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 Add-ons for VP-ASP
 Keep Sessions/Carts Alive (customer and/or admin)
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devshb
Senior Member

United Kingdom
1898 Posts

Posted - June 12 2012 :  14:47:46  Show Profile  Visit devshb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Are you fed-up with your customers phoning/emailing you telling you that they've just spent half an hour putting items in the cart, then spent 20 minutes on the phone and came back to find that their cart's disappeared?
Remember, that for every customer who phones/emails you about their dropped-cart, there will be 100 other potential customers who just left your site without contacting you when the same thing happened to them.

Or, are you fed-up as an admin user having to login again and losing context whenever you've spent 10 minutes "idle" on your admin pages?

There's been a lot of discussion over the years about dropped-sessions/carts, from the customer-side and from the admin side.

There are lots of different ways to fix this issue, some ways are more complex than others, each way has a different overhead on the server, and has a different level of complexity when it comes to installing/fixing the issues, and each way fixes a different element of how/why the sessions/info gets dropped/lost.

But, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, so here's a nice easy one to install which'll help avoid your customers' dropped carts and/or which'll also (if you want) stop your admin pages from being logged out every 20 minutes:

Keep-Alive Sessions for ASP/VPASP - BYZ177:
http://www.bigyellowkey.com/keep-alive-sessions-for-asp-from-bigyellowzone-byz177.asp

Simon Barnaby
Developer
[email protected]
www.BigYellowZone.com
www.BigYellowKey.com
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bigyellowzone
Web Design, Online Marketing and VPASP addons

Data0999
Starting Member

USA
42 Posts

Posted - June 14 2012 :  00:43:53  Show Profile  Visit Data0999's Homepage  Reply with Quote
WELL DONE SIMON !!

We've been testing this for about a day and this is the answer we've been waiting for. Admin timeouts were a minor issue for us. The main issue has been lost cart contents when a customer takes just a bit too long. A variety of other "fixes" helped but this program seems to have solved that issue. Leave it on even for 12 hours and your contents are still there and still logged in.

Easy to install and probably paid for itself in the first few hours or minutes even.

Thanks a bunch,
Dave Layton
Beachballs.com
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neatstuff
Starting Member

USA
22 Posts

Posted - June 14 2012 :  21:04:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also have to give Simon a "BIG THUMBS UP" for this add-on. It not only helps my customers hold product in their cart, but it helps us as administrators. How many times have you worked on copy for a product.. go to save it and find you timed out. All that work gone and now you have to start over. This new add-on will change your fears. No more "timed out" sessions. Simon, may be a pain in the butt sometimes, but he is a genius for many of his products. you won't be sorry you purchased this; it's well worth it!
Thank you Simon Barnaby!!

Cliff Meyer
www.neatstuffgifts.com
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chrisredco
VP-ASP Super User

282 Posts

Posted - June 15 2012 :  17:49:00  Show Profile  Visit chrisredco's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I feel obligated to mention that VPASP has their own session saving add-on that we have been using successfully for many months now. It may work differently than the BYZ add-on, but it does allow your user to close the browser and then re-open it later or the next day, etc (you set the time) and still have the cart populated, as long as they don't clear their cookies.

I can see the advantage of the BYZ add-on as well as it seems to work less obtrusively , but I know many of our customers like being able to start a cart one day and continue the next without saving it (I know, seems excessive, but they do appreciate this option).

As far as the ADMIN page login session, I've used one from HK Programming successfully for years, but it is no longer available, so glad to see Simon has answered the call.

Be advised, this is all coming from a guy that has probably bought 15 BYZ add-ons, so I'm a big supporter of Simon and his team!

Chris Stubbs
Redco Audio

Redco Audio
www.redco.com
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devshb
Senior Member

United Kingdom
1898 Posts

Posted - June 16 2012 :  05:44:13  Show Profile  Visit devshb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Chris,

I'm glad you brought that up actually, because I think you're right; the different addons serve slightly different functions/uses, each one is useful for different aspects of timeouts and lost info, and this discussion is a very good/healthy one to have because it'll help a lot of other vpasp users understand how the different aspects/addons work when it comes to "keeping" the cart/admin-login/session etc.

I'm not a vpasp merchant as such, but if I was then I'd want to have all of those things on my site because they'd work together, each one using a different method to "keep" a different aspect at different times and for different reasons and in different ways. Each of those things can be used independently of each other, but they can also be combined into the same instance of vpasp and they layer-together very well.

I think you'd want a site setup like this, using whatever aspects of it you can depending on the version of your cart etc:

1) Use the byz177 addon; this'll act as your "fall-through" logic; it'll keep the customer and admin sessions alive as long as you've still got the site on one of your browser tabs/windows somewhere (doesn't matter if you browse other sites at the same time and stay "idle" on the vpasp site for hours, or if you minimise the browser etc, your vpasp session will still remain active). On the admin side it means that you can login in the morning, and just keep it open all day without ever worrying about losing info that's only been half-entered and not saved yet or losing your admin login status, and means you can spend an hour typing in content info etc without fear of losing it, and on the customer side it means you can keep your cart (the mini-cart contents, and your login if you're logged in) and whatever other info you've entered for your pending order/customer-info etc active for the day.

2) Use the vpasp customer cookie login config option so that if the customer comes back another day, they don't have to login again.

3) Use the vpasp customer cart cookie addon so that if the customer comes back another day, they don't lose what they put in their cart.

4) Use HK Programming's admin-login addon (I think vpasp have now taken this over) so that when you come back to admin another day you don't have to login.

What we've found is that the cookie customer login, the cookie customer cart, and the admin login addon (ie 2+3+4) don't always restore the entire relevant context/info when they fire-up, or they fire them up in an order which doesn't always do everything you're expecting them to do. For example, we've had instances where people have (4) in place, but if they spend half an hour physically entering info in a content record and then press the save button, they lose the info they've entered (because of the way the auto-login process works), so they remain logged in, but they lose what they just spent ages entering into the form.

ie 2+3+4 do what they say they do, and they do it well, but what they say they do is not the end of the story because there are also other aspects which need considering too (which is where (1) comes in).

So (I know I'm biased, but I'm trying to be impartial!), I'd personally want to use 1+2+3+4 all together if I could, but I'd put 1 (byz177) at the top of the list because it'll work on any asp/vpasp site regardless of version and regardless of any other stuff you've got enabled/installed, and it acts as a fall-through and will save a lot of annoyances on the customer and admin side regardless of what other addons/options are setup.

In summary, byz177 is NOT a replacement for the other things mentioned, I think you should still try to use those other things too if you can, but I also think that byz177 is a must-have regardless of what other options/addons you've got in place.

So we're not competing against those other options/addons in this instance; each option/addon "fixes" a slightly different aspect. Installing 1, 2, or even 3 of those things won't fix all of your session/login/cart related problems, I think you'd need all 4 to fix them all.

One of the least-advertised elements of all this stuff is the "de-stress" element; when customers or admin users know that they won't lose their context/info, it makes the browsing/admin experience a lot less stressful; never underestimate this aspect!

We use the cart and login logic on our bigyellowkey.com site for customer and admin side (it doesn't use vpasp, but we use our own custom-built logic to achieve the same things on our site), and it means we (and our customers) never have to worry about losing our info/context, and we can calmly do whatever we want whenever we want, without fear of losing what we were half-way through doing, or we can even come back another day and finish off what we were doing, and we never get logged out or lose our cart etc. That lack of stress (ie where you don't have the constant "I must press a button in the next 20 minutes" threat hanging over your head) makes for a whole different browsing/admin experience that's much nicer for everyone.

I'm hoping that Cam will jump-in here to offer his 2 cents' worth because it'd be helpful to get vpasp's take on it too.

Simon Barnaby
Developer
[email protected]
www.BigYellowZone.com
www.BigYellowKey.com
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bigyellowzone
Web Design, Online Marketing and VPASP addons

Edited by - devshb on June 16 2012 06:06:53
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