Exact Online REST API Library in Python

finance, library, python
pip install exactonline==0.4.0



Exact Online REST API Library in Python

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Exact Online provides accounting software in a Software-as-a-Service delivery model. It implements an API through a REST interface. This library aims to ease its use.

Quick jump

Usage by example

Set up the basics:

from exactonline.api import ExactApi
from exactonline.exceptions import ObjectDoesNotExist
from exactonline.resource import GET, POST, PUT, DELETE
from exactonline.storage.ini import IniStorage

# Create a function to get the api with your own storage backend.
def get_api():
    # NOTE: The IniStorage is really simple does not synchronize with
    # other instances. You should create your own storage. See below.
    storage = IniStorage('/path/to/config.ini')
    return ExactApi(storage=storage)
api = get_api()

Get an invoice:

# Get an invoice by your own invoice number (YourRef).
# Returns a dictionary, or raises ObjectDoesNotExist.
invoice = api.invoices.get(invoice_number='F0005555')

It looks somewhat like this:

invoice == {
    u'AmountDC': 50.8,
    u'AmountFC': 50.8,
# ...
    u'SalesEntryLines': [
        {u'AmountDC': 41.98,
         u'AmountFC': 41.98,
# ...
         u'Description': u'Omzet backups',
         u'VATBaseAmountDC': 41.98,
         u'VATBaseAmountFC': 41.98},
# ...
    u'VATAmountDC': 8.82,
    u'VATAmountFC': 8.82,
    u'YourRef': u'F0005555',
    u'__metadata': {u'type': u'Exact.Web.Api.Models.SalesEntry',
                    u'uri': u"https://start.exactonline.nl/api/v1/..."},

Get relations:

relations_limit_2 = api.relations.filter(top=2)
# that was cheaper than: api.relations.all()[0:2]

relations_limit_2 == [
    {u'Code': u'              1068',
     u'ID': u'11111111-2222-3333-4444-555555555555',
     u'Name': u'ACME Corporation',
     u'__metadata': {u'type': u'Exact.Web.Api.Models.Account',
                     u'uri': u"https://start.exactonline.nl/api/v1/...')"}},
    {u'Code': u'               555',
     u'ID': u'22222222-3333-4444-5555-666666666666',
     u'Name': u'Daffy Duck Ltd.',
     u'__metadata': {u'type': u'Exact.Web.Api.Models.Account',
                     u'uri': u"https://start.exactonline.nl/api/v1/...')"}}

Update a relation:

daffy_duck = api.relations.get(relation_code='555')
api.relations.update(daffy_duck['ID'], {'Name': 'Daffy Duck and sons'})

Delete a relation:

daffy_duck = api.relations.get(relation_code='555')

Create an invoice:

customer_data = api.relations.get(relation_code='123')  # local relation_code
customer_guid = customer_data['ID']
invoice_data = {
    'AmountDC': str(amount_with_vat),  # DC = default currency
    'AmountFC': str(amount_with_vat),  # FC = foreign currency
    'EntryDate': invoice_date.strftime('%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ'),  # pretend we're in UTC
    'Customer': customer_guid,
    'Description': u'Invoice description',
    'Journal': remote_journal,  # 70 "Verkoopboek"
    'ReportingPeriod': invoice_date.month,
    'ReportingYear': invoice_date.year,
    'SalesEntryLines': [],
    'VATAmountDC': str(vat_amount),
    'VATAmountFC': str(vat_amount),
    'YourRef': local_invoice_number,
    # must start uniquely at the start of a year, defaults to:
    # YYJJ0001 where YY=invoice_date.year, and JJ=remote_journal
    'InvoiceNumber': '%d%d%04d' % (invoice_date.year, remote_journal,
# The SalesEntryLines need to be filled with a bunch of dictionaries
# with these keys: AmountDC, AmountFC, Description, GLAccount,
# VATCode where GLAccount holds the Journal remote GUID, and the
# amounts are without VAT.


You may need to play around a bit to find out which fields are mandatory, and what kind of values the fields need. The Exact Online REST resources list isn't always clear on that.

Using element adapters

Using the above works, but it's not really object oriented. If available, you may be better off using one of the adaptable classes in exactonline.elements and subclassing that.

For example, this is how you could create your own interface to an Exact Online customer.

# Assuming you have a MyRelation that looks like this:
class MyRelation(object):
    relcode = 12345
    first_name = 'John'
    last_name = 'Doe'
    billing_address = None
    # ...

# You could create an adapter subclass of ExactCustomer like this:
class MyExactCustomer(ExactCustomer):
    def __init__(self, my_relation=None, **kwargs):
        super(MyExactCustomer, self).__init__(**kwargs)
        self._my_relation = my_relation

    def get_code(self):
        return str(self._my_relation.relcode)

    def get_name(self):
        return ' '.join([

    def get_address(self):
        address = self._my_relation.billing_address
        if address:
            return {
                'AddressLine1': address.street_and_number(),
                'Postcode': address.zipcode,
                'City': address.city.name,
        return {}

If you have the above set up, and have unique customer codes, then writing/updating an Exact Online relation is as convenient as this:

johndoe = MyRelation(...)
exactonline_relation = MyExactCustomer(my_relation=johndoe, api=api)
ret = exactonline_relation.commit()

These adaptable elements are currently implemented for writing customers (ExactCustomer) and invoices (ExactInvoice). See the files in exactonline/elements/ for more info.

Setting up the link

You'll need a storage backend. The default IniStorage can be taken from exactonline.storage.

from exactonline.storage.ini import IniStorage

class MyIniStorage(IniStorage):
    def get_response_url(self):
        "Configure your custom response URL."
        return self.get_base_url() + '/oauth/success/'

storage = MyIniStorage('/path/to/config.ini')


The IniStorage does not synchronize with other instances

This means that you cannot use multiple IniStorage instances at the same time. If you want that, or thread-safe/multi-process-safe operations, or better yet, integration with your project storage (database?), you should create your custom storage backend. Look in ``exactonline/storage/base.py`` to see how. It's really easy.

You need to set up access to your Exact Online SaaS instance, by creating an export link. See creating Exact Online credentials for more info.

Take that info, and configure it in your config.ini.

auth_url = https://start.exactonline.co.uk/api/oauth2/auth
rest_url = https://start.exactonline.co.uk/api
token_url = https://start.exactonline.co.uk/api/oauth2/token

base_url = https://example.com
client_id = {12345678-abcd-1234-abcd-0123456789ab}
client_secret = ZZZ999xxx000
; optional config:
iteration_limit = 50

Create an initial URL:

api = ExactApi(storage=storage)
url = api.create_auth_request_url()

The URL will look like this; redirect the user there so he may authenticate and allow your application access to Exact Online (this is OAuth):


After authentication he will get redirected back to:


You should implement a view on that URL, that does basically this:


At this point, you should configure your default division, if you haven't already:

division_choices, current_division = api.get_divisions()
api.set_division(division_choices[0][0])  # select ID of first division

Now you're all set!

Implemented resources

View exactonline/api/__init__.py to see which resource helpers are implemented.

Currently, it looks like this:

contacts = Contacts.as_property()
invoices = Invoices.as_property()
ledgeraccounts = LedgerAccounts.as_property()
receivables = Receivables.as_property()
relations = Relations.as_property()
vatcodes = VatCodes.as_property()

But you can call resources which don't have a helper directly. The following two three are equivalent:

api.rest(GET('v1/%d/crm/Accounts' % selected_division))

As are the following three:

api.rest(GET('v1/%d/crm/Accounts?$top=2' % selected_division))

And these:

api.invoices.filter(filter="EntryDate gt datetime'2015-01-01'")
api.restv1(GET('salesentry/SalesEntries?' +
api.rest(GET('v1/%d/salesentry/SalesEntries?' +
  '$filter=EntryDate%%20gt%%20datetime%%272015-01-01%%27' %
# convinced yet that the helpers are useful?

See the Exact Online REST resources list for all available resources.

Other benefits

The ExactApi class ensures that:

  • Tokens are refreshed as needed (see: exactonline/api/autorefresh.py).
  • Paginated lists are automatically downloaded in full (see: exactonline/api/unwrap.py).

Creating Exact Online credentials

Previously, one could create an API from the Exact Online interface directly. This was removed at some point between 2014 and 2015.

According to the "how can I create an application key?" FAQ entry you must now create one through the App Center.

Why am I unable to see the Register an API link and how can I create an application key?

All registrations are now configured through the App Center. Previously you were able to generate an Application Key and/or create an OAuth registration within your Exact Online.

In Exact Online you can create an app registration for private use (customer account) or an app registration for commercial use (partner account). Go to Target groups and site maps for more information.

If the Register API Key link is not visible in the App Center menu you do not have the correct rights to view it. To make the link visible go to, Username > My Exact Online > Rights and select Manage subscription.

Log into the Exact Online App Center, click MANAGE APPS (APPS BEHEREN); it should be a large link visible on the Top Right. Make sure the redirect URI has the same transport+domainname as the site that you wish to connect.

For sites with an internal URI only, you may need to alter the hostname temporarily when registering. Generate the register URL with api.create_auth_request_url and alter it as appropriate.

After creating the App, you can go back and fetch the the Client ID and the Client secret.


Exact Online REST API Library in Python is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 3 or any later version.


  • Fix so file Copyright headers are auto-populated (and date-updated).

Further reading