Avalara Developer Network Developer blog

AvaTax Developer Blog Posts

DefragCon and APIStrat 2015!

This week I had the great pleasure of talking at DefragCon 2015. I talked about the technological and political implications around using API descriptions to build a Developer Portal. This is something we’ve been working through here at Avalara - how to minimize the delay between updates to the service and updates to our site? How do we know that everything is correct forever with no manual work??? If this is something that interests you, reach out or take a look at my slides! If you’re going to be in Austin for APIStrat next week, I’ll be talking about this some...

FinDEVr & Integrate 2015 Presentations

How to Build a Successful API Certification Program - Integrate 2015 from Loke Tan A few weeks ago I had the honor of speaking at two developer conferences that were held in California. The first was Integrate 2015 which is also part of the API World series of events. My talk was titled “How to build a successful API Certification Program” and it details all the learnings and experience we’ve gone through building and operating our own Certification Program here at Avalara. The Wacky World of Sales Tax - FinDEVr 2015 from Loke Tan The second talk was at the...

Superset WSDL for Brazilian Calculation!

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More SOAP! As we’ve moved to providing better and more precise international calculation, Avalara has found that our current API doesn’t capture everything we might need. We want to provide more precise calculations, but we also want our existing integrations to continue to seamlessly calculate. As such, we have launched a second version of the AvaTax WSDL. This version will play host to all of our Global functionality to prevent introducing breaking changes for customers who aren’t going to take advantage of that functionality. The v2 WSDL is available here: https://development.avalara.net/tax/taxsvcv2.wsdl The v2 WSDL is a superset of functionality in...

How is tax calculated?

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When you look through the API documentation, you notice a bunch of required and ‘situationally required’ fields. What gives? What do we do with all that information anyway? Well, like the parfait dessert pictured, sales tax has many (colorful) layers. All of that information provided helps us to make an accurate (and precise!) determination on the calculation we return, in a number of ways. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical invoice. This is just the barebones required information, with our request on the left and response on the right. Note that if you’re following along in your test environment,...

Wacky Sales Tax Facts

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Here’s fun food related sales-tax fact. Did you know that if you bought a bagel in New York,  you’re exempt from Sales Tax? but with one caveat, it’s not sliced so you’d have to do this yourself. I found out when I was in New York a couple of years ago and decided to stop by a bagel place before heading in for a political technology convention. The guy at the counter told me that he’d have to charge me more if I needed it “prepared” which seemed a little bizarre to me. Why would you serve an unprepared bagel if that’s...

Attitude Adjustment

Earlier today, I was talking to a colleague about some taxation reporting scenarios. Yes: this is the kind of thrilling stuff we talk about every day (and, for that matter, so could you)! “What should I do when the customer cancels some line items but not others on a committed document?” He asked. “Well, you should record an adjustment to net out the removed lines.” “How about if they don’t want to cancel them, the vendor just changes the line amounts after the invoice is committed?” “Yeesh! But that should probably just be two adjustment documents; a credit and a re-bill of the...

Migrating Your PHP Dev Environment to Windows 10

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If you’ve been reading our blog, you might remember me posting about using our PHP samples for AvaTax with PHP and Windows. Once my personal machines were upgraded to Windows 10 (still waiting for corporate IT on the work machine), I decided to test the environment I’d previously set up on a Windows 7 machine. I used my backed-up installation of PHP 5.6.3, made sure I’d added the PHP directory location to my machine’s path, and ran the ping test. Went off without a hitch. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything different. But with a new OS upgrade, you...

Weekly Developer Open-House Chats

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In the months of August & September, Our team will be hosting a weekly online open-house chat via Google Hangouts. We will be online for up to two hours and will be available to answer questions, provide guidance or simply just to chat. This chat is useful for anyone who is evaluating our services or have difficulties with building their integration. Here are the dates : August 19th Wednesday 11am-1pm PST : https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105101594997521254473/events/cbqcpa5a3i1ltkivd9hsd6l89cg August 26th Wednesday 11am-1pm PST : https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105101594997521254473/events/c27qcv1ljchnh5vo81jg1bqrlb4 September 2nd Wednesday 11am-1pm PST : https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105101594997521254473/events/cknr7emsbk41e4mqj6m58bvrj74 September 9th Wednesday 11am-1pm PST : https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/105101594997521254473/events/cd82u5b8jede2gbcr2qg05ugcr0 Please join us if you have any technical questions with regards to APIs, building &...

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