During VMworld 2010, a presentation slide showing various retail boxes that represented VMware products was displayed on massive screens for the thousands of attendees. The speaker on the stage posed an amusing question about the choice of clip art: "Do we even sell software in boxes anymore?"

Similarly, you might think of QuickBooks as a cardboard box you saw in the rapidly shrinking aisle at your local big box retailer. Think again! Let's take a look at how developers can target the QuickBooks Online platform.

You Down With IPP?

You don't have to be naughty by nature to appreciate that implications of working with a platform that has doubled the size of its customer base. So the blog update earlier this week regarding beta access to IPP for QuickBooks Online is a welcome announcement for developers.

In a nutshell, developers that get registered and involved in the beta will be able to sell the fruits of their labor within the Intuit App Center. In addition, the previous RWH coverage of opportunities for Adobe Flex developers, Intuit has extended opportunities to those wishing to deploy within IPP using Google Web Toolkit, servlets, JSP and RESTEasy as part of a general server-side container approach.

The IPP Java Developer Toolkit project is hosted at code.intuit.com which serves as an open source repository for various tools and components for IPP developers. The Java toolkit includes the client libraries as well as tools and examples for developers to get started.

A quick scan of the forums also indicates that code.intuit.com is growing. The stats for last month indicate they have +1600 registered developers with over two thirds being non-Intuit.

Recent updates indicate an increased emphasis on OAuth. Also, the Intuit team is reinforcing that Quickbooks is not the sole starting point -- as evidenced by their own FAQ -- since you do not need to be a QuickBooks user to try or buy these apps.

If you are a current Adobe Flex or Java developer are you considering the IPP for your next revenue generating app? Let us know in the comments below!