[GNC-dev] Hello and ofx version 2
list+gnucash at jdlh.com
Sun May 31 18:29:54 EDT 2020
Hello, Steve, and welcome to the Gnucash-Devel list!
On 2020-05-31 10:00, Steve Burns wrote:
> Hello everyone, my name is Steve. This is my first post here.
> I have been using GnuCash for many years. It reminds me of Quicken from
> the 90's, only it's much better.
> I have recently come across an issue with importing QFX / OFX files in the
> Importing "version 1" style .qfx (like chase credit cards or my credit
> union) work fine. The qfx file starts off with:
> As of 2020, American Express now creates qfx files with a new format.
> They allowed the old format output for a few months, but now it is
> completely gone.
> The new format starts off with:
> <?xml version="1.0" standalone="no"?><?OFX OFXHEADER="200" VERSION="202" ...
This looks to me like American Express used to generate QFX/OFX version
1 files, and now generate QFX/OFX version 2 files.
> GnuCash refuses to extract any data from this file.
That's a problem! If you rely on OFX file import, as I do, I can
understand that this obstacle is very frustrating.
> I haven't looked through the GnuCash source, but my guess is that we
> need to:
> 1) Ignore carriage returns, or make them optional. Use spaces and tags to
> delimit. If the parsing code is line-based, this may be some work.
> 2) Be able to handle version 2 headers. They contain no useful number
> data, so this may be straightforward.
> 3) Ignore more ending tags, if necessary. Maybe nothing to do here.
> I think this is a necessary or high-need improvement to GnuCash.
I'm not the resident OFX expert, but my understanding is that GnuCash
should already have the capability to import both version 1 and version
2 OFX files. I looked for a feature list statement like "GnuCash can
import QFX" and "GnuCash can import OFX version 2.2", and din't find it.
But I see a bug report against OFX 2.2 file import
<https://bugs.gnucash.org/show_bug.cgi?id=796782>, which implies that it
generally works, though with some exceptions. LibOFX
<https://github.com/libofx/libofx/>, which I understand is the library
which GnuCash calls to do the actual import, has mentions of OFX 2
support from almost its first version.
And Quicken needs to straight up support the file format, lack of
carriage returns and version headers and end tags and all. There is a
lot to it, the OFX version 2.2 spec
<https://www.ofx.net/downloads/OFX%202.2.pdf> is 667 pages long. QFX is
not the same as OFX. I have heard people refer to QFX as Quicken's
bowlderised version of OFX. But for most purposes, I understand they are
I understand why you would take the expedient of slicing up an OFX
version 2 file to make it look more like an OFX version 1 file. I have
to do an expedient slicing-up of OFX files from one of my banks to work
around their mistakes in the files they generate, so I sympathise.
However, this expedient approach is not the right way to get something
as important as OFX support into GnuCash.
I suggest you proceed by treating this as a user-support situation
instead of a feature-development situation. Ask on the gnucash-user list
if anyone is also using QFX from American Express, and if it works for
them. See if any of your other financial providers deliver OFX 2 files,
and see if GnuCash imports those. File a bug report
<https://bugs.gnucash.org/page.cgi?id=bug-writing.html> in the Gnucash
issue tracker. And especially, see if you can modify one of the failing
files so that you can post it to the bug report as a way for others to
reproduce the problem. This will require you to strip out the sensitive
information, while preserving the ability to demonstrate the failure.
I hope this is helpful. I'm looking forward to your contributions to
—Jim DeLaHunt, software engineer, Vancouver, Canada
More information about the gnucash-devel