Real world viability of using an API to connect to Manager

What I am looking to do (primarily) is to enable my clients to view their quotes, orders and invoices on my CRM Helpdesk system. So I want to link Manager to my Helpdesk system.

Can anyone who has actually used the API in a real world working environment advise on the following two points.

  1. Does the API work properly and securely? I want to have the highest level of security so things like basic authentication will not be acceptable. I also don’t want to have to use the administrator account to connect the API. Things like that. Can anyone advise on their experiences of using the API for real business use.

  2. Stability of Manager is of concern to me. There has been an increasing number of complaints about removal of features (such as today in calendar) and many other features that used to be present and no longer are. In addition, especially over the last two or three months, there have been a lot of bugs creeping in down to the fact that there seems to be no development track or adequate testing. Last, but not least, there are quite a number of unwelcome changes (such as this fiddling with zeroes and ones in quantity - why I don’t know) which is causing a lot of problems for users. These unrequested and unwanted changes in particular are a cause of concern as it affects reliability of the program and raises doubts about the sustainability of the API and whether it would be money down the drain.

It will cost me a fair bit of money to implement the API for Manager and I am concerned that this is not a good investment because the constant changes in Manager will no doubt break the API within months as features get removed or changed. The lack of professionalism with regards to how updates for Manager are rolled out is a major cause of concern, because businesses don’t have time to fix problems with their data in Manager as a result of an upgrade, nor do I want to spend money an API and have to spend more money every year fixing the API when a Manager update breaks functionality.

I really like Manager from a user simplicity and bloat free point of view. I think it’s very well designed and I really want to continue using Manager. But if the developer does not want to implement a feedback forum panel (that anyone can join) and have a proper development and stable track, then I suspect that I will have to find another accounting product where I can have confidence in a managed delivery process of program updates. At the moment I feel that Manager updates seem to be more a case of where all users are guinea pigs in some lab experiment. This causes a major loss of confidence in Manager as an accounting product for a business.

it seems more suited for a home user accounts - the way Manager updates are implemented. Has anyone implemented an API for their business and had to abandon it because of Manager updates breaking functionality?

According to my short experience with manager’s API, I can tell you that:

  1. Unfortunately as of now, you can only connect using an administrator account with basic authentication. The developer has spoken of the ability to generate special API keys but this hasn’t been implemented yet. What I do is connect the API to the backend of another site which I can use to better manage users access to API.
  2. So far – and I have used API at least since 2019, there hasn’t been any changes to the architecture of the API. I haven’t configured my API connections ever since.

Now I am just speculating here but I really doubt that that :point_up_2: would happen just based on the fact that the API is faithful to the structure of the program (as far as the two categories of object types available: tabs and settings) and the current API has you access the objects statically. Most of the work would be after you retrieve the object.

Since the update policy is so naif and, most of all, since API have access only to input lists we gave up implementing what we needed.

It is encouraging to hear that you were able to use the API reliably since 2019 without updates breaking functionality. I sort of understand where you are coming from with the structure of the API. Having looked at it, it would seem a very simple, consistent and intuitive structure.

I will see if I can push for the special API keys to be implemented soon as I think it’s a terrible security flaw to access the API with the administrator account using basic authentication. This is less than minimum acceptable security nowadays. Nobody should be using basic authentication.

What were you looking to achieve with the API. As far as I can determine, using the lists, Custom Reports etc, it is possible to view nearly every aspect of Manager via the API, albeit with a little bit of programming.

ealfardan suggests that the updates don’t seem to affect the API. So this is good. Because I use the Server version, I only intend to upgrade once I am certain that there are no bugs outstanding or missing features that affect me and only when upgrading the program actually benefits me.

You have access to the data input not to the elaborations. So the api are completely useless for BI.

Old API, http://server/api are the same since I started using Manager, ie 6 years ago. So if you have all the data that you need you can go on with your project.

I am not sure what the old API is, but I don’t want to use the old one as this will no doubt be retired eventually and there is not much point if new functionality will only be added to the “new”/ existing one.

As far as I know, you cannot pull the output of reports using the API. The API will only give you the parameters.

I wouldn’t go as that far, but I am definitely behind posting new report parameters and retrieving outputs of reports using API instead of having to download each and every object individually every time a report is built.

However, you can still manage to work around this by staging your BI.

I think the archeticture of the current API works beautifully, we can keep that foundation as-is and build on top of it without having to break anything. If only we can a nod from @lubos to confirm that the current structure will not be broken.

Yes I think that I follow what you are saying here.

Essentially the information like the quotes, orders, invoices, customers, suppliers - being static information - can be pulled via api onto your CRM. Which is essentially what I am trying to achieve at this point in time. Assuming that I can filter client information on the CRM end so that clients see only their invoices etc.

Where the problem with the api lies is with regards to dynamic output - i.e. create a report based on filters and view that in the CRM.

Having the possibility to dinamically filter through api is a plus in order to increase performances. But since we are talking about relatively small databases i don’t think it would give you such a great improvement over caching.