Including Simply Accounting data in a website

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I'm helping a friend out with a web project he is working on and was looking
for some help on this one part.

Basically the website is for a contracting company that builds houses.

What they want to do is be able to put the plans and pictures for the house
up on a website so the new home owner can check out progress.  They use
Simply Accounting (going to upgrade to versioin 2006 Pro shortly) for their
book keeping and they track things like costs and expenses on the projects
(IE: how much wire cost them from Home Depot, how much the drywaller charged
them, etc) and they want to have that information (from their SA workbook)
appear on the website for the customer to be able to see.

So the question would be:  How to get that information from Simply
Accounting to the website itself?  They would prefer something in pretty
much "real time" rather than having to upload the information each day or
each time a change is made... and they definitly don't want to have to enter
the information twice (once in the SA sheet and then again on the website)

IIRC, SA keeps all info in an Access database and can export to XML, but
what would be the best way to get that info to the website?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.



Re: Including Simply Accounting data in a website

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In order to do this in real time, you need to put the database on the
website itself. Remote access to Access is not very workable. What
they need to do is to install a T-1 line to their offices, set up
their own server, and hire someone full-time to administer it. The
cost should not exceed $50,000/year.

Most companies would find it more workable to upload information from
their local computer to a remote server. Putting the website on the
main street of the internet, instead of the hinterlands where they
locate their offices, would also greatly improve speed and reliability
of the website.

The *best* solution would be to switch to an accounting program that
uses a SQL database instead of Access. The database itself could be
located on a remote server, and accessed directly by both surfers and
the office.

I know nothing about the accounting package they are using, but as a
rule, all accounting software is migrating to SQL because it's a
lingua francois for the software world.

There used to be a wonderful hippy-dippy store in Yellow Springs, Ohio
called "Records and Fresh Vegetables". Who makes accounting software
that would work well for them? Nobody. But if you're writing general
accounting software, First National Software And Grill writes a
specialized module for music stores, and Greengrocer Technologies
writes a specialized module for vegetable dealers, they can buy from
all three of you and solve their problems.

I don't know how difficult it will be to migrate company records to
SQL, but I would imagine it wouldn't be all that difficult. What's
going to be expensive is training the office personnel in using the
new software.

But unless they intend to go out of business in the near future, they
will have to incur that cost *sometime*. Normally in business, it pays
to postpone costs, but in this case, biting the bullet *now* brings
some definite benefits.

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  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

Re: Including Simply Accounting data in a website

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There are a number of programs available that will convert Access to MySQL
and back. Some will even sync the two, and are pretty inexpensive. (BTW,
doesn't Access have an export to .csv function? I don't use it. so I'm not
sure...) Try searching for <convert access db to mysql>

Your building company would only need to run the conversion and upload the

You, on the other hand, will have to write the backend on the server that
will update the MySQL DB and pull/display the relevant info on the pages.

Of course, there is an underpaid programmer in Pakistan waiting for you to
contact him to do this for you. He might even put a nice little backdoor on
the site so that he could come visit whenever he wants.

I assume that you will want some kind of password protected access to the
data on any particular home. That would require additional backend
programming so that the site owner could add/delete accounts. ( That
Pakistani programmer could probably take care of this for your too.)

Sounds like a pretty cool app when done. Structure your contract so you keep
rights to the program. Then you can sell it to other contractors. Keep your
conversion routines seperate so that it can be adapted to other accounting
software. Easy money if you do it right.


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