Service Outage: Power Loss at Primary Data Center Due to Backup Power Failure

  • Jason@DPD
  • July 20, 2015
  • 2 Comments

This morning the Softlayer datacenter where DPD’s primary servers are located experienced power loss.

The Softlayer datacenter has both battery and backup generator backup power supplies, but the automatic transfer switch for the backup generators failed, resulting in DPD’s servers losing power when the backup battery supplies were exhausted.

This resulted in an unclean shutdown of DPD’s primary database server. As a result, the database was corrupted on disk. DPD maintains regular backups of database data and we immediately worked to restore the latest backup that happened approximately 39 minutes before the power loss event.

DPD is now up and fully operational.

We are working to restore the missing data that happened between the time the last backup happened at 6:25 AM EST and the power loss event at 7:04 AM EST. We hope to restore this data within the next 24-48 hours but we’ll need to extract the data from the corrupt database and insert it in to the new restored database, so it will take some time to complete.

Power Outage Event Timeline:

All times Eastern

  • 6:25 : Last regular database backup.
  • 7:04 : Our datacenter received a power outage. Redundant power failed to take over before battery backups were exhausted. The pod our servers are located in then lost power.
  • 9:40 : Power was restored.
  • 9:41 : We discovered an anomaly with the database. Further investigation shows on-disk corruption from the power outage.
  • 10:10 : It was determined that the database was not recoverable in a reasonable time and we would restore from backup.
  • 10:45 : Recovery complete. Approximately 39 minutes of data was lost in the recovery.
  • Ongoing: We’re working to restore the missing data between the last backup and the outage. Updates will be posted as they happen.



We responded to support requests through our help desk, email, Twitter, and Facebook during the outage. We are looking into better ways of relaying system status to you in the future, including a 3rd party status monitor everyone can check.

DPD Update: Multiple Quantities in Bundles, Minor Bug Fixes

  • Jason@DPD
  • June 22, 2015
  • No Comments

In this update we’ve added the ability to add multiple quantities of individual products to bundles. This will be great for selling volume licenses and product keys with a quantity discount. We also squashed a couple bugs related to the new Proof of Delivery page and Subscriber Areas.

Bundles Support Multiple Quantities

When adding items to bundle products vendors can now specify a quantity for each line item in the bundle. If a component product contains product keys and there are multiple quantities added, DPD will deliver that number of product keys.

A possible use for this is selling bulk licenses at a discounted price without having to use coupons or hidden price points. You could create a key product for $10 and then create a bundle that contains 5x that key product for $45, for example.

To add quantities to new or existing bundle products you simply need to edit the quantity in the provided field on the product edit page:

Bundle Quantity Field

As before, you can drag and drop each line item to reorder their display on the delivery page.

Other changes in this update:

  • Minor layout tweaks to Proof of Delivery page
  • Removed some sensitive transaction log information from Proof of Delivery page (vendor emails, URLs, etc.)
  • Fixed an issue with downloads not being authorized for Subscriber Area trial accounts.
  • Added autocomplete tags for fields on mobile checkout
  • Fixed a bug that was spamming some vendors with $0 bills for the first <5 subscribers on their account.

PayPal Policy Update: Added Purchase Protection for Intangible Goods and How it Affects You

  • Jason@DPD
  • June 11, 2015
  • 6 Comments

Last night PayPal notified of a policy update, effective July 1, 2015, that included a number of changes to their User Agreement, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy.

Intangible Items Added To Buyer Purchase Protection

The most important change to sellers of intangible items such as games, software, ebooks, music, or audio files is that they are now extending Purchase Protection to buyers of intangible goods.

Section 13.3
We are increasing the scope of PayPal Purchase Protection to now include coverage for intangible items.

More importantly, while they are extending Purchase Protection to buyers, they are not extending Seller Protection.

Section 11.4
Although we are expanding PayPal Purchase Protection to buyers for intangible items, Seller Protection will not apply to intangible items. We are including a note in this section about this. In addition, we are adding a definition of Proof of Delivery for intangible or virtual items or services which can help a seller win a buyer’s Item Not Received Purchase Protection Claim.

Proof of Delivery for Intangible Items

As they mention above, the note added to the section defines proof of delivery as “documentation satisfactory to PayPal” that the item or service was provided to the buyer such as proof of download including the date of fulfillment.

“Proof of Delivery” for intangible or virtual items or services is documentation satisfactory to PayPal that the item or service was provided to the buyer such as proof of download including the date of fulfillment.

NOTE: Although Purchase Protection extends coverage to buyers for intangible items, Seller Protection does not apply to intangible items. However, having proper Proof of Delivery can help a seller win a buyer’s Item Not Received Purchase Protection Claim.

It is important to note that they only say proof of delivery, including proof of download and the date of fulfillment “can help a seller win a buyer’s Item Not Received” claim and does not guarantee a decision in the vendors favor.

In summary, PayPal has made it easier than ever for buyers to make Purchase Protection Claims against sellers of intangible (downloadable) goods. They have outlined in a very non-specific way how vendors can provide proof of delivery of intangible goods and said that it will in some way influence or “help” the claims process.

View the Entire PayPal Policy Update Here

What DPD Is Doing for Vendors

DPD is a Gold PayPal Partner and listed in the PayPal Solutions Directory.

DPD has always recorded purchase details such as the time the purchase took place, buyer IP address, the full PayPal responses and IPNs, and all buyer information provided to the DPD or PayPal checkout flow.

We have also always recorded download attempts including the amount of the file transferred, if we can detect a successful full delivery (based on transmitted data and the actual file size stored on our servers), the download IP address, and user agent.

We have taken all this information and compiled a Proof of Delivery page that can be provided to PayPal in the event of a Item Not Received Purchase Protection Claim. The page is hosted on DPD servers at a public but salted and randomized URL to protect buyer and seller information.

Here is an example Proof of Delivery page: Demo Purchase Proof of Delivery

Proof of Delivery Screenshot

DPD vendors can get this page for any transaction from its Purchase Detail page in DPD.

1. Log in to DPD

2. Go to Purchases in the left menu

3. Browse or search for the purchase and click the Purchase ID in the table to open the detail page.

4. At the top of the purchase detail page, click the Proof of Delivery button

Purchase Detail Page

Future Updates

We have contacted PayPal in an attempt to get further clarification on what additional information needs to be added to the Proof of Delivery page to maximize its effectiveness for vendors selling intangible items. Unfortunately, responses from PayPal are generally slow. As we receive more information from them we will update the proof of delivery page as needed.

Announcing DPD Subscription Areas and Drip Feed Content

  • Jason@DPD
  • June 8, 2015
  • 8 Comments

This weekend we released support for subscription areas in DPD. Vendors can now create their own DPD hosted subscriber “mini-site” and sell recurring subscriptions for access to content. This massive update includes many new features enabling you to sell access to scheduled content, drip feed subscriptions, and paid podcasts.

Based on the feedback and usage of our limited private beta of subscription stores we have modernized the subscriber area, added numerous features such as search, archives, better subscriber management, and an all new post interface, and changed the layout of content both in the admin and subscriber area for better readability.

The Subscriber Area

The all new subscriber area features a responsive design like our cart and checkout and layout optimized for readability and the way subscribers consume content.

Subscriber Index

The subscriber index is the first seen after subscribers log in. It has the first post in full, with the most recent posts below.

Subscriber Area Index

Post Page

Each post opens to its own post page, with any related content and downloads.

Individual Post Page

Archives / Search

The searchable archives page lists all posts in a compact list format. Both the post title and contents are searchable.

Post Archive / Search Page

Responsive Design for Mobile

Like our responsive cart and checkout, we’ve optimized the entire subscriber area for viewing on mobile devices.

Responsive Design

Creating a New Subscriber Area

We’ve added a wizard that guides you through creating your new subscriber area. To get started, create a new store. When prompted, select Subscriptions and the wizard will guide you through the process, step by step.

We’ve created a KB article to explain all the features and options during setup:

Getting Started with a DPD Subscriber Area

Multiple Ways to Post Content

DPD subscriber areas let you post content two ways- scheduled content and Drip Feed posts. The new post page in the DPD admin allows you to write content, attach files and a post image, and specify how this content will be released.

DPD Admin - Post Page

Scheduled Content

Like a traditional blog, you can schedule posts to go live on a specific date / time (or immediately) and all subscribers will see the post when it is published. You can attach downloads and a post image to your posts.

For more information on posting content:

Creating Content Posts

Drip Feed Content

One of the most popular requests we’ve ever had, DPD now supports drip feed content series where you specify what day after signup that a subscriber gets access to content. Drip feed posts allow you to queue up content and release it for each individual subscriber when they reach the drip feed interval.

Drip Feed Posts

For more information on creating drip feed posts:

Setting up a Drip Feed Series of Posts

Paid Postcast / RSS Support

You can optionally enable paid podcast / RSS feed support so that your subscribers can view your content feed in iTunes or their favorite feed reader. This will add the iTunes and RSS buttons you see in the index screenshot above to your subscriber site.

Check out the KB article below for more information on enabling podcast support:

Setting up a Paid Podcast Feed

Managing Subscribers

You can manage your subscribers from the DPD admin. Easy search tools let you find subscribers and modify their subscriptions, send a password reset, or cancel the subscriber.

Subscriber List in DPD Admin

You can drill down to each subscriber by clicking their name to find out how long they’ve been subscribed, their payment history, and perform account operations.

Subscriber Management page

For more information on managing subscribers:

Managing Subscribers

Need more help?

You can view all the documentation available for the DPD subscriber area in the new knowledgebase category listed below:

Subscriber Areas: Selling Access to Paid Subscription Content with DPD

We’re also here for you! Send us a live chat or submit a support request and one of our support team will do our best to get you started selling subscriptions and drip feed content with DPD. We welcome your feedback!

New ActiveCampaign Integration

  • Jason@DPD
  • April 28, 2015
  • No Comments

ac_symbol_transDPD now integrates with ActiveCampaign and passes customer info from your DPD store to the ActiveCampaign list of your choice when a purchase is made.

Setup only takes a couple minutes and works through ActiveCampaign’s API method for reliability and ease of use.

Other (minor) Changes in this update:

  • Fixed a sort order bug affecting the country list on older carts
  • Moved subtotal above the discount in v3 carts
  • Fixed formatting on user/support page.
  • Added select-to-text input on billing state inputs

DPD Update: Send to Dropbox

  • Jason@DPD
  • April 16, 2015
  • 3 Comments

In this week’s update we have a new feature for customers- they can now send their downloads directly to their Dropbox account instead of downloading.

This new option, which can be disabled on a per-store basis by the vendor under Store Preferences, adds a “Send to Dropbox” button for each downloadable file on the delivery page:

uueZD

Clicking the Send To Dropbox button will open a dialog that lets the customer log in to their Dropbox account and decide which folder the item should be placed in:

eEIp6

Once the buyer tells Dropbox where to save the file thats it! Dropbox will copy the file directly from DPD to the buyer’s Dropbox folder and sync with their desktop and devices.

We think this will be great for all customers, letting them reliably download files even when they have a poor connection, but Vendors can disable the Send to Dropbox option on a per-store basis by going to Store Preferences in the left menu and unchecking the “Enable Send to Dropbox” option.

Other bug fixes in this release:

  • Fixed a cart issue when a country that does not use states / provinces still displayed a state selection.
  • Fixed invoice translations being applied and made invoice use standard language translation pulldown.
  • Fixed buttontext and buttonhoverbg colors not applying to the checkout button in the cart.
  • Fixed not being able to uncheck the “Show once per sale” option on conversion tracking integration.

DPD Update: Expanded Support, AWeber Integration Upgraded, Admin and Cart Tweaks

  • Jason@DPD
  • March 30, 2015
  • No Comments

Expanded Support and Live Chat

You may have noticed that a new guy has been responding to tickets lately. Several months ago we brought on Chase as a part time customer support rep to answer tickets daily, and today I’m happy to announce we’ve added him as a full-time member of the DPD team. I’m sure everyone will enjoy faster responses to their support tickets and more staff means more features for everyone!

Speaking of more features, we’ve also added live chat support to the DPD Admin for all logged in vendors. When support is available the live chat tab will show “Chat with Us” and when nobody is available for live chat it will show “Submit Support Ticket.” We also have the Knowledge-base available 24/7 that has answers to the most common questions.

Updated AWeber Integration

We’ve upgraded our AWeber integration to use the new API method to add buyers to your AWeber lists. This should be much more reliable than the old parser method where we sent a signup email to sometimes-monitored-sometimes-down AWeber email address.

Because its an API method and we get a response from AWeber for each signup we are also able to log the action in each purchase’s Log section at the bottom of the purchase detail page:

AWeber Logging

Now if someone didn’t get subscribed to a list you can quickly check the transaction and see why- if there is an error response it will be listed there.

Those vendors with existing parser AWeber integrations will need to upgrade to the new API method. You’ll need to disable your old parser based integration (marked as Not Supported) and enable the new API based method, which is super easy.

Any new integrations added will automatically be the new API method since we’re ending support for the old parser based method.

You can read more about it by going to the AWeber Integration Instructions in our KB.

Other items in this release:

  • Fixed white-space collapsing in v3 EULA.
  • Fixed contact vendor feature of affiliate program.
  • Added display of available product keys on product/list (table view) and the purchase action list.
  • Added current store name to store chooser partial at the top of the nav menu.

DPD Update: New Admin Interface, Responsive Cart tweaks and fixes

  • Jason@DPD
  • March 18, 2015
  • 5 Comments

This morning we released a major update to the DPD admin that brings it in line with our new branding that we’re rolling out across the site. You’ll notice a new, cleaner admin after you log in to DPD.

Don’t be alarmed! We didn’t remove or move around any of the key pages so everything is where it used to be. Here are some of the key changes:

New Header Design / User Menu Layout:

We’ve changed the header to be cleaner and contain all user options, including switching to affiliate mode and logout, in the user menus.

New User Menu

We also moved the store selection and “Add New Store” buttons to the top of the left navigation menu:

VZZyY


New Grid and Table views for the product list:

We realize there are a couple different categories of DPD users when it comes to number of products- ones with a handful and ones with a ton. To make DPD easier to use for both, we have added new grid and table views to the product list.

The grid view is great for those with a few products. To get to the options for a product you just move your mouse over it and the context menu displays:

R8qKS

The table view is great for those with lots of products, or “Pro” users who want quick access to all product functions from one context menu:

lcWxF

Which view you use is completely up to you- you can select it using the buttons beside the filter and we’ll default to that view each time you return to the product list. To select the view to use:

m7Tkr

This is part of our ongoing branding update while we move all services to the new DPD logo and color scheme. You may have noticed the new logo in notification emails and other places around DPD. Next up we’ll be updating the sales site, so don’t be alarmed when it looks completely different one day- we’re still the same service with a new look.

We welcome feedback on the new admin style and product list options, or the new branding in general. Please drop us a line and let us know what you think.

Other Fixes and Tweaks in this update:

  • Cart: Fixed email merge var for Dansk translation
  • Admin: Removed zendesk tab, added zopim chat/support tab to new admin
  • Cart: Fixed v3 cart X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN error for some PayPal checkouts
  • Admin: Fixed Broken dashboards stats in some cases
  • PDF Stamping: Changed PDF encryption to allow annotations when enabled.
  • Cart: Updated State / Province translation for da_DK
  • Cart: Removed “Language” in favor of globe icon
  • Cart: Additional translation for Sweedish
  • Cart: Translations for “Add to Cart” and “View Cart”
  • Cart: Fixed Sweedish Krona Symbol
  • Admin: Allow iframe embeds in ckEditor
  • Affiliates: Fixed payout rates for flat rate amounts displaying correctly
  • Cart: Removed markdown from short descriptions
  • Cart: Fixed order countries by priority, then name
  • Admin: Resolve product update subject lines
  • Cart: Fixed SagePay fields from sometimes showing on other CC forms
  • Cart: Fixed Return if no method was selected
  • Cart: Added noscript tag to no-javascript warning on v3

Introducing the New Responsive Cart and Checkout

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 17, 2015
  • 4 Comments

Today we’re happy to announce the newest version of the DPD cart and checkout. The new v3 version of our cart and checkout is now fully responsive for mobile devices, includes a slick one page checkout, and features new hosted product pages in addition to the cart index.

The New Cart

The new and improved Version 3 cart and checkout brings with it several changes that we think you will love:

DPD responsive one page checkout

Responsive Cart Design. v3 blends a flat, modern look, with responsive design to make your store look great on all devices, big and small.

For the developers and designers out there, we based the new cart on Bootstrap 3‘s responsive grid system so it should be easy to customize.

One Page Checkout. DPD checkout now takes place on one page, with DPD loading whatever forms it needs (shipping, tax, etc.) based on what is in the cart. Where checkouts would previously be up to three pages they are now a single dynamic page. We’ve significantly shortened the conversion funnel for vendors which is proven to lead to more checkout completions.

More Languages. We’ve added 20 more languages to the DPD checkout! We’ve also made it easier to update translations in the future.

Hosted Product Pages

While you still have the option of adding our add-to-cart buttons to your website, DPD now provides hosted product pages that you can link to directly from your website, app, or even ads and forum posts. The hosted product pages use that mysterious “Long Description” field from product setup that we said we’d use in the future.

product-page

New Responsive Email Templates

To match our new responsive cart we’ve also updated our email templates to a new responsive design.

If you’ve already customized your emails we didn’t overwrite them- you can get the updated responsive emails by clicking the “Switch to Default” link on any email editor page.

responsive-email

How to upgrade

All new stores will automatically be v3-enabled. Existing stores only take a couple of clicks. Please take a look at our KB article that guides you through the steps.

Upgrade to DPD’s Responsive v3 Cart

We’ve worked hard to make this cart great. Please let us know what you think!

Coming soon!

We have a lot planned for 2015. Already in development we have session based download controls, a hosted ebook reader to help prevent sharing, Buy Now Widgets, pay-what-you-want products, and the return of subscriptions among several other changes.

Planned Maintenance Event for Jan 13, 2015 @ 11:00 PM ET

  • Jason@DPD
  • January 13, 2015
  • No Comments

Tonight we will be applying required security and stability updates to our primary web servers. This even will require a server restart and will result in a brief period of downtime for all DPD users while the servers reboot and come online.

This means that some or all DPD stores and the DPD admin will be offline during the maintenance period while software is updated.

We are going to be performing this maintenance at 11:00 PM ET and expect it to last less than 30 minutes.

See what time this is in your time zone here.

Planned maintenance events like these are rare but important to ensure the stability and safety of DPD. We generally only perform these a couple times a year or when a critical security vulnerability is found in software running on the machines, so we thank you for your patience and understanding.