MYOB cloud/desktop model will provide opportunities for developers

August 27, 2010 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from IT Wire.  Author: Stephen Withers.

One of the biggest problems with the hybrid desktop/cloud model being adopted by MYOB is dealing with any conflicts that arise when at least one user is working in offline mode. For some aspects of the software, the issue is no big deal, but for others it is a crucial consideration.

For example, it is easy to reconcile a situation where two people have created a contact record for the same new customer. But how can you tell if a disconnected user has just paid a particular invoice? And how can you ensure that invoices are issued with strictly sequential numbers?

The company’s plan is to start by only allowing no more than one copy of the data to be nominated as writable at a time. The other copies would be synchronised with that copy That should work in most circumstances but runs into problems if that copy is forced offline for a protracted period (eg, a serious Internet outage at that location). A possible workaround is a mechanism to release the lock via an alternative channel such as a mobile phone.

Looking further ahead, the company plans to progressively allow specific parts of the data to be written by more than one user. Contacts is a possible starting point for the process.

MYOB also plans to provide rich cloud APIs so other companies can develop add-ons and integrations. Possibilities include links to other cloud applications such as Salesforce,com or NetSuite, and multiple backup providers to suit the varying requirements of MYOB users. company officials also suggested there would be an opportunity for partners to provide more stringent access controls.