the operating systems that Xero users are running, and what we are seeing in the mobile space, so I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what sort of languages developers are using to communicate with the Xero API.
We now have over 1,600 active applications communicating with Xero from our Add-on partners right through to custom integrations built by amateur coders. The downside of a self service, open API, is that we do not often get to see what developers have built, unless they wish to become an official Xero Add-on or Developer partner.
What to chart?
Getting insights into the languages developers are using is actually quite tricky. We don’t ask developers this question when they setup their API app as it is not relevant to us – you can connect pretty much anything to the Xero API.
In the web world, one might be able to derive something useful from the user agent string in our server logs, but many wrapper libraries allow developers to set a custom user agent string (we encourage this, as it allows us to identify API apps when we need to help diagnose issues).
We don’t have access to the source code like GitHub or tag forum questions like StackOverflow, so we can’t come up with some as cool as the Programming Language Popularity Chart, but we do have a list of code samples & libraries in the Xero Developer Centre, so I took a look what people are accessing there.
This time last year
Looking at what sample code pages developers were accessing in early 2012, it is neck on neck with the usual suspects of C# and PHP, each with 35% of the page views.
What developers are using today
Looking at data for 2013, we are seeing a little bit of change.
PHP is now the dominant choice with 36.5% of code sample views, followed by C# on 31.6%, which might be losing a little ground to Java and Python (13.7% & 8.6% respectively). I am a little surprised that Ruby has remained static on 8.5%.
SurePayroll is a lot like Xero – they want to help US small businesses better focus on the important things by turning the time-consuming task of payroll into something that’s as easy as 1-2-3.
The SurePayroll product has everything you need to manage your small business payroll: in addition to a fully featured payroll application that can be accessed from any computer (and mobile apps too), SurePayroll also handles tax filing and payment, paycheck payment via direct deposit or paper checks, and an online portal for both employers and employees.
Who is it for?
SurePayroll is all about small business from entrepreneurs starting out with no employees right through to franchises. SurePayroll is also great for accountants managing small business payroll with an accountant dashboard and partner programs available.
Read more about Accountants
ZenPayroll is a new addition to the US payroll space, enabling businesses to get setup and run payroll in minutes from any web-enabled device. As a full-service payroll provider, all government payroll taxes, reporting, and compliance are taken care of automatically and paper free.
The ZenPayroll team have focused on making the application easy to use, so you don’t need to be an expert to get up and running. Employees can also access their information and ZenPayroll uses bank grade security to keep your data safe.
Who is it for?
ZenPayroll is available for a wide variety of businesses, from flower shops to technology start-ups. With ZenPayroll for Accountants, Xero partners such as CPAs & bookkeepers can manage multiple clients from a centralized dashboard.
Read more about Accountants
TradeGecko is a web based inventory management application designed for businesses looking to work smarter. It combines three key features:
- Inventory management provides a clear picture and easy way to control your stock.
- Sales management brings together multiple sales channels such as e-commerce, wholesale & distributor orders into one place.
- Customer management keeps customer (and supplier) details and communications all in one place.
Who is it for?
TradeGecko is used across many industries – if you need to track stock, manage customers and orders or sell through multiple channels, it is worth checking out. TradeGecko already has customers in industries as varied as gas and oil to jewelry and apparel.
Read more about Business
We’re thrilled to support the third WDCNZ conference, which is to be held on 25th July.
We love supporting such a great conference, and it gives us the opportunity to send the whole of our New Zealand development team to learn from the best in the business.
For those who don’t know: WDCNZ – “Tech talks for web devs” – is a full day conference with multiple streams covering the bleeding edge of web development. This year’s line-up of speakers looks stellar.
The confirmed speaker line-up includes luminaries of the web developer community such as Julia Grace, Garann Means, Rob Conery and Zach Holman. You can head over to wdcnz.com to see the whole programme as of today. As well as Xero, sponsors include Heyday, GitHub, Campaign Monitor and Lil Regie.
Read more about Company News
2013 is now well underway and we’ve been busy on lots of fronts. This API 2.23 release gives you some improvements to existing endpoints that we hope will make life easier for developers and end users.
Apply credit notes as payment
You can now allocate part or full amounts of credit notes to outstanding invoices via the Xero API. We have full details in our 2.23 release notes.
Hanging out for the ability to create credit note refunds? This is next on our list.
Showing credit note allocations
In order to support credit note payments and future improvements to that endpoint, you can now see details of all allocations to invoices when retrieving credit notes. As usual, there’s more info in the release notes.
A shortcode for identifying an organisation is now shown along with its address details. Full details on this in our 2.22 release notes and a little bit extra in our community forum on possible shortcode uses.