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How chata.ai Built Their App Using the QuickBooks Online API - Intuit Developer Community Blog

February 21, 2019 | Diana De Rose

How chata.ai Built Their App Using the QuickBooks Online API

This is the second post in our three-part series on using the QuickBooks Online API. If you missed our first post in the series, New to Intuit Developer? How To Use the QuickBooks Online API, we hope you’ll check it out.

Today, we’ll look at an app in the Intuit Developer ecosystem that was developed using our V3 APIs: chata.ai.

About chata.ai

Kelly Cherniwchan is the founder and CEO of chata.ai. He created the app out of frustration when he couldn’t easily access operational data from one of his start-up companies. His goal was to eliminate exporting data and working with spreadsheets (which also meant eliminating the time to do these tasks) and allowing users to ask questions—in their own words—to get the information they needed right away.

Tableau’s recently released 2019 trends in BI had Natural Language as number two on the list. With chata.ai formed in 2016, it was a Natural Language pioneer. The state-of-the-art “conversational business tool” uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognize users’ questions, locate the data, and supply immediate answers, providing business insights for more informed decision making.

Users can integrate chata.ai with QuickBooks Online within seconds. Once connected, they can begin asking questions, such as “What were my expenses last month?” or “Who are my top 5 customers by revenue?”   

Meaning “chat with your data”, chata.ai has made data extraction and critical business analysis easy.

So how did Kelly and his team do it?

How chata.ai Used the QuickBooks Online API to Build Their App

chata.ai’s integration with QuickBooks Online was a “no brainer” for the team. In a recent Intuit Developer post highlighting their app as a finalist in the 2018 App Showdown, Kelly says “The QuickBooks Online API and app ecosystem is well developed with a strong and loyal user base.”

The app was created using these V3 QuickBooks Online API resources: transactions, name list, supporting, and report. It’s deployed in Google Cloud Platform and has a microservices-based architecture.

Here’s a look at chata.ai’s high-level architecture.

The chata.ai developers used Kubernetes and Docker for orchestration of deployments. The customer data used by the application are physically segmented from each other. And the data is encrypted at rest and in flight.

Through the development process, the team learned that leveraging QuickBooks SDKs, which are open-sourced and available on GitHub Intuit, and following QuickBooks’ Best Practices was the way to go.

They utilized Batch operations for large downloads, which allowed them to group several operations in one call and send it in a single HTTP request. They prepared for QuickBooks’ throttle limits (which QuickBooks sets as an important security feature) to help them scale for the future. And they adhered to the Best Practice of being resilient in the face of unexpected situations and downtime, preparing ways in advance to address them.

Success with the QuickBooks Online API

Kelly and the chata.ai team are currently working on providing customizable dashboards and more integrations that will benefit the QBO user, including with Stripe, Square, and Hubspot.

Their goal: to become the “Hub” for all business data interactions.

As Kelly said in their previous post, they want to “create a superior unified experience when it comes to multi-app reporting and analysis. Imagine having your QBO, Stripe, Hubspot data all in one location accessible through natural language. And answers to millions of questions at your fingertips. This is the future.”

Their experience using the QuickBooks Online API has been a success, and we hope their story both inspires and helps you as you develop your app for the Intuit Developer ecosystem.

Stay tuned for our third and last post in this series, where we look at Intuit and GraphQL. We also encourage you to take a moment and read more posts in the Intuit Developer Blog, such as one of our most recent on New OAuth 2.0 Ruby Client, which makes it easier for Ruby developers to integrate their app with QuickBooks Online APIs, and another one on why we believe developers should be active on forums.

Do you have questions about QuickBooks Online or the QuickBooks Online API? Contact us today. The Intuit Developer team is ready to help!

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