Crystal Reports and QuickBooks

Just finished creating what I consider a simple report for a customer who uses QuickBooks. He was spending at least 5 hours a month manually generating commission reports for each member of the small group of sales reps in the company. It was extremely onerous. With a quick bit of research, I designed a report that he can run that does all the calculations, creates one page per rep, and then automatically emails the report to each rep – with a total of 3 clicks.

QuickBooks is not a relational database. In fact, it’s impossible to directly connect to the QuickBooks data from outside of QuickBooks. Connecting requires an inexpensive ODBC driver called QODBC, developed by an outfit in Australia. From there I can access anything in QuickBooks, and even write SQL to extract the data. It’s slow to extract, but it’s better than nothing!

The best part is my customer’s delight. As simple as this may seem, designing something that saves someone’s brain for more productive work is very satisfying! And as a recipient of this particular commission report, I knew what I would want to see on the report – and added it.

That’s all – a basic post about a basic topic about technology that has been around for quite a while. Which goes to show you – Big Data may be all the rage, but good reports on existing data are the bread and butter of any meaningful operation.

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