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Service disruption: Xero API (resolved)

Due to a change in SSL certificate installations, we are currently experiencing disruption to the Xero Partner API, used by most Xero Add-ons, and products such as WorkflowMax, Xero Practice Manager and Xero Workpapers.

The team is working on a resolution to this issue and we will post updates as soon as we have them.

This incident was first reported at 23:09, Feb 24th UTC.

Developers should monitor progress on our developer status page and subscribe to be notified of progress via email / SMS.

Update 12:11, Feb 25th UTC.
This incident has now been resolved. Xero support and developer relations teams are now contacting all affected partners to advise that the API is now fully functional.


Xero API Developer of the Year 2014

Each year we like to recognize a person who has contributed significantly to the Xero API developer community. The API and Developer Relations team have the privilege of connecting with an exceptionally talented group of designers, developers and company founders all over the world. Like iOS and Android developer communities, the Xero Developer community is a big part of what defines Xero as the platform for small business. They make a difference in the lives of small business owners through the creativity and care they bring to their products.

As we thought about integrations launched in 2014, the one that stood out was developed by Julian Applebaum at Squarespace. Squarespace, a leading website design/hosting company, is very similar to Xero in its design-driven approach to product development. Squarespace decided to expand their e-commerce offering and chose Xero as their integrated accounting partner.

Xero API Developer of the Year, Julian Applebaum of Squarespace, with Xero’s CTO Craig Walker

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Developer opportunities: Xero Files API

Earlier today at Xerocon London, James and Sid from the Xero Developer Relations team shared a sneak preview of our new Files API which has officially just launched.

We’re delighted to have launched another API that we know will seed more innovation in the ecosystem. But first a little recap on Files in Xero.

Files is a feature we built not to compete with industry titans such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Box, but in recognition of the fact that storing final copies of receipts, invoices and other files against your accounting documents is handy for everyone; business owners, staff, bookkeepers, accountants and Add-on partners.

Since the launch of Files, users have embraced this feature fully, with a mind-boggling amount of data already stored in Xero:

Files in Xero
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Xero Touch in one touch

The mobile team here at Xero is very pleased to announce that we have just released Touch ID for iOS! Thereby putting your business at your literal fingertips. This has been quite a long time in the making, with Layton having first knocked together a prototype at WWDC back in July. That caused quite a bit of excitement internally:

Layton announces Touch ID for Xero Touch on Yammer

It took a while for the APIs to settle down and to figure out how we were actually going to make it work with our existing security. Layton’s prototype required his hard-coded password, so… not a scalable solution. We’ve come up with something pretty good, though, which as it turned out was pretty straightforward to implement.

When you choose to use Touch ID, the app generates a 32-character alphanumeric ‘secret’ and stores it in your phone’s secure keychain. This secret is automatically set up as your new Xero PIN. When you authenticate with your fingerprint, the PIN is retrieved and submitted to Xero just as if you’d typed it in. TouchID is therefore much more secure than using a 4-digit numeric PIN, as well as being much faster to access and of course impossible to forget. Just make sure you always put your fingers somewhere safe.

This caps off the latest round of improvements to the iOS version of Xero Touch. The (observant) early adopters among you may have noticed that the last release tidied up the screen layouts for the iPhone 6 and 6+. We also moved to compiling against the iOS8 SDK. It’s great that our customers move as fast as we do – 60% of you are already on iOS 8, after less than two months! A staggering 40% are already on iOS 8.1, and that was released less than two weeks ago. We’re committed to staying up to date with the latest and greatest in the mobile world and it’s great to know that you are too.

No problem, Caleb – hope you enjoy it!


The price of an app

I’ve recently been checking out some local startups as I visited my home town of Dublin. A startup event I attended yesterday, Dublin Beta, reminded me of a topic we discussed at length at our most recent Xero Developer Day – the sensitive topic of app pricing.

Many of the startups I speak to, seem to feel pressured to price cheaply, poisoned by the idea of ‘free’ services we see in the consumer space and the $1–2 dollar apps that we see in Apple and Google app marketplaces. People are beginning to catch onto the fact that this is just not a sustainable business model.

Xerocon Add-on exhibitors undoubtedly have a lot to consider with app pricing

Our CEO Rod was very clear at Xerocon that we want to see developers building sustainable businesses. For many, unless they are a mass market, horizontal application like Xero, that means turning a profit out of a thousand or so customers – not easy if you charge $30–40 a month (all references are to US dollars for clarity).
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Getting paid via internet banking is easy with POLi Payments

POLi Payments Xero Add-on

POLi is an online payment option which facilitates a Pay Anyone payment from a customer’s bank account to a merchant. It is a great way for businesses using Xero to offer their customers an alternative to credit card payments by allowing them to pay with their internet banking. POLi populates the payment details and informs the merchant as soon as the payment is complete. With the POLi Payments now integrated to Xero, it’s never been easier to setup and use.

Who is it for?

POLi is perfect for those who don’t have a credit card or those who prefer not to use it online. There’s no registration required and customers can use it for free.

How POLi Payments work with Xero

POLi enables your customers to pay with their internet banking. It populates the payment details and updates Xero as soon as the payment is complete through an easy 4 step process:

POLi Payments Xero integration

Where can you use it?

POLi works for customers with Australian or New Zealand bank accounts. POLi can be used to make payments from anywhere in the world. POLi is available as a payment method with hundreds of merchants worldwide including Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas Cash, OzForex, Cars Guide and many more.

It’s free to set up your POLi account

Looking to start using POLi? Check out the Australian or New Zealand website for more details.


The Xero Add-on Marketplace

This morning the Xero team released our new Add-on Marketplace.

It has been clear that we needed to solve some new problems as a result of the size of our add-on ecosystem: with over 350 integrated applications, it was difficult for customers and partners to find the specific add-on application they or their client needed.

The new marketplace allows users to search by keyword, category or for industry specific solutions, helping everyone find the right tools for the job. Whether you need a niche application for wineries or you are after a general small business CRM, the new add-on marketplace helps you find what you need.

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Xero Developer Day 2014

This year’s Australian Xerocon conference in Sydney was also the venue for the global Xero developer conference, breaking another record for attendance with over 300 in the room. Add-on partners and developers from around the world are in town, many of them exhibiting at Xerocon on Thursday and Friday.

The crowd lines up for Developer Day

It is really humbling to see the amazing following the Xero ecosystem has – we announced over 18,000 developer registrations at the conference, but nothing brings home the vibrancy of the ecosystem more than meeting developers in person who have come from far and wide for developer day and Xerocon. We have attendees from various parts of the US & UK here in Sydney, but the prize for furthest traveller goes to Dublin based Transfermate, a distance of 17,203km!

Check out the video highlights from Xero Developer Day 2014 below:
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US Payroll API live with first integration

We’re pleased to announce the general availability of the API for US payroll. This extends the reach of the payroll API to Australia and seven states in the US that covers approximately 40% of the US population.

US Payroll API

The US Payroll API covers the main use cases including employee information, creating and updating timesheets, and processing pay runs. This is the first release of the US Payroll API and there are extra end points that we’ll address in future releases including time off and holidays. Developers will be familiar with the same pattern being used as the other Xero and payroll API endpoints. The same OAuth process is utilised, but with the addition of granular permissions.

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Receipt Bank and Xero: Three years on

Receipt Bank and Xero

When I started at Xero just over three years ago, one of the first Xero Add-ons I assisted with certifying was from a small little UK startup app called Receipt Bank. Well, three years on and Receipt Bank are now the most popular add-on for Xero, and recipients of a number of Xero awards.

As much as I love the original blog post (the cheesy background music on the video!), I thought it might be time to do a quick refresher, and cover some of the less obvious, and new features that Receipt Bank provides:

  • More than just receipts. In the UK the term ‘receipts’ covers everything – expense receipts, accounts payable invoices etc, but in other parts of the world, it might not be quite as obvious that Receipt Bank supports receipts on expense claims but also accounts payable invoices and spend money transactions.
  • Line item extraction. It was a huge leap forward when Receipt Bank recently announced they can now populate Xero with invoice line item details. Receipt Bank automatically splits line item details for original .pdf files – perfect for purchase invoices that need to be split across different accounts.
  • Attachments. Receipt Bank creates attachments on all the documents it can in Xero – receipts, bills (accounts payable invoices) and spend money transactions (bank transactions), so you have a complete audit trail.
  • Reimbursable and re-billing expenses. Receipt Bank’s integration with Xero enables you to create both an expense report for staff reimbursements and also a draft sales invoice for oncharged costs.

The most impressive development at Receipt Bank over the past three years however, is the unique way they have worked with Xero accounting and bookkeeping partners. Check out just one story here:

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