I’ve recently been working on maintaining an interface between two companies. As part of the maintenance involves tracking down issues to help the developer and hopefully find fixes for them. The API isn’t public and this post is about why I think that the accountancy package should at least document their API publicly.
First, a bit of history of the package’s business model. The company which own the accountancy package sells partnerships to 3rd party suppliers. These 3rd party suppliers then sell the software licences and support to end users (small and medium sized businesses).
The business I work with outsources it’s development. They outsource their development to one of these 3rd party suppliers. It makes a lot of sense for them, they get quality developers who understand their system. The developers who work on similar systems on a day to day basis.
To me, having a public API makes sense, It means we can more accurately track down issues without having to bother the developer for simple fixes (even though we still check that our change makes sense with them).
The main reason that the API is not available is because the original software developers sell access to it with their developer training. A full developer training course is simply over the top for such a requirement!