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FairPay Introduction

FairPay is an enterprise-class integration kit that assists with integrating PayPal with any solution you need to program, utilising PayPal's IPN (Instant Payment Notification) functionality. This IPN technology lets you receive information about PayPal transactions "behind the scenes" so that you may take further automated action based on what transpired for any given transaction. Their technology is quite robust, occurs within seconds, and will retry upon failure to contact your site with the details. Of their solutions along these lines of integration, we at Fairlight Consulting are convinced it's the "best way to fly".

FairPay is not limited to being used only for shopping carts, or only for auctions. It handles every type of IPN transaction documented by PayPal in their Integration Guide. Using FairPay, you can very easily integrate PayPal into any solution your business or organisation may need, including:

   * subscription management

   * adjusting bookkeeping

...and much more!

If PayPal generates IPN data for a transaction, FairPay makes it easy for you to access all relevant data associated with it.

FairPay is small, fast, and robust. It installs and can be configured easily in about five minutes, and what you do with it from there is up to you. Your possibilities for use of FairPay are unlimited because you can use any language you choose to facilitate your tasks in a very modular fashion.

FairPay consists of two programs: flipna and fairpay_sql_populate. The flipna program handles all data receipt and validation of IPN's and stores the resultant data in an XML file. It then runs whatever commands you tell it to run upon receipt of an IPN. The fairpay_sql_populate module that is supplied will populate SQL relational database tables with all information specific to the transaction. This module will usually be the first command you run if you wish to track and maintain your IPN data locally in a database. Any "business rules" programs and their attendant logic (ie., creating an online account, or automating printing shipping labels) falls under business rules, and is written by the developer. However, you simply use a nicely laid-out database relation to access the relevant data for the specific transaction. The grunt-work of tracking all your information and making it available in an easy-to-utilise form is handled for you by FairPay, leaving you free to handle your specific operations rather than reinventing the wheel.

FairPay is modularly designed, so adding and removing modules is a trivial task. Each module can be written in any language you like. You might start off simply activating accounts for people to download software from your web site once they've paid. Later on, you can add another module that tracks and handles subscriptions for you, and simply "plug it in" as a separate module. Because FairPay handles all transaction types, you can dynamically enable or disable any part of your enterprise at any given time, making it an utterly flexible solution. You don't have to start out with everything designed. You can start with one modular application and add more as you need them. Your business rules can change without having to redesign one monolithic program, giving you flexibility and ease of mind knowing that your current solution will simply be augmented by whatever you add, not potentially harmed by an entire redesign of one single module or application. The engine remains the same, but you can change everything else at will. That is one of FairPay's strengths.

FairPay currently runs on Windows or any Unix-like system that can run perl 5.6 or higher. The SQL population module supports MySQL, PostgresSQL, and MS-SQL (the last is supported via ODBC).