This week we will be releasing version 1.0 of the AcuInvoice Simple Store, a PHP application that uses the AcuInvoice API to enable subscribers to quickly generate a standards-compliant web store where customers can place orders for products, services, and digital goods. Order information is passed securely via the AcuInvoice API to the subscriber’s account and invoices are automatically sent. If you sell digital goods (MP3s, images, software, etc), the items will be automatically delivered to the customer once payment is received and the invoice is converted into a closed state. The AcuInvoice Simple Store is an outstanding example of the power of the AcuInvoice API (it even uses a number of features and data elements that we have yet to fully document) and provides a large amount of sample code that will be useful to other AcuInvoice developers. Therefore, we will be releasing the AcuInvoice Simple Store to the AcuInvoice community free of charge as a means of providing a strong set of core classes with which developers can build custom AcuInvoice applications. We will be putting the finishing touches on the Simple Store early this week, and plan on releasing documentation and tutorials along with the script later in the week. This post highlights the features and benefits of the store, and provides access to a sample store containing some $0.10 items so that you can execute a couple of test transactions and let us know what you think.
We have posted “The Charlie Store“ so that you can see a preview of what the store looks like by default. You can execute a test transaction (where you purchase a $0.10 picture of my infant son and have it automatically delivered) to test the functionality. The script functions in the manner described in the “How It Works” section below.
How It Works
When a customer places an order from your AcuInvoice Simple Store, all order data will be instantly passed to your AcuInvoice account. The data will be used to create a new contact (if the customer is not already in the database), and an invoice will be automatically created and sent to your customer at the email address provided during checkout. When your customer receives your invoice, they can pay via any gateway that you have enabled both in your AcuInvoice account and the AcuInvoice Simple Store. Once the invoice is paid, it will be automatically converted into a closed state. If the order contained any digital goods, the script will automatically send out an email containing an order-specific download URL. The AcuInvoice Simple Store allows you to limit the duration the download URL is valid, and specify a maximum number of item downloads.
Features & Benefits
Super Simple Installation
The AcuInvoice Simple Store is easy to install and configure. Simply unzip the archive, upload it to your web server, create a MySQL database, change a couple of permissions settings, and load the installer script in your browser. Your store will be automatically configured and should be functioning in about five minutes.
The AcuInvoice Simple Store utilizes clean CSS and produces valid XHTML 1.0 Strict for maximum compatibility with a variety of popular web browsers.
Simple Management of Content
The AcuInvoice Simple Store utilizes the TinyMCE HTML editor giving you the ability to style your store’s content using a familiar interface. TinyMCE is integrated by default into a number of applications and should be familiar to most users.
Your AcuInvoice Simple Store is completely customizable. You can make modifications to the storefront to suit the look of your site, and edit the store’s CSS via a simple web-based editing utility.
Standalone and Embeddable Mode
The AcuInvoice Simple Store can be used in either a standalone or embeddable mode. The standalone mode (default) produces a separate storefront page, while the embeddable mode allows you to insert your AcuInvoice Simple Store into any web page using a singleelement. Embeddable mode could be used, for example, to insert your simple store into pages dynamically generated by popular publishing platforms such as WordPress.
Centralize Service Invoices and Store Purchases
You already use AcuInvoice to bill your clients, but if you sell products too, you might have to use another system for tracking those sales. Since the AcuInvoice Simple Store uses the AcuInvoice API to automatically enter customer and order information into AcuInvoice, all of your data will be centralized into your AcuInvoice account.
Automatically Delivers Digital Goods
If you sell digital goods from within your AcuInvoice Simple Store, these goods will be automatically delivered once the relevant invoice has been paid. Once payment is remitted and the invoice is converted into a closed state, customers will be sent an email containing a purchase-specific URLs that provides controlled access to digital content.
Plays Well With AcuInvoice Domain Mapping
If you have enabled domain mapping in your AcuInvoice account, all invoices generated via the AcuInvoice Simple Store will originate from your mapped domain, thereby giving you the option of providing a more carefully branded purchase experience for your customers.
The AcuInvoice Simple Store will be released without charge to the AcuInvoice community. Please note that transactions completed through the AcuInvoice Simple Store will automatically pass customer information securely to your AcuInvoice account. Therefore, if you believe you will have a very active store, be certain to have a subscription level that will permit you to have a sufficient number of invoiced clients.