Analyze QuickBooks Data in R

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

QuickBooks ODBC Driver

The QuickBooks ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from QuickBooks directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access QuickBooks data like you would a database - read, write, and update Customers, Transactions, Invoices, Sales Receipts, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Create data visualizations and use high-performance statistical functions to analyze QuickBooks data in Microsoft R Open.

Access QuickBooks data with pure R script and standard SQL. You can use the CData ODBC Driver for QuickBooks and the RODBC package to work with remote QuickBooks data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to QuickBooks data and visualize QuickBooks data in R.

Install R

You can complement the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open (MRO).

Connect to QuickBooks as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to QuickBooks follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

When you are connecting to a local QuickBooks instance, you do not need to set any connection properties.

Requests are made to QuickBooks through the Remote Connector. The Remote Connector runs on the same machine as QuickBooks and accepts connections through a lightweight, embedded Web server. The server supports SSL/TLS, enabling users to connect securely from remote machines.

The first time you connect, you will need to authorize the Remote Connector with QuickBooks. See the "Getting Started" chapter of the help documentation for a guide.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for QuickBooks in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData QuickBooks Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for QuickBooks Description = My Description URL = http://remotehost:8166 User = admin Password = admin123

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Load the RODBC Package

To use the driver, download the RODBC package. In RStudio, click Tools -> Install Packages and enter RODBC in the Packages box.

After installing the RODBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RODBC)

Note: This article uses RODBC version 1.3-12. Using Microsoft R Open, you can test with the same version, using the checkpoint capabilities of Microsoft's MRAN repository. The checkpoint command enables you to install packages from a snapshot of the CRAN repository, hosted on the MRAN repository. The snapshot taken Jan. 1, 2016 contains version 1.3-12.

library(checkpoint) checkpoint("2016-01-01")

Connect to QuickBooks Data as an ODBC Data Source

You can connect to a DSN in R with the following line:

conn <- odbcConnect("CData QuickBooks Source")

Schema Discovery

The driver models QuickBooks APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

sqlTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

Use the sqlQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the QuickBooks API.

customers <- sqlQuery(conn, "SELECT Name, CustomerBalance FROM Customers", believeNRows=FALSE, rows_at_time=1)

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(customers)

Plot QuickBooks Data

You can now analyze QuickBooks data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(customers$CustomerBalance, main="QuickBooks Customers", names.arg = customers$Name, horiz=TRUE)