Accounts OnlineTM

Operating Manual
Version Log
Setup Guide
Config Variables
Running on NT

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Setup Guide

1. Planning

Before installing Accounts Online package you must decide on the following:

1.1. Scripts Directory

The directory to hold all *.cgi and *.pm files. Your web server must be able to execute scripts from this directory. Please refer to your server documentation for instructions how to allow scripts execution for a directory.

1.2 Data Directory (Base Directory)

The directory to hold Accounts Online database. Accounts Online scripts must have read/write access to this directory. Setting 777 access mode under UNIX is a sure bet.

For security reasons it is highly recommended to place data directory outside of web server document root.

1.3 Configuration File

The file to store all Accounts Online configuration variables. Accounts Online scripts must have read/write access to this file. By default Accounts Online will try to create this file in the scripts directory. This could create problems on certain web servers - some servers do not allow setting 0777 mode for scripts directories, some servers even disable cgi directories upon detection of attempt to write data into the directory by a script.

To override default behavior you must provide Accounts Online with complete pathname to configuration file, which is located outside of scripts directory.

If you are not sure whether your server allows 0777 mode for scripts directories and writing to scripts directories, we would suggest to name configuration file as config.cgi and store it under data directory as per 1.2 above.

1.4 Passwords File

The file to store operator passwords. Scripts use this file to authenticate your employees authorized to access management functions of Accounts Online. This file also stores access rights info for all authorized users. You may select special location for this file in order to eliminate unauthorized access. If unsure name it passwords.cgi and store under data directory as per 1.2 above.

1.5 Images directory

Accounts Online use GIF images to display menu items. By default these images will be stored under scripts directory as per 1.1. Unfortunately some web servers may be configured to disable serving images from cgi directory. In such a case you may have to place all .gif files into separate directory on your server.

1.6 Maximum account ID length

By default Accounts Online software does not allow account IDs longer than 10 characters. You can override default settings, but you can do it only once upon initial setup.

In order to speed up transaction lookups Accounts Online maintains index file. The file is being used to resolve transaction ID into account ID and consists of fixed length records. The length of each records is N bytes, where N is the maximum account ID length. Thus every time Accounts Online software registers a transaction (invoice or receipt), the index file grows N bytes longer. Unreasonable long accounts IDs could result in huge index file. Keep this in mind when deciding on maximum account ID length.

We suggest to prepare the following table before proceeding to setup

Scripts Directory                                       
Data Directory 
Configuration File 
Passwords File 
Images Directory 
Maximum account ID length 

Here is a sample table. We assume the following server configuration:

Domain name:
Home directory: /home/
Document root: /home/

Scripts Directory/home/
Data Directory/home/
Configuration File/home/
Passwords File/home/
Images Directory/home/
Maximum account ID length20

2. Setup

2.1. Unzip You should get the following files:

cs.cgi - Diagnostic & Customer Support script
admin.cgi - Admin tools script
accmgr.cgi - Account Manager script
accview.cgi - Account viewer (customer entry)
lookup.cgi - Invoice Lookup utility - account managing subroutines - product managing subroutines - eCommerce Gateway module stub - date conversion subroutines - log files managing subroutines - Accounts Online API module - Accounts Online Shopping Cart API module - tax calculation subroutines - subscription management subroutines
rebill.cgi - standalone script for automated recurring billing
ssirebill.cgi - ssi script which starts
*.gif - image files

There are a number of files within file. These are sample scripts and html templates and are not required for installation.

2.2. Edit *.cgi files if needed: the very first line contains full pathname to Perl. Default settings should be OK for most systems, but you should check with your administrator if not sure.

2.3. Create configoverride.cgi file (skip this section if you will use default location for configuration file - see 1.3 for more details). Use plain text editor like Notepad. This file shall contain single line with a full pathname of configuration file. Do not create the configuration file - it must be created by Accounts Online. You only name it (that is provide configoverride.cgi file, which contains full pathname of config file).

For our sample site (see Planning section) we would create configoverride.cgi file with the following contents:


2.4. Create Scripts Directory (if does not exist) on your web server. Make sure web server can execute scripts from this directory. Set mode to 0755 (or to 0777 if you do not use configoverride.cgi).

2.5. Upload all *.cgi and *.pm files (including configoverride.cgi if exists) to the scripts directory on your web server in ASCII mode. Please note, you should use ASCII mode when uploading scripts to your web server.

2.6. Set 0755 mode for all *.cgi and *.pm files you have uploaded as per 2.5

2.7. Upload all *.gif files to images directory (as per 1.5) in BINARY mode.

2.8. Make sure, directory under which you decided to store configuration file (as per 1.3) exists and scripts have read/write access to the directory. Create the directory and set proper access rights if needed.

2.9. If you decided to override default settings for maximum account ID length, please skip this section and proceed to 2.10. Enter URL of admin.cgi script into your browser address string (considering our sample it shall be and hit Enter key. You should see System Setup form. If you see something else, please refer to Setup Troubleshooting section for more info. Proceed to section 2.11.

2.10. Enter URL of admin.cgi script into your browser address string followed without spaces by ?maxaccid=N. Substitute N with maximum account ID length (considering our sample it shall be and hit Enter key. You should see System Setup form. If you see something else, please refer to Setup Troubleshooting section for more info.

2.11. Check and edit if required values for major variables. Please leave other fields intact.

basedir - enter absolute path to data directory (as per 1.2), no trailing slash
Image directory url - enter URL (please note, URL is not the same as file system directory) of image directory (as per 1.5), no trailing slash
pwdfile path - enter full pathname of passwords file (as per 1.4)

basedir = /home/
Image directory url = /images
pwdfile path = home/

Scroll down and assign login and password to system administrator (fields Login, Password, Repeat password).

Click [Save Configuration].

You should see Saving configuration message followed by setup log. If no errors encountered click "Staff logon" link below setup log to enter Accounts Online. You will need to provide system administrator ID and password you have just selected.

In order to continue configuring Accounts Online click System Setup menu. Please refer to System Setup Variables Section for more info.

To create users click "User Management" button. Please refer to Operating Manual for more info on user management.

2.12. (optional) Recurring billing activation.
Normally rebill.cgi is to be run once every day by crontab. If you do not have access to crontab on your server or do not know what crontab is at all use instead. Place the following html code

<!--#include virtual="url-path-to-accounts-online/ssirebill.cgi" -->

on the page which gets reasonable number of hits per day. Every time this page being accessed ssirebill.cgi will check last time rebill.cgi was activated and run it if necessary.

3. Setup troubleshooting

You have entered URL of admin.cgi into browser address string and...

3.1. Saw Page Not Found 404 Error
That means you either made a mistake typing the url or the scripts directory (as per 1.1) must be accessed via another URL - please refer to your web server documentation to find out how URLs map to file system directories on your server.

3.2. Browser began download the admin.cgi script
That means your server does not recognize admin.cgi as executable script. Please refer to your web server documentation to find out how to configure web server to recognize *.cgi file extension as executable script.

3.3. Saw Internal Server Error page
There could be multiple reasons for this error including but not limited by using binary mode to upload file, wrong path to Perl (the very first line of any script), failure to make executable either script file or script directory. Please refer to contents of your server error log file for error description. Please note, that one error usually generates 2 or more lines in error log file and the last one, which reads "Premature end of script headers" does not contain useful info. Before contacting us please obtain at least 10 last lines from your server error log.

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