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.

Traveling With a Toddler – 5 Tips to Keep You Sane!

Traveling can be taxing and difficult on its own, nonetheless, traveling with a toddler. In order to ensure a good, fun, and happy trip, here are a few helpful tips!

1. Bring A Special Bag

My daughter is currently obsessed with Dora and Diego. So in preparation for a recent trip, we purchased a Diego backpack for all of her toys. Not only was my daughter thrilled with the backpack, but she was also able to wear it while traveling, so freeing my hands for something else!

2. Pack Lots of Toys and Drawing Supplies

Being prepared is the key for pleasant travels. You can never have enough books, coloring books, crayons, stickers or toys for a toddler. To make sure that it's really special and new, start buying supplies in advance. That way there is extra excitation and eagerness to read a new book or use new crayons. A great place to find inexpensive and small items is the Dollar Store.

3. Bring the Favorites

A great tip I learned from a season mom is to start putting away favorite toys before a trip and then re-introduce while traveling. Not only are the kids excited to see the toy, but you already know they will happily play with it!

4. Do not Forget The Snacks

Food and drinks are always a necessity while traveling. Juice boxes and goldfish are an essential; however, bringing new items may also work. Try making trail mix and have two bags … one for the trip there and one for the way home. And be prepared, if you are flying, security may seize your opened containers. I found that they allowed my daughter's sippy cup with juice, but that might not be the case at all airports. Bottom line, have a "plan B" in place!

5. Maintaining A Schedule

Although you're on vacation, following your typical schedule and routine can be comforting to a toddler. If your child is use to taking a daily nap, do everything in your power to maintain that schedule. Otherwise, you could be vacationing with a cranky and unpleasant child … which is not relaxing or fun!

Traveling with a toddler can be lots of fun, but be sure to plan ahead. Be prepared and expect the unexpected! If you can roll with the punches, everyone is sure to have a great time!

A List of Clothing Fashion Don’ts

There are plenty fashion rules that have circulated for centuries, and these days, the old rules will not cut it. Today, you need to forget about the old rules of not wearing white after labor day and saving all of your shimmer for the evening. If you want to learn how to dress your body well and look better everyday, try to avoid the following brand new fashion don'ts.

Do not think function over fashion. If your excuse for not wearing your body better is simply that you are dressing for the weather or you just want to be "comfortable," it is probably time for a change. Do not just by oversized clothing that is frumpy and totally not figure flattering because you want to be "comfortable." If you take your time and try things on you will find that well fitted clothing that is appropriate for your body type actually is quite comfortable. If you get the proper size and the proper style, you can look good, be shielded from the weather, and feel comfortable.

Do not use size numbers alone to determine whether or not your clothes will fit you. Every boutique, department store, and clothing shop is going to have sizes on their outfits. Your size will not be the same in all stores, so get over it. Sometimes, even though you might feel bad about it, the appropriate size for your body will mean looking for a higher number in some stores than in others. It is much better to buy a larger size and look good than to wear something that does not really fit you, and will make you look bigger. If your outfits are busting at the seams, you will look larger than you are.

The final do not is this: do not think that your appearance does not matter. You might say that you do not care what other people think. The reality is, however, that if you have certain career goals in mind and you do not look the part, you will not get the part. Everyone, even if they try to deny it, wants the respect of others, especially at work. Dress to look the best that you can look in appropriate clothing for your profession. Do not make excuses or sell yourself short of the opportunity to look put together to potential clients and potential employers.

The clothing that you put on your body says a lot about who you are. Let it match who you are inside. Let the world know that you respect yourself enough to dress well.

Bravado Clothes Help Pregnant and Post-Partum Women

During pregnancy, comfort is of extreme importance. As one’s body changes and one’s baby bump grows, having clothing that fits well ensures one’s comfort all day long. When clothing is too tight, too loose, or pinches in all the wrong places, even the simplest of tasks can seem bothersome. This same mantra holds true after one’s baby is born, as one is in the full swing of nursing and starting to get back to one’s pre-baby weight. In order to ensure their comfort, many women spend a great deal of time finding the perfect nursing tops and pants. While this is very important, they tend to overlook one important aspect: the undergarment. Well-designed and perfectly fitting bras and panties are of the utmost importance during maternity and nursing, as one wears them every single day and they are the first thing one feels touching one’s skin. Bravado, known around the world for their well-made nursing and maternity tanks, bras, and panties, is a designer who truly understands the woman’s body during and after pregnancy, and whose designs ensure one’s comfort throughout the day.

Having some essential tanks in one’s maternity and nursing wardrobe is a good idea, as they can be mixed and matched with a variety of outfits. Bravado’s Nursing Bra Tank is THE ultimate tank, as it is designed for nursing but can be worn during maternity and postpartum as well. Super stylish, it makes mom’s feel great both inside and out. It’s V-neck has a slimming effect, and the ruching at the bust adds a dainty feminine detail. The soft cotton and spandex fabric has flexible sizing, so that it molds beautifully to one’s changing shape. As functional as it is fashionable, the tank has a seamless molded bra that provides excellent bust support. Its thin and cushioned straps are adjustable so that it can be fitted perfectly to one’s changing shape and the subtle nursing clips provide full easy and discreet nursing access. This tank is a smart buy as one truly gets one’s money’s worth. With such great construction, it can be worn simply hanging around the house or dressed up for heading out. Pair it with your favorite boot-cut jeans and blazer, and an instant stylish outfit is created. Comfortable and stylish, the Nursing Bra Tank is an essential in every mother’s wardrobe.

Having a well-fitting and extremely well-designed nursing bra is a must, as it will make one’s daily life much easier. Bravado has perfected several great nursing bras, each designed with the mother’s comfort in mind. Their Original Nursing Bra is a fabulous choice, as it is comfortable and supportive. Oftentimes certain bras work well only for certain bust sizes, but this one is designed in three different versions so that small, medium, and large bust sizes are accommodated. Each version is designed especially for different sizes, but they all have some of the same important features. Made out of cotton and spandex, there is superb breathability and stretch which allows it to mold to one’s changing breast shape. Non-irritating seams and wide under-elastic provides excellent bust support while ensuring that the bra does not slip. Flat-laying clips allow for full nursing access. No matter one’s size, this bra makes nursing much easier. Another gorgeous option is the Sublime Nursing Bra, which is feminine and sexy while still providing great nursing access. The beautiful lace detailing in the Black Cherry or French Vanilla color is accented by a dainty black bow at the bust. Functional as well, the double cup size and flexible fabric adjust to one’s changing bust size and flat-lying nursing clips are easy to use. For a glammed up feel while still maintaining the highest level of comfort, Bravado’s Sublime Nursing Bra is an excellent choice.

As one’s body changes during pregnancy, having panties that fit well and make you feel great is a must. As they are something one wears every day, investing in some great pairs makes a lot of sense. Bravado’s Original Bikini Panty is great for maternity and nursing. With a full seat that stays put and wide leg openings that don’t creep up, comfort is guaranteed all day long. For those who want to make sure to avoid any underwear lines, the Original Thong is a good choice. For long-lasting comfort designed specifically for one’s changing body, Bravado’s underwear designs meet the criteria.

From tanks to bras to panties, Bravado creates garments that are comfortable, stylish, and sure to make one feel great throughout the day.