Jun 11

My Ventures Into ASP.NET MVC 5, Identity 2, Entity Framework 6, WebAPI 2 and a Chrome Extension

So my wife works as a direct sales consultant.

She just quit her job this morning due to an issue with “The Customer is Always Right” policy.

She feels bad about it, but I kind of encouraged it. And I digress.

Back in late December of 2014, she decided to finally follow up with a friends request to join a network marketing company.

Who hasn’t, right?

Well, it turns out, she’s pretty darn good at it.

If you haven’t already, I would recommend you checking out the Marc Accetta Personality Test. It’s free, and from what I can tell, I haven’t received any followups since I took the test a few weeks ago.

Anyway, my stats are: Green, Yellow, Blue, Red.

Hers? Red, Green and then who cares about the rest.

Her Red makes her a prime candidate for this type of position; but I must be honest and say that it really clashes with the yellow that is inside of me.

None of these characteristics are necessarily bad, but they do give you an idea of how you deal with situations day to day, as well as with other people of different color profiles.

Anyway, since her business has been growing, I told her she needed to get herself a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

She scoffed.

Until she heard someone else mention it at a business networking event; and then it was better than sliced bread.

So annoying.

Being a developer, I then set out on an adventure to find a reasonably priced solution that had a developers API.

The company that was recommended at the meeting had a link that said “Developer Access”. So I signed up to check it out.

Not sure what they meant by “developer access”, but it was nothing like what I had in mind. They emailed me shortly after I signed up trying to get me to sign up for their training classes in order to utilize the system.

When I inquired about an API (Application Programming Interface), they said that if I provided them with a Quickbooks file, they could load it into their system once.

Um, no. That’s not what I thought “Developer Access” meant.

Well, I was now out of options for a reasonably priced CRM solution for my wife that would “automatically” import her customer’s information into her own CRM to allow her to run better automation amongst her customers.

Or was I?

Using the model of “find customers who have a problem and would use your system”, I decided to post to one of her private groups.

And boy did I get some feedback.

I’m only opening up the group to a handful of people who are actually interested, by asking them for a small and nominal monthly fee; mostly to cover hosting expenses during the alpha phase.

And as early adopters, they’ll probably keep the benefits of this system for the same price, but maybe a little more. I’m still debating it at the moment.

Anyway, I’ve had quite an adventurous journey over the last week and a half when I decided to start this.

I will literally have to look up the various things from my browser history and type up a brand new post that will be all “I ran into this problem, and these links helped me figure it out… Then I ran into this problem…”

A week and a half of that. And keep in mind, it wasn’t always the first link that fixed it, and it was often multiple searches with tweaks in the terms that led me to my ultimate solution; only to be beaten down with the next arising issue.

Well, I’m feeling quite motivated in continuing down my path.

Finally, I have a product in the works that people are willing to pay money for, and I’m super stoked to write it that I’m almost developing a case of insomnia.

I hope that my next post will be a digest of what I’ve hunted for thus far, as I haven’t been good about keeping a programming journal up to date.

Until next time…

Happy Coding,

Oct 09

What Do You Do When Your Payment Gateway Goes Down?

Edit: 2014/10/10 7:35 – I saw a slew of error messages again, and sure enough they went down last night. That makes it 11 times in 8 months.

So yesterday has marked the 10th time in 8 months that the payment gateway Authorize.NET has gone down.

They are (gathered from the Authorize.net twitter page)

  • 02/26/2014
  • 03/03/2014 (Test environment)
  • 03/05/2014
  • 04/04/2014 (Test environment)
  • 04/30/2014 – 5/1
  • 06/02/2014 – 6/3
  • 07/22/2014
  • 08/19/2014
  • 09/19/2014 (CIM only?)
  • 10/08/2014
  • 10/09/2014

We have 4 large products, and 1 “lemonade stand” (It generates revenue and serves a very niche purpose, but it’s just not at the same level).

Well, at roughly 3:21PM Mountain, we received our first error message of not being able to contact the payment gateway, and have been getting an average of 1-2 per minute.

When you can't accept payment, you're losing money.

When you can’t accept payments, you’re losing money.

This is becoming such a habit, that the URL I used to check twitter was still easily accessible. I just did a search for anyone who was tweeting Authorize.net. I have to admit, that even though I don’t fully condone the use of foul language, this one by Zachary Parton was one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it, other than ride out the storm.

When this happened back in June, I wanted to write some code that could flip a switch that would do one or more of the following:

  • On the payment page, let the user know that our credit card gateway is currently down, and disable the button
  • Offer another way to pay
  • Capture the details and batch them when they are back up

However, that is our busy season, and were guided into thinking that it’s not a consistent enough problem to solve as there were other priorities.

4 months later, and this seems to be “a consistent enough problem” that we should at least attempt to mitigate.

Are you affected by the Authorize.net outages?

What do you do when it goes down?

Let me know in the comments below, or by my contact form.

Code On,