PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

The amount of car insurance you require will depend on several factors. The value of your car, whether your vehicle is financed or you own it, the age and type of car you own, and the state you will in will factor in determining how much insurance you need. Another reason you may require more insurance is if your car has enhancements added that were not put on when the car was manufactured.

If your vehicle is new and in top condition, full coverage insurance is the best bet if you own it outright. This will cover the cost of providing the money to purchase another car in the same condition should you be in an accident that totals your car. Most finance companies require you to carry full coverage insurance. They like to make sure they will get the amount they lent for the purchase of a car back should it be totaled in an accident. If you own an older car, liability coverage is the best way to go. This insurance will prevent you from being sued in the event of an accident that is your fault and there are injuries that need to be compensated. It is a good idea to carry more than is recommended because, in the event of an accident with injuries to the other person, the minimum may not cover all of their injuries and, if not, they will rarely come after you to collect the reminder . There are only 4 states at the present that do not require any type of insurance.

If you have had anything added to your vehicle, such as stereo systems or expensive wheels, you should add insurance to cover these add-ons in case of theft. Comprehensive insurance is usually required by finance companies and covers a variety of damages such as wind damage, falling objects, fire, flood, etc. If you are an antique car buff, you will want to insure your car to cover the replacement value. Using your car for business may require that you carry more insurance than you typically would. Basically, the price and the amount of coverage that you carry will be governed by the insurance requirements for the state you stay in and whether you want or feel you need extra insurance above what is required for your vehicle type. It is best to find out what requirements your state has and what you expect to be compensated for in the event of an accident.

According to car crash statistics there were 6,420,000 auto accidents in the US in 2005 with a financial cost of 230 billion dollars. Nationally, a vehicle theft occurs every 27 seconds.

How To Read Jewelry Marks

The number markings on precious gold jewelry are a bit of confusion to lots of people. We are generally used to seeing a karat or silver mark like this: 10K, 14K, 18K, Sterling, etc. The numbers mean the same thing.

For 14k the number is technically 583 but most manufacturers adopted the European way and make 14k gold a tiny bit over 14k, so the mark is 585 in most 14k jewelry. 18K is marked 750. If the mark is valid and there is a makers mark also in the jewelry, the number means these items are 18k gold.

Here is where the numbers come from. Pure gold is called 24 karat. For 18k gold, there are 18 parts of pure gold mixed with other metals to make the metal suitable for use in jewelry. 24k is too soft alone to stand up or to hold stones well. 18 parts pure gold divided by 24, or 18/24 equals 750. That is where the number comes from. The jewelry is 75% pure gold, 750 parts gold with 250 parts other metals out of “1000″ parts. It is easier to think of it as a percent which is pure gold in the recipe.

Sterling silver is marked 925. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the rest is other metal, generally copper.

What does it mean if the ring marked 14K PR? The 14K simply means it is 14K (Karat) gold and because of the K means it would have been made in either South East Asia or The United States. The PR marks are just the Maker or Store ID or even a design mark, and have no relevance to the Value.

The basic decimal formula to work out the quality of gold content is quite simple, as they are all measured in ‘Parts per Thousand.’ This means that 9ct gold is calculated like this: 9 (for 9ct) is divided by pure gold (24) and then multiplied by 1000 (for pure gold as a decimal). ie: 9/24*1000=375 That 375 is the decimal quality for 9ct gold and is sometimes shown with a decimal point in front – .375

The old Victorian standard of 15ct gold is calculated the same way – 15/24*1000 = 625 (Not quite the numbers you have on your jewelry. Dental gold is 16ct or 666 recurring. But you can also reverse this formula by starting with the decimal and working back. ie: 375/1000*24 = 9

In your case we can use 698/1000*24 = almost 17ct

I have a platinum engagement ring and found a wedding ring that I really like but the band is made of palladium. Is it safe to wear these two metals together without one damaging the other?

It will wear the softer metal OVER TIME but that could take many years. My Grandmothers wedding ring eventually wore away the band of her engagement ring but it took over 20 years to do.

Platinum and Palladium and quite good together but I would take the advice of your local friendly jeweler and have them check both rings. Sometimes the Platinum may be a lower grade in order to make it harder – so have that checked.

What to Look for in Full Coverage Automobile Insurance Quote in Montana

Drivers in Montana that are between the ages of fifty and sixty-five may automatically qualify for a reduction on their auto insurance rates. This mature driver discount is helpful particularly for someone who is interested in a full coverage auto insurance policy.

The first thing many people think of after an accident is whether or not their insurance will cover all the damage. This is especially true if they are involved in an accident with someone who has no car insurance at all. For this reason, it's a good idea to take out a full coverage auto insurance policy in Montana. This way, there is not any worry over paying extra to have the car repaired or having to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses.

Medical payments coverage is actually a standard part of a full coverage auto insurance policy. The reason that medical payments coverage is important is that it offers protection regardless of who caused the accident. This means that you and anyone in the car with you would be protected should you happen to be in an accident that was your fault or was the fault of another driver. Even if you already have medical insurance through a group or private policy, this coverage may be necessary. Not all health plans cover accidents.

Collision and comprehensive coverage are also integral parts of a full coverage policy. In fact, if you recently purchased a brand new vehicle and had to take out a loan to pay for it, the lender will typically specify that you need this coverage. You'll have to show proof that you did indeed take out the coverage and if not, they may take it out for you and charge you the premium cost. This is likely going to be a more expensive than if you purchased it yourself. You can also request a higher deductible which will bring the cost down.