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   OfflineBackup - Backup Data from QuickBooks Online     






OfflineBackup

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OfflineBackup is an easy to use windows program to download company accounts data from QuickBooks Online to local backup files.  OfflineBackup does not provide any Restore functions.  It simply provides a way of getting the information out of QuickBooks Online to files on your local PC.  What to do with those files, whether they can be uploaded back to Quickbooks Online, or processed locally by some other program is left up to the user. 

File Formats

OfflineBackup gives the choice of 3 file formats for the downloaded data files, XML, JSON or CSV.  The XML and JSON file formats are defined by QuickBooks, except that OfflineBackup will add tabs and line breaks to make the files more human friendly.  The user may choose to forgo the structured formatting and save only the raw Quickbooks XML or JSON files by selecting the appropriate options in the Options menu.  The CSV file format is derived from the JSON files, with each row in the CSV representing a JSON array element, and each column representing a JSON object.  The first line of each CSV contains headers for the columns, derived from the JSON object names and JSON structure tree.  The CSV files are compatible with all major spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel, or OpenOffice Calc.  It is left up to the user to determine which file format, if any, is suitable for their particular requirement.

The free Demo mode of OfflineBackup is identical to the Pro mode, except that it is limited to downloading only the CompanyInfo and Customer records from QuickBooks Online.  Once the Pro mode is unlocked with a registration code, OfflineBackup will download all of the available data files from QuickBooks Online. 

Downloaded data files are automatically stored in a folder named "OfflineBackup", under the user's main "My Documents" folder.  Files are named with the company name, the record type name, the date and time of the download request, and a sub-file number.  Each downloaded file is limited by QuickBooks to a maximum of 1000 records, so in cases where the database contains more than 1000 records, the sub-file number connects subsequent files of the same record type.  For example:
"My Company Inc-Invoice-2016-10-24-144439-1.json"  <--first 1000 invoices
"My Company Inc-Invoice-2016-10-24-144439-2.json"  <--next 1000 invoices ...

Password Protection

OfflineBackup requires a user password to encrypt and protect the QuickBooks Online access codes, which are stored on your local PC.  OfflineBackup sets no limits on what the password can be, so it is up to the user to select as strong a password as he deems appropriate for his own circumstances.  You can change the password at any time by clicking "New Password".  But note that because the password is used to encrypt the access codes, if you change the password then any existing access codes will be lost, and you will need to re-authorise OfflineBackup to access your QuickBooks company files after a password change.

QuickBooks Authorisation

When OfflineBackup is first used, or after a password change, you will need to authorise it to access your QuickBooks Online company files.  OfflineBackup will start your browser so you can log into QuickBooks online, choose your company (if you have more than one), and Authorise OfflineBackup access.  Once you have selected "Authorise", you will be shown a page giving your company ID number and temporary authorisation code.  You must then copy and paste these two codes from the browser window into the appropriate boxes in OfflineBackup to complete authorisation. 

Once you have authorised OfflineBackup and entered the company ID and authorisation code, the program will contact QuickBooks Online and obtain the actual access codes.  These access codes, which are encrypted with your password and stored locally on your PC, will enable OfflineBackup to access your company accounts for up to 6 months without the need to go through the cumbersome browser authorisation again.  After 150 days have passed, you may select "Extend QuickBooks Access" from the Options menu, to get new access codes good for another 6 months, without having to go through the browser authorisation process.  At any time, you may select "De-authorise QuickBooks Access" from the Options menu, to cancel the access codes for the currently selected company.

Please note that QuickBooks cannot differentiate different copies of OfflineBackup on different machines.  So suppose you authorise OfflineBackup on one PC, and then you or a colleague attempt to access your company account using OfflineBackup on a second PC, the second copy of OfflineBackup will not have the access codes, so it will go through the browser authorisation process again to get new codes.  This process will obtain new access codes for the second PC, but will also cancel any existing access codes held by the first PC.  So if you later go back to the first PC, it will need to use the browser process again to get new access codes, which will cancel the access codes granted to the second PC, etc, etc...

Doing a Backup

To perform a backup, first click on the "Connect to QuickBooks" button, enter your OfflineBackup password, and select your company from the list.  Once OfflineBackup has connected, it will display the company name and company ID number.  Then just select the file type using the radio buttons, select any options on the Options menu, and then click "Backup Now".  A progress dialog will be displayed as the downloads progress.  There are at least 32 files to download in a full Pro mode backup, with additional files possible if more than 1000 records of any record type exist, as noted above.  Progress may be cancelled at any time.  After the download is complete, the user may select another file type and do another Backup Now, or choose to Disconnect.  Clicking Exit without clicking Disconnect is acceptable, as an automatic disconnect will occur anyway.