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[web] [ASP.NET] Charging for Subscriptions?

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Does anyone have any knowledge / good resources on how to charge for a subscription to a website? I am currently reading into PayPal's service but its help is spread out and lacking in any hard data. The forums have been little to no help, and the code doesn't seem easy to work with. The main problem is I need a way to know what users have paid and what users haven't so I can update / create their permissions in the database. Any help is appreciated!

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IIRC you can set in PayPal what page of your website a user should go to after they have paid. So, anyone landing on that page has paid successfully and should have an account created (with security in place ofcourse, such as tracking their session and referrer to make sure they came from PayPal).

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When a payment has been confirmed you can store this in your database and carry out whatever other actions are necessary (e.g. update the customer record's "subscribed_until_date")

This really has nothing to do with asp.net and is more of a design issue.

Personally I would create a table storing all the information about each attempted payment, which is inserted into before they go to paypal.

You can use the paypal PDT and/or IPN. I recommend that you use both to minimise the possibility of a successful payment going unnoticed. PDT transfers data to your application via the user's browser, IPN does a server-server post into your application to notify you.

Read the Paypal documentation for how to set up PDT and IPN - you will need to obtain a Paypal "Sandbox" (test system) account.

Your application should be configurable so that in development you can run it against the "Sandbox" and production against the live Paypal. Moreover, the account which gets paid should be configurable.

When the IPN or PDT happens, if the payment hasn't already been confirmed/processed, you should carry out all the payment confirmation actions, e.g. mailing the user, updating their subscription record and marking the payment as successful.

Mark

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