Avalara Developer Network Developer blog

AvaTax Developer Blog Posts

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 &...

Open Source Documentation

Since launching this developer site three years ago, we’ve made continued improvements to both the content and the site itself. One of the areas that has seen the most change is the API reference - it’s a tricky thing to present that much information in a way that is easily traversed, navigated, and searched, while still intentionally guiding the reader. There is still room for improvement, but we’ve had success with an open-source tool called Slate. Slate allows us to manage the API documentation in markdown and preview real-time changes with a local middleman server, making it easy to work...

WSDL Changes in AvaTax release 15.4

The next AvaTax release (15.4) scheduled for August 5th 2015 will include some minor WSDL changes to include a few additional parameters. We do not foresee any impact to your code but we wanted everyone to be aware of this change in case it might. Here are the details : AccountSvc WSDL has the following new attributes: HasPermanentEstablishment – A Boolean parameter IsSellerImporterOfRecord – A Boolean parameter TaxSvc WSDL has the following change IsSellerImporterOfRecord – A Boolean parameter Please do let us know if you have any questions or need any help with the changes in the WSDL. You can post your...

Wacky Sales Tax Facts

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Did you know that most developers will tell you that Sales Tax can be determined by using zip code alone? They’re sorely mistaken as it takes more than just zip codes to determine accurate sales tax rates. My previous post illustrated that each jurisdiction can be determined by the local city or state officials depending on their own laws and needs. In my search to understand this concept, I came across the smallest Sales Tax Jurisdiction in the United States. As you can see, this jurisdiction covers only one building in the Hoisington City District and is sandwiched between the other jurisdictions....

Node Libraries for AvaTax

I’m using my blog post this month to start a conversation. I’m beginning work on an NPM module to simplify the AvaTax REST interface for node.js. This leaves me with two questions I’d like to pose: Have any of you tried implementing this in node.js already. What were your experiences? Are there other languages or frameworks you'd like us to develop samples/libraries for to help power your development? If you haven’t tried our developer community, this is the perfect time to start. Join the discussion on this topic in our community. I’m off-site, speaking at the CascadiaJS conference and getting...

The Business of Sales Tax is Bizarre!

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I’m not an economist, neither am I an accountant. The only exposure I have to the concept of accounting or economics were when we were forced to take these classes in college, but I’ve learned a ton while working for Avalara. I’m also brought up in a simpler (tax wise) economy in Malaysia, where sales tax is pretty much straightforward. Even with the recent changes of their existing sales & service tax laws to a value-added tax system called GST, it is still not as complicated and bizarre as the ones we have here in the United States. How complicated is it, Loke?...

Maximum Line Count Increased!

As of the last service release to development, the maximum number of allowed lines on a GetTaxRequest has been increased from a mere 1000 to a spacious 15,000! This will allow longer documents to be processed and recorded through the standard recommended process. No longer will documents need to be split into multiple requests or records at the 1000 line mark! The 15,000 line limit was determined thorough collection of user feedback, and should be able to allow for much more flexibility. If you are working with invoices with more than 15,000 lines, you’ll still need to split transactions or consolidate...

Getting our PHP Samples Running on Windows

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As I said in my introduction, I’m a Zend Certified PHP Engineer. I may not have mentioned that, like many developers, I tend to trust my abilities probably more than I should, jump into projects head first, and only start to read the fine manual when something doesn’t work as expected. Setting up my Avalara laptop, one of the first things I did was install a basic WAMP stack (like LAMP but with Windows). That may be sacrilege to some, but it works. When I had to write my first bit of code with the PHP sample libraries, I thought...

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