Interfacing with online bank

Dave Peticolas
Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:22:34 -0700

John Klar writes:
> >> Is there any way that gnucash can interface with such a system?
> > Perhaps. The biggest problem would be getting the protocol that they use. I
> > think that they also use identification certificates that are not available
> > to us.
> I'm fairly (4 nines) certain that MS Money uses the OFX protocol which
> is XML over HTTPS (SSL).  Granted, my perusal of the OFX specs were
> brief, but I didn't see any ID 'certificate' beyond your normal
> cleartext login & password (protected by SSL).
> My theory is that if you can interoperate with an HTTPS (SSL) server,
> you can do OFX.

I think you are right, except that OFX is SGML.

> Unfortunately, while I've got an idea of how to code such a beast, I do
> not have access to either a test OFX server nor a financial institution
> that offers such integration without charging extorbitant access fees.
> Even more unfortunate, as a citizen and resident of the US, me writing
> crypto software can be an issue (Yes, I have a fuzzy inkling that
> Banking software has some dispensation).  Not to mention certain patent
> problems (*cough* RSA *cough*) [Sept. 20 can't come fast enough].

There are existing tools (OpenSSL, Curl) that we could use instead of
writing our own to do the communication.

> This feature is on the top of my wish list.  If I had any environment to
> test against, I'd have code done or at least enough to prove/disprove my
> theory ;)

I've been studying the OFX specs, but I have many other things to do
before I can start this. If you want to start, I'd be happy to help
you out. I think one of my financial institutions provides OFX access,
so we would could some testing.