We are so excited to win XDHAX : Xero’s most innovative use of their API.


We are just so excited to win XDHAX : Xero’s most innovative use of their API.

What is XDHax?

Xero Developer Challenge (XDHax) - Xero’s first virtual developer challenge was sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The hotly contested competition pitted 230 serious developers against each other to come up with the very best ideas to support the small Organisations of our economy to thrive alongside the giants.

Why did I Participate?

I love to enter hackathons and this is my third win this year. I actually entered XDHAX with 2 submissions. Tax Optimiser which won and AleXero an open source Xero x Alexa x dotnet implementation. The reason I like entering hackathons is that it pushes you as a developer in ways day to day development doesn’t. I like developing interesting solutions for problems. Tax Optimiser seemed like a really good fit.

What was the experience like?

I really enjoyed it. Most hackathons take place over 24 hours, so the final product can sometimes be a bit smoke and mirrors. As it took place over a few months, I was able to add a lot more polish. 

About Alexero

The Alexero was an interesting submission because I set myself 3 hours to make it from start to finish. Alexero allows you to use certain commands with an Amazon Alexa device that integrates with Xero. In my example I am able to retrieve my outstanding invoice with a simple command.

The code is freely available for anyone to use and I have a video that shows you how to build it from scratch.

My Favorite part of working with the Xero API / developer tools

I develop with a lot of APIs and Xero has one of the best experiences. Often people don’t maintain the SDK libraries which becomes a real problem. I am using the latest version of dot net, which at times can be really painful because you have to create all the interfaces yourself. Xero has already updated their SDK to the latest version and if there has been any questions Matt has been really responsive.

Final thoughts

I am really proud to have won and it has already started to increase the interest in Tax Optimiser and the feedback so far from accountants has been fantastic. I really recommend developers to enter, it will really help push you to develop that nagging idea in your head.