Add a Developer API for Interacting with Quicken Data

I am re-opening this conversation because the old one was closed. Perhaps the Quicken team doesn't truly appreciate how important and valuable a tool like this would be for users of their product. Nearly every other financial software package includes an API nowadays and it is time for Quicken to catch up to modern expectations.

In short, the API should allow for 3rd party systems to interact with a Quicken data file using a simplified programming interface and should be clearly documented with code examples in major languages (Java, Python, etc...)

The old conversation and votes can be found here before it was closed and marked as "not planned" in 2018. https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7776504/it-would-be-nice-if-quicken-had-a-developer-api-like-quickbooks-does-for-reading-and-writing-data
11
11 votes

Not Planned · Last Updated

This Idea has previously been proposed: https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7776504/it-would-be-nice-if-quicken-had-a-developer-api-like-quickbooks-does-for-reading-and- This is not currently under consideration, however, there may be a potential to expose cloud APIs in the future.writing-data/

Comments

  • DanP2000
    DanP2000 Member
    There's no excuse for not having an API in 2020. Please make this happen!
  • JDarian
    JDarian Member
    Agreed! I use Stripe for capturing credit card payments which Quicken does not support via Direct Connect (even though it is listed as a supported financial institution). Having an API would allow me to write my own integration using Stripe's API and Quicken's API to import transactions properly and automatically.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Explain why Quicken Inc would want to open up their proprietary DB schema to the public.
    HOW would Q Inc make any money by doing that???
    AND,  why not just take the openly published OFX/QFX format and use that?
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • @NotACPA I think you misunderstand the purpose of an API. The API is a "public" interface for interacting with data. It doesn't give up anything proprietary about the database or internal workings of Quicken.

    What's great about APIs is that the company providing the API has maximum control over what users can and can't do when accessing the system.

    For example, Quicken may want to allow API methods for importing transactions into accounts. This way, if you used a credit card processor, like Stripe, Paypal, etc... you could build a system that would automatically download your transactions (from their APIs) and then import them into quicken using Quicken's API.

    You could also use the API to retrieve data from quicken, say, for exporting into Excel to run your own reports or importing into another 3rd party system.

    Does that make sense?
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited July 2020
    And you're claiming that you can't dissect the API to discover the schema?
    ALSO, there are already various programs on the market that will convert XLS or other non-Q formats into formats that CAN be input into Q.
    I fail to see how your requested API improves anything.
    Lastly, BTW, I was a programmer, analyst, Manager and VP for almost 40 years before I retired ... and I reverse-engineered SEVERAL "black box" type programs over the years much like your API.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • That's awesome, as a fellow programmer you should know that APIs do not reveal the inner workings of a system. In fact, the purpose of an API is to abstract the interface so that you can hide the inner workings of a system. :)

    If you disagree with me, then I respectfully suggest we agree to disagree. Having an exposed API for Quicken would help me automate some important tasks much easier than using the QFX/OFX manual import process.

    I'm not suggesting that Quicken lose any QFX/OFX functionality, but having more ways to get data into and out of the application (which people still have to pay for) in a controlled (and automated) way, would be beneficial for more advanced users.
  • Here's the Wikipedia entry on APIs FYI in case you're curious. Take note of the section labeled "purpose" where it reads, "In building applications, an API (application programming interface) simplifies programming by abstracting the underlying implementation and only exposing objects or actions the developer needs"
    Source:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_programming_interface
  • S.Quanson
    S.Quanson Member
    Yes! With an API I could automate my whole accounting workflow. PLEASE implement this Quicken. Adding an API adds VALUE to your software, it doesn't expose anything proprietary. We aren't asking for ODBC drivers or anything... instead we want an API that you would still control the endpoints, validation, and processing.

    Just imagine how much more people would start using Quicken if it could integrate with other applications and services. I 100% support this!
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You are missing a very important point by requesting an API so that you could create your own data import mechanism.  Quicken CHARGES financial institutions to be able to provide that capability to their customers, if they created an API to allow users to get around that licensing process, part of Quicken's revenue stream would dry up.
    What business in their right mind would do that?

    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • DissatisfiedCustomer
    edited July 2020
    (Removed-Off-Topic/Rant)
  • rbolmsted
    rbolmsted Member ✭✭
    If we don't get an API it would be nice to be able to download a list of each data object. For example, it would help to have a list of Categories that included the Tax Form and Line data. Each object should have a list capability.

    APIs show some aspects of the data model, to be sure. But we can infer many of those from the forms or pages in the app. With an API we could build better reports, an area where the Quicken team is slow to respond. (Thanks for the new reports in the recent release.) Reports could be shared through this forum and popular ones might make it into Quicken faster.

    If there is no PUT option in the API then we can't write to Quicken, so we couldn't do anything to break their app. This doesn't help JDarian and others who want to write in transactions they can't import. (I can import Paypal, by the way.)

    Quicken could provide an Import portal or method that would import data provided in a specified format (this already exists if your data are in Mint export format but with limited columns). Then we could write a file containing the custom data, such as Stripe data, and Import it using their method. The API would not need a Put option.

    If a third party wants to use data from an API to add value for a user/customer, that helps Quicken by improving customer satisfaction.
This discussion has been closed.