Last June when we launched code.intuit.com, we had a big vision but we really didn’t know what would happen. Open Source is new to Intuit and isn’t fully ingrained in our DNA yet. It has been a fun project and over the last couple of months we are starting to feel that we are approaching an inflection point in terms of adoption and utility.
We recently launched our Azure IPP SDK project as an Open Source project, we are seeing more contributions from Intuit teams, and we are seeing more of the components used in production (or moving their way toward production). One example in particular makes us confident that we are on the right track.
Tim Hobson and I are the primary maintainers of the IPP Java Developer Toolkit on code.intuit.com. The IPP Java toolkit provides Java client bindings to the IPP APIs. Toward the end of last year, Tim took a first cut at adding support for Intuit Data Services (IDS) support to the toolkit. He laid out the patterns and implemented an initial IDS Sanity Test. If you don’t know, IDS is a set of REST services that integrate with QuickBooks data.
A few weeks later, on our mailing list, we see this discussion topic posted by Brian Harper of smartsheet.com. Brian is the VP of Development at Smartsheet (and yes he codes too). Smartsheet has a really cool collaboration and work management app that they were federating to the IPP cloud. Brian wanted to use our IDS integration but he thought the Exception Handling was, well, kind of weak. He also quickly realized that we really only had the basic framework for IDS support in place.
Brian could have walked away, but he didn’t. He joined the project and with some pointers and direction from Tim and I, fleshed out the initial IDS implementation. Here is a verbatim quote from Brian:
“Having access to the source code for the IPP Java Devkit enabled us to quickly identify areas of functionality that were missing or incomplete, and thanks to a good tool set and the incredible responsiveness of the IPP development team, we were able to fill in the missing pieces with a minimum of effort and schedule impact.”
Long story short, smartsheet went live on the Intuit App Center in February, the IPP Java Toolkit is more robust and the next team to use it will have a smoother path. That is the way it is supposed to work.