TimeXchange offers a time-tracking API

Brett Terpstra
B. Terpstra|01.15.09

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TimeXchange offers a time-tracking API

TimeXchange is a relatively new addition to the pile of available online time-tracking applications. Its current incarnation on the web is pretty standard, covering bases like multiple time entry, report and invoice creation, and Quickbooks integration. The developers have been fielding a lot of feature requests ... more than they have the capacity to handle. Their solution: an API, announced today, which will allow third-party developers to create applications, mashups and integrations with other tools.

A version of TimeXchange is already available for the iPhone, in both a $2.99US version and a free Lite version (iTunes links). The mobile applications make use of a private API, and demonstrate only a tiny bit of what could be accomplished with the new API. The "hooks" in the API are to be exposed as needed to developers, and custom hooks can be created to meet developers' needs. Beyond task management and mobile time/expense tracking, the API provides the opportunity for industry-specific applications, language localization, multiple currencies, and corporate branding. With no license restrictions, developers can customize an application with TimeXchange as its engine and keep 100% of the profits made on distribution.

The idea of opening an API to third-party development is not a novel one. Harvest (my current time-tracking app) and some others already provide access to an API. Tickspot, which also provides an API, has just released an iPhone app (iTunes link) as well. It's an excellent trend, and things such as desktop widgets, Basecamp integration and mashups allowing time tracking through Twitter and IM have become possible. By providing custom-built API's to developers, TimeXchange hopes to be able to meet any need which might come up.

TimeXchange provides an aggressive pricing scheme and a unique model. For a one-time fee of $19.95US, you get a lifetime membership. There are monthly and yearly payment plans, but a one-time fee is a pretty sweet deal. The major difference in models is that TimeXchange uses a peer-to-peer mentality, rather than a company setup. Every user has an account, and users can invite other users to join a project. It might not be a great model for larger companies, but for a freelancer, contractor or small company, this can be an ideal situation, given that the members of the team change frequently from project to project. Today's API news will hopefully spark some creative development on the Mac, iPhone and web to take advantage of the engine. Interested developers can visit the affiliate page for more information. To check out the service itself, just visit TimeXchange.net.

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