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ecommerce solution for member access

Posted on 2005-04-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hello there!  I'm asking if anyone knows of a good php ecommerce solution to handle a membership style site.  our site is getting ready to be subscription based and we will be using authorize.net for credit card processing.  whatever solution it is needs to be customizeable so it can send usernames/passwords and a few other variables to my login system.  when a users account is about to expire they will be sent an email and they should have the ability to login to their ecommerce account and renew their subscription.  Again, we already have a php/mysql loign system that i have written myself so i have all source code.  when we go live with the paid site, all accounts will be wiped and we'll start from scratch.  currently i md5 the passwords but i've decided to store the passwords in the login system in plain text because nothing in the database on the login side will be important information.  basically, i just need a simple billing solution; one that people setup their account on, choose a subscription type (1 month, 6 month, 12 month), choose a payment type, and then based on what type of payment they choose, it sends all of this information to my script and i'll write my script to process the posted data.  some of the data posted will be the time of subscription and i'll store that in my login database.  10 days before their subscription runs out, they'll be sent an email to go back into the billing solution and renew their account and a new date will be sent to my script.
hopefully this is clear to all.
thanks in advance!
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Question by:linuxrox
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Expert Comment

by:Marcus Bointon
ID: 13763059
Billing should be separate from your membership system. The most popular ecommerce solution for PHP is the incredibly extensive OSCommerce, which can talk to authorize.net:

http://www.oscommerce.com/
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Author Comment

by:linuxrox
ID: 13763176
I agree.  there will be no invoices though.  i just want the billing system to send variables like usernames and passwords to my membership script so my membership script can process the new signups and add users accordingly.  this is so simple.  someone has to have something out there that does this.
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Author Comment

by:linuxrox
ID: 13763227
Squinky, what you've suggested is more for a store and selling products.  i'm not selling a product.  i'm selling a username and password...no shipping; nothing like that.
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Marcus Bointon earned 2000 total points
ID: 13764048
OS commerce is just that at its core - it just happens that most people wrap it up into store-like solutions, but you don't have to use all that. Effectively you are selling a product, though it may not be tangible - you may even have several: 1 month, 3-month, annual, single, academic, kids, family etc. I would post in the osCommerce forums to ask for help on this.

Given that you want something lightweight, you could try using scripts like this if you're happy to do a bit of hacking about:

http://www.zend.com/codex.php?id=1194&single=1
http://www.zend.com/codex.php?id=1320&single=1

Authorize.net's docs are her: http://www.authorizenet.com/support/guides.php
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by:Marvin_Carredo
ID: 13789086
i guess your going to use session for that. just font forget to distroy it everytime the user logs out.
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Author Comment

by:linuxrox
ID: 13790248
yes i destroy the sessions.  my login script works perfectly...i just need a billing system to work with it.
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Expert Comment

by:Marcus Bointon
ID: 13791638
The first of those Zend scripts is pretty clean, and it uses the current current AIM spec. To be even cleaner you could subclass it so that you don't have to set defaults every time. Do you need/want some help integrating it?
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Author Comment

by:linuxrox
ID: 13794384
yea it would be nice to have some help on that.  i mean, i know what i wish to do is pretty simple, i just don't have any experience with ecommerce stuff and sending data to authorize.net.  what i need will pretty much have to be databased with mysql.  i mean, basically a place for someone to login to an account, then after login they pay for the subscription, database keeps track of date of subscription and what subscription they purchased (30 days, 90, 1 year) once their payment has been accepted, the variables are sent to my login script and adds the user.  simple as that basically.  then if the user was to log back into the billing system, the system would realize that they are logging in during the purchased subscription timeframe and only allow them to upgrade for like another 30 days or 90 or year.  if they login AFTER the paid subscription period, then they have option to purchase a new subscription/username/password.  i just don't have the time to do this.  my concentration is on the content management system i've developed and tying everything in our site together.  i don't need/want some elaborate ecommerce solution because we won't be selling products..just ONE product and it's just a login/password :)
thanks!!
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Expert Comment

by:Marcus Bointon
ID: 13807144
Thanks for the points - I've not responded yet!

As it sounds like you have your membership system all sorted out, I suggest you introduce a new field for 'paid until', so you can spot expiring memberships easily. Next create a new table for recording payments which point at the membership table so you can see the payment history for any given member. I'm guessing that this table would contain fields for member id, payment amount, payment date, membership start and end date, perhaps a transaction ID from authorize.net. I suspect that (even for a simple application) credit card regulations and various mail-order laws need to be stuck to, but keeping basic records like this should go a long way towards that.

When accepting a credit card payment (using that Zend script), all you'd need to do is create a new entry in the payments table, and update the 'paid until' field for the given member when a payment goes through successfully. When someone logs in, it will be easy enough to see if 'paid until' < now() for their membership, and if so, redirect them to a payment page.
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