Data everywhere! Integrating SharePoint & ClearBooks (Part 1)

18 August, 2014 · 1 minute to read · written by Rob Gregory

Clearbooks SharePoint App

A bit of background

As you'd expect from a Software Company like Magnifica the systems we use to run our own business are without exception hosted solutions.

Our talented team of engineers can build pretty much anything however we're not in the business of re-inventing wheels i.e. if there is a system or product that does a job well then we just get on and use it, no questions.

We use tools like SharePoint and ClearBooks to run our business. Adopting these great productivity tools gives us more time to focus on creating solutions for our customers. Of course being a software company means we are always looking at new ways to innovate. That's why we decided to build a SharePoint app that consumes data from ClearBooks via its SOAP API.

Why SharePoint….Office365 of course

SharePoint is a great platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing and document management. In fact, although it has been around for over 10 years Microsoft have recently adopted SharePoint as the delivery platform for their Office 365 offering.

All of our business documentation including Client and Project files is stored and managed within Office 365. It's an awesome business platform.

Why ClearBooks

When it comes to creating Quotes and Invoices and looking after day-to-day Bookkeeping including VAT returns etc we need our processes to be as streamlined and professional as possible. With ClearBooks we get everything we need in one easy to use, hosted SaaS product.

ClearBooks has great Reporting capabilities, manages automated Invoicing and also includes a Customer portal where our Clients get a live overview of their account anytime, anywhere and from any device..

We need an App for that

Everyone at Magnifica has access to Client information stored in Office365 (SharePoint) however for obvious reasons not everyone has access to ClearBooks. The problem is that often when dealing with a Client we might need to know about a recent Quote or Invoice. This poses a problem as Quotes and Invoices are managed inside ClearBooks.

So we needed an app that allowed users authenticated within SharePoint to view some of the documents created for a Client in ClearBooks. After a bit of research and some wireframing we had a plan. We decided to build a simple SharePoint app that attaches an event to a list item in SharePoint. This event retrieves documents from ClearBooks and displays them inside SharePoint. Simple huh!

In part 2 of this blog we'll explain how we built the app, the problems we overcame and what technology choices we made along the way. Watch this space….