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Temporary database to store information from a form

There is a very good chance the company I work for will use Dwolla to accept payments.

Here's the thing we don't have a mySQL database so the girls at the office would be contingent upon information from my form (account number, name, address, bill amount.

So I would have to store this to a database, then go offsite to Dwolla, they send us back and I email the customer a receipt and the girls at the office payment information from the information I have stored on the database.

Should this be temporary? I can see problems arising when two customers check out at once.

I could just set a column to customer ID number than write the changing information (bill amount, etc.)

Or it could be temporary. Ideas?
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burnedfaceless
Asked:
burnedfaceless
2 Solutions
 
burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
I even thought about using a counter for each online transaction.
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Mark BradyPrincipal Data EngineerCommented:
I would suggest not doing a temporary database. Why not have your form post to a php script on your server that populates each order into a permanent database record? You could come up with a random unique customer number per order so they would not clash. Then when you pass that information onto the girls in the office they will get a customer number which can be looked up later if necessary.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
elvin66 is right about not using a temporary intermediate storage approach.  This is a financial transaction, and the first rule of any financial transaction is that you must always have a complete and permanent audit trail from initiation all the way through the final processing.

Generating a row in a database for the transaction gives a starting point and it can be update through the process by adding additional information, so that every row contains the information to step through and duplicate all activity that was part of the transaction.  That make it possible to correct errors, adjust problems, and defend processing integrity in a legal setting.

It will not take much longer to do it right instead of hacking out a "temporary" solution that will likely become the basis of the whole system over time.

Cd&
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Ray PaseurCommented:
I had to look up Dwolla -- I had never heard of them until today.  They appear to be a US-only cheaper version of PayPal, but there has got to be more to the story than that.

PayPal as a robust developer community; you would want to find the Dwolla developer community in your area and join right away.  See if they have meetings, conferences, educational opportunities, etc.  Get the documentation on their API and set up your test accounts so you can verify the data flow.  See if others have developed and published similar applications to the one you envision.  Find out if your business bank has a relationship with Dwolla.  Find out if there are any PCI compliance issues.

There will never be any problem if two people check out at once.  Each checkout creates an INSERT query; each INSERT is serialized per data base connection and the insert_id property will be unique.  You will use this id as your key for subsequent processing of the customer payment information.

Your first set of reading points should probably be this TOS document.  You will want to be able to articulate a strategy for compliance with each item.
https://www.dwolla.com/tos/dev
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burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
Perfect explanation.
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burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
What I'll do after your suggestions is first time - enter customer ID, then info. Then when they pay again I will have them enter their customer ID and ask is this you or something. Maybe just open the form with all of the information.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Thanks for the points.  I suggest that you may want to ask the marketing department what information to ask for and in what order.  There is some science about this, and asking a client to remember a customer ID is one of the sure ways to send them out the door forever.
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