This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
Get a copy for your desk at www.linkedpractice.com
Now we are talking about integrations, so let’s first look at what an integration is. An integration is when we plug two apps together so they can communicate. This is generally done via an application programming interface, commonly known as an API, which allows information to be sent from one app to another when an ‘event’ occurs. For example, when a customer is added, this is an event, which triggers an API call to send the customer details to another app.
Not all apps have an API. An API is something an app company will build that allows other apps to connect to it because they see it as a way to add more value to their customer base. Xero is a perfect example of this. They saw early on that they could add more value to their customers if they allowed other apps to send invoices and other information to it, so they built the API to facilitate this.
Xero does not want to build an enormously complex application that will appeal to every industry. This is because the more functionality you add, the more complex and difficult to learn an app becomes. They therefore focus on creating beautiful accounting software, and let other apps, such as XPM to fulfill the functions they do not plan to address. Xero itself does not have the comprehensive functionality of XPM, so they rely on it to build these features and simply send the accounting transactions to it for reconciliation purposes.
Only one app needs to have an API to connect to it. So the connecting app just needs to write the script to push or pull the data from the app with the API. If both apps have an API, generally one app will write the script to connect to the other app’s API. You can tell which app is connecting to the other app’s API, because this is the app you configure the integration in. For example, XPM has connected to Xero’s API. We know this because we set up the integration while logged into XPM, not the other way round.
That’s the technical stuff out of the way, now let’s look at what apps we want to connect for our tech stack.
Think about XPM as sitting in the middle, and we read top to bottom. The general workflow is from Practice Ignition, through to XPM, through to Xero. Link Reporting hangs off the side of XPM to analyse the data for performance reporting.
Next we'll look at each of these arrows in a bit more detail.
Enjoy this article? Buy the book.
Need help setting up, fixing up, or getting up to speed on Xero Practice Manager?
We can help at www.linkedpractice.com