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Paypal and Instant payment notification (IPN) - with a twist



10:40 pm on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When receiving an e-mail I would like to auto-reply an e-mail back. But this is the twist: I don't want to autoreply to the e-mail address that sent it - but want the system to read the e-mail and send it to an e-mail address listed in the e-mail.

To flesh this out: paypal will send me an e-mail. Inside telling me that I have received paypent from a certain e-mail. I want to auto send an e-mail to this e-mail address. Not to paypal.

In the e-mail I send out - I will send out a user name and password for access to my website. This user name and password will work as long as I can keep the site up and running.

Ideally I want to do this with a web based e-mail account such as hotmail or yahoo. However, would still be interested to hear about solutions with other e-mail account types.

Why not just use the Paypal merchant tools you may ask? Why not use the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) of paypal - where paypal can notify me of being paid by passing a message to my server? The use of these kind of tools, as far as I know, requires database capability on my server. I have no such capability at present. This will change in the future. But for now - no.

I realise what I propose here is not the optimal solutuon - using the IPN tool of paypal is optimal. But for now - I am really keen on what I propose here if it is possible. Is it possible?

Would be interested to hear what people think. Many, many thanks.


12:18 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Its very doable, however quite frankly it will be easier for you to do it with an IPN script -- you don't need a database to use an IPN script.

With the email way of doing things you'll need to parse it and find the person's email address - not hard to do, simply more error prone. What if paypal changes the format of the emails they send out?

Also might want to consider issuing each person a unique username/password. What if the username/password gets posted publically?


4:24 pm on Nov 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

IPN doesn't require database. It is just a server post to your server, what you do with the data is up to you.

Each IPN contains pretty much all the details in the transaction, you can extract the email address and send out emails through your own scripts.

Most webmasters use IPN to send out order receipts and to manage inventory. Managing inventory usually requires database. Maybe that is why you had the impression of IPN requiring database.


3:06 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Good news about the not absolute need for a database. I am thinking of using a paypal like company called payswiss that will post the following info to my server (to a designated url) after a successful payment:

After successful payment process system will forward buyer to your site
and some parameters will back to your script by the POST method:

íP action - type of transaction (product/subscription/payment)
íP pid - internal product ID
íP pname - product name
íP buyer - buyer username
íP total - total amount
íP quantity - quantity
íP comments - buyer notes
íP referer - system referer URL (http://www.payswiss.com)

You can get this parameters by the global POST variable,
e.g. $_POST[--VARIABLE-NAME--]...

MY question - I have no idea how to get my hands on these variables. Can I get hold of them in javascript? Or can only server side languages use these variables? Really hope javascript is possible? What would these variables be called in javascript?


3:47 pm on Nov 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can use javascript to write serverside asp scripts that can access those variables.

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