Zoho Books, a cloud-based accounting software, allows businesses to easily manage their finances and automate their workflows through a rich set of features and an intuitive user interface.
But how exactly does the Zoho Books API work? Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Zoho Books API?
Essentially, the Zoho Books API is the function that allows you to perform all of your Zoho Books operations within the web client.
The Zoho Books API is built on REST (Representational State Transfer) principles, making it relatively straightforward to use and allowing for a wide range of activities and integrations. Further, because the API follows HTTP rules, every resource is exposed as a URL, and every URL can be obtained through the API Root Endpoint.
In practical terms, integrations set up using the Zoho Books API enable businesses to utilize add-ons to get more from their Zoho Apps. The API not only integrates with several other third-party software, but also allows Zoho Books to integrate with other Zoho products, such as Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Mail, and Zoho Inventory.
This is especially helpful for businesses working across multiple Zoho apps or that already have established third-party solutions in place that they don’t want to replace.
How Does the Zoho Books API Work?
Use the following instructions to start using the Zoho Books API:
Step #1: Register a New Client
Because Zoho’s REST APIs use OAuth 2.0 protocols, your first step will be to register your application within Zoho’s Developer Console to generate a Client ID and Client Secret.
Step #2: Generate a Grant Token.
Next, you’ll redirect to the authorization URL (https://accounts.zoho.com/oauth/v2/auth) with the relevant parameters:
Upon this request, Zoho will present a user consent page. Clicking ‘Accept’ will cause Zoho to redirect to the given redirect_uri with the ‘code’ and ‘state’ parameters (which you’ll need to get the access token in the next step). Note that this code is only valid for 60 seconds.
If you click ‘Deny’, Zoho will return a server error.
Step #3: Generate Access and Refresh Token
Once you have your access token, make a POST request using this URL (https://accounts.zoho.com/oauth/v2/token?) and the following parameters to generate your access token:
This will generate both an access token (which will expire after a set period) and a refresh token. Be aware that Zoho limits refresh tokens to 20 per user. Earlier refresh tokens will be deleted by default if this limit is exceeded, whether or not they’re in use.
Step #4: Generate an Access Code from a Refresh Token
If your access token expires, use the refresh token to request a new one by redirecting to the following POST URL using the parameters below: https://accounts.zoho.com/oauth/v2/token?
Step #5: Revoking a Refresh Token
If you need to revoke a refresh token, use the following URL with the parameter below: https://accounts.zoho.com/oauth/v2/token/revoke?
Step #6: Call an API
Finally, call the Zoho Books API in header using the following values:
- Header name: Authorization
- Header value: Zoho-oauthtoken
Specific scopes available for the Zoho Books API include contacts, settings, estimates, invoices, customerpayments, creditnotes, projects, expenses, salesorder, purchaseorder, bills, debitnotes, vendorpayments, banking, and accountants.
Top Tips for Using the Zoho Books API
Once you’ve set up the Zoho Books API, keep the following suggestions in mind as you begin using it:
Pay Attention to Your Limits
Generally speaking, Zoho Books API calls are limited in order to provide a better quality of service and greater availability to all users. As a result, the following limits on total requests per day for each plan are currently in place:
- Free Plan: 1,000 API requests/day
- Standard Plan: 2,000 requests/day
- Professional Plan: 5,000 requests/day
- Premium Plan: 10,000 requests/day
- Elite Plan: 10,000 requests/day
- Ultimate Plan: 10.000 requests/day
Carry Out Load Testing
One of the things we’ve noticed among ZBrains clients is that almost everyone hits their limits more quickly than expected. And because that can lead to unexpected shutdowns, we recommend carrying out significant load testing in advance to see how your requirements stack up against Zoho’s daily limits.
Increase Your API Limits
Fortunately, if you do find that your business requirements exceed your API call limit, increasing your limit is relatively easy and inexpensive. The best way to do so is to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements, and Zoho will get back to you with specific pricing details and instructions on increasing your API call limits.
Need Help with the Zoho Books API?
Zoho makes it possible to download and test out the Zoho Books API ahead of time. But if you still have questions, the expert team at ZBrains can help.
Reach out to our team for personalized guidance on your top Zoho Books API questions, including how to get started and how to integrate the API with your Zoho CRM.