We know from our own experiences, that moving from a local to a global stage is not without it’s challenges. This is why the focus of Developer Day at this year’s Xerocon Australia at the end of August is all about growing globally.
Our customer base has been growing dramatically in Australia, and it’s great to see Australian Add-on partners leveraging that growth. And given the Xero API opens up your products to Xero customers anywhere in the world, it makes sense to also go after the global market.
Small businesses in Xero markets
Selling overseas is already a trait of our most successful Australian Add-on partners: the top 5 have an average of 45% of their customers based overseas. Not just across the Tasman either – USA & UK figure strongly in these numbers.
Girl Geek Dinners was established in London in 2005. The New Zealand chapter has been running for a couple of years now, and Xero recently got involved with sponsoring a New Zealand event. The concept is an evening of three inspiring women speakers who are either a business, technical, or creative type of geek.
I first heard about the Auckland Girl Geek Dinners on twitter and was unsure if I would qualify, I’ve really only considered myself a ‘wannabe’ geek. However inclusivity is the core value of the organization – “to be geeky is to be intelligent, have a passion for a subject and to know that subject in depth”. I AM a geek! I spend my days geekily creating videos used for training and in the Xero help center.
Tuesday night was the most recent event of the Auckland chapter, held at a gorgeous intimate venue, which filled up fairly early on with interesting women – as well as a few male guests. I met geeks of all types; start-up founders, IT consultants, lawyers, designers, database specialists, some like me had been to prior events, some were new to the concept. Enthusiasm abounded.
The evening’s speakers provided a good balance of career types – Shona Grundy, founder of Trigger Happy, Courtney Johnston director of The Dowse Art Museum and Dr Michelle Dickinson Nano-technologist, all talked about their personal career journeys, challenges they faced, and their vision for women in business.
Now I’m, almost, a ‘woman of a certain age’ and over the years have worked in a broad range of industries, many male dominated. The tech industry, despite it being very nimble and new, still manages to harbor some old school biases I’d previously only seen in old-school-entrenched industries. It’s mind boggling to think in this day and age there are still some workplaces, or conferences, which aren’t inclusive nor consider the benefits to being so. This is why Girl Geek Dinners exist, a place where women can talk openly about what they do, what they’re passionate about and can share knowledge and life learnings.
Mobile is the next big wave, already rocking small businesses. And we want to go much faster. We just aren’t seeing enough mobile developers coming through so we asked ourselves: how do we help people who can code, and want to work in mobile, but can’t demonstrate experience or point to apps they’ve built?
So we’re setting up a night school in our Wellington office with the team at App School to help developers who want to transition to mobile development but don’t know how.
Nearly one in ten people in New Zealand are employed in tourism, so it is no surprise that compatible Add-ons for the industry are a hot topic.
So we are delighted to announce our latest partner in the sector, Tomahawk, who have recently completed integration of their ResBook accommodation booking software with Xero.
The ResBook application allows you to manage your reservations and rates, create invoices, market and distribute to the world’s most popular travel sites, work with agents and take payments – all seamlessly integrated with Xero.
ResBook is fantastic for those that have a single holiday home, a boutique lodge, or a motel/hotel (up to 40 rooms) – it is even suitable for property managers with up to a hundred apartments!
This integration is already paying dividends for our joint customers, such as Rock the Boat Cruises in the Bay of Islands.
“It’s easy to do and it makes your life easier! Just do it. It has been the single biggest improvement we have made to our business systems this year and we love it,” says Sarah Greener, Director, Rock The Boat Cruises.
Continue reading ›
The end of the Australian financial year is also an opportunity for a fresh start, integrating Payroll in Xero with other applications like timesheets, rostering and WHS.
We’ve been working with Add-on partners during the development of the new Xero Payroll API to make sure you’ve got some great options.
Here is a round-up of some of our partners that can already be connected with Payroll in Xero, all available from the Xero Add-on directory.
“We think the release of Xero Payroll API is a huge step forward and the new functionality will make it even easier for business owners and Xero partners to streamline accounting, payroll and HR – drastically reducing administration for business owners, their accountants or their bookkeepers,” says Richard Breden, Managing Director, enableHR.
Find out more about EnableHR.
“Through the open API, geo-locatable timesheets captured with iPhone and iPad kiosks in Deputy can be exported to Xero Payroll without the need for any further data entry. Our customers can now expect 1-click setup of employees from Xero to Deputy and 1-click export of hundreds of timesheets from Deputy to Xero. We have taken payroll processing from a four hour job on Monday to a two minute job for 100’s of Deputy customers using the Xero Payroll API!” says Ashik Ahmed, CTO, Deputy.com.
Find out more about Deputy.
Today we’re delighted to release a completely redesigned API Developer Center 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%.