View from inside the viper

DotNetNuke Ecommerce Made Easy with the Latest Cart Viper Release 1.6

  April 23, 2012 16:24
by Mark

1063650_37233894Today marks a great day in the development of Cart Viper our ecommerce solution for DotNetNuke, we have just release version 1.6 of the product.

This is a major release with over 35 great new features or improvements to Cart Viper. Over the coming days and weeks we’ll be talking some more about some of the key new features in this release and why it can help you create a great ecommerce store for your customers.

  1. Numerous performance improvements
  2. Ability to sell events - AJAX events calendar module (please note this is an extra add-on).
  3. Google Sitemap support for getting the best possible SEO.
  4. Youtube videos on product details
  5. Categories support Youtube videos.
  6. Pre-checkout notification callback method to validate the order before allowing it be placed within the store.
  7. Export new orders to the Amazon Message Queue SQS, allows integration into external systems to process placed orders.
  8. New payment gateway Cyber Source
  9. Support for three new currencies JOD, HKD, THB and MXN
  10. Mix and match discounts, buy 6 items from this category and get 10% off the items for example.
  11. Let customers request a quote for a large order, moderate and adjust the prices then allow the customer to pay for the order online using a credit card.
  12. Optionally define customer managers that need to approve orders from sub accounts before the order can be placed within the store. Great for B2B sites that need basic order moderation for their corporate clients.
  13. Define a global quantity limit and quantity purchase pattern for a product to mean that only specified quantities of the product can be purchased.
  14. Ability to use custom smtp settings per portal when sending the emails generated by Cart Viper.
  15. Support for an unlimited number of options for a variant, user interface just expands as you enter product options.
  16. The product tabs and related products output is now controlled using a token, so you are free to place this controls anyway you like within the template.
  17. Improved product tab feature including, token support, embed modules, tab header, tab security roles and better sorting.
  18. The template system used to style the store now allows you to import an existing DNN module into the template.
  19. Define product facets which allows customers to filter products based on the product facets, size, colour, type, manufacturer etc.
  20. When search by keywords the products can be filter to a given manufacturer or category using the keyword facet search.
  21. An unlimited number of variants can be imported via csv.
  22. Ability to send order confirmation emails to multiple email addresses with your organisation.
  23. More tokens added to the custom email templates.
  24. Mark a product as in-store pickup only, means the customer must collect direction from the store.
  25. Optional ability to apply a percentage or fixed amount surcharge to an order placed with Paypal Standard.
  26. The store admin can now search for all orders placed during a start and end date.
  27. New order status - partial shipped.
  28. Batch printing of orders, select the date range and the order status then generate a PDF containing all the orders, print out and include with your package.
  29. Ability to restrict which states in the USA you will ship goods to.
  30. Cyber Source external tax gateway support, exact tax calculations based on the customer’s address.
  31. Newsletter subscribers management page to display a list of existing subscribers. Export the list to CSV.
  32. Allow products to be visible only to users with the required role.
  33. Include a shipping tracking number when you dispatch a customer’s order.
  34. Support for defining tax rates by each Canadian Province for stores located in Canada.
  35. New mega menu style category menu this can be rendered either vertically or horizontally. Optionally we can output the standard DNN menu into the mega menu to create a complete menu solution for your store.
  36. Recurring billing support when using payment gateway.

We are excited to have created this release and we hope you’ll take the free 14 day trial and see for yourself.

Existing customers from earlier versions can download the new version and upgrade for free, simply download and install the free trial, your existing license will unlock this to a full version.
We strongly recommend that you follow the upgrade steps in the manual and take a full backup of your database and existing site.

Backup Subversion to Amazon S3 in Five Easy Steps

  April 2, 2012 10:39
by Mark

Recently I found this excellent blog post on using Amazon S3 to backup your server, that got me thinking about making a specific version for backing up Subversion on a Windows Server.
A fully automated backup script that would backup all the repos we have directly to Amazon S3, with a cost of zero to $1 a month why wouldn’t you!!

Five Steps to Backing up SVN to Amazon S3

So without further a do here are the steps we’ve used to create an automated backup of SVN to Amazon S3.

1. If you haven’t already got an AWS Amazon account create one, then create a new bucket in S3.

Create a bucket in S3 for our Subversion backup files

2. Next you need to get your access credentials from the Security Credential options in the My Account menu in the AWS console.

Both Key ID and Secret Access Key will be required so that you can connect from your server to S3. Make a note of these values since we’ll need to add them to our batch file in step 4.

3. Download and install the free application S3Sync. This is the key part to the backup this smart little app will handle synchronising the SVN backup into the S3 bucket we have created.

4. Now we need to create a batch file which will perform the following steps

  • Take a hot backup of SVN
  • Copy the backup to the S3 bucket
  • Clean up the local backup on the server

Create a new folder called “C:\svn backup” inside that create a temp folder “c:\svn backup\temp” this will be location where we’ll copy our SVN backup to before moving it to S3.

Now in “C:\svn backup” create a batch file called svnbackup.bat with the contents below.

svn backup folder

set path="C:\Program Files (x86)\VisualSVN Server\bin"

svnadmin hotcopy c:\Repositories\Btb "c:\svn backup\temp\Btb"

"C:\Program Files (x86)\SprightlySoft S3 Sync\S3Sync\S3Sync.exe" -AWSAccessKeyId xxxxxx -AWSSecretAccessKey xxxxxx -SyncDirection upload -LocalFolderPath "c:\svn backup\temp" -bucketName SubversionBackup

rd "c:\svn backup\temp\Btb" /q /s

Replace xxxx with your own AWS credentials.

5. The final part to complete the process is to have the backup script run using the Task Scheduler in windows so that we get a nightly backup of the repos in SVN. Here we are going to backup the SVN repos at 6pm every day.

SVN Automated backup using Windows Task Scheduler

As in Alex’s original post the cost of using Amazon S3 for the backup is tiny, in your first year of signing up Amazon gives you 5Gb of storage for free. After that it starts at $0.125 a GB per month.

There you have it, 5 steps to help you sleep better at night with a complete SVN backup direct to Amazon S3 all for fractions of a dollar per month!

DNN SEO–10 Minute Task to Get a Better SEO Ranking

  March 26, 2012 09:52
by Mark

Today getting the best possible SEO ranking for your DNN website is critical to the success or failure of your website. But what if you were missing out on maximising your potential that only takes 10 minutes fix?

Its important that every page in your DNN website has a unique meta description, this not only helps with getting a better rank but its common for the page description to be displayed in the search results. A carefully written page description can help encourage a user to click your entry in the result.

Even a small DNN site could prove a lot of work in checking the description for each page but there is a free module Keyword Editor that you can deploy to your site which lets you manage the meta description for all your pages. Better yet the module has an AJAX interface which lets you edit the page’s description so you don’t need to visit every page in your site.

Getting Started

1. Download and install the module.

2. Create a new page in the admin menu, its important that the page is only available to the site administrator. You don’t want visitors to your site being able to change your page descriptions.

3. Simply click on the row to start editing the page’s meta data, when you have completed editing the row just click on another row in the table to save the values.


Ten minutes spent tuning your page descriptions in DNN could have a dramatic improvement of your site traffic!

Performance Improvements to Cart Viper

  March 21, 2012 21:16
by Mark

graph_arrowA major improvement in Cart Viper 1.6 is that we’ve tuned the performance of the application start at the database level and running all the way to the business logic to make your store operate faster.

All aspects of the application, browsing the store, searching, viewing the product detail and checkout are now significantly faster. Recent research has suggested that Google takes into account the speed of site when ranking a page, “faster sites create happy users”. The improves we have made can only help improve your ROI on your store.

The net effect is the store runs up to 3x fast than the previous version of Cart Viper.

Unlike other DNN vendors we currently offer existing customer the ability to upgrade to the latest version free of charge. So if you are already a customer why don’t consider upgrading to the new version today.

If you are new to Cart Viper then take our free no sign up, no hassle 30 days trial.
We want to create the best ecommerce module in the DNN arena.

A Great Product Deserves Great Support

  February 14, 2012 19:55
by Mark

jigsawOur aim is to create the best ecommerce solution for the DotNetNuke platform. A simple statement to make but a pretty bold claim, so we constantly listen to your feedback and suggestions which drives our development cycle. Never ready to rest on our laurels we are always working on improving Cart Viper.

However no matter what we do to our product without providing great support we won’t be able to achieve our bold claim.
Don’t take our word for the high quality of support we offer with Cart Viper take a look at Bill Losey’s review.

“Great, great, great, great, and oh yea, did I say great? I have found it to be rare to purchase any DNN module that does what the developer says the module will do.
Cart Viper is a rare exception and a pleasant surprise and the support is equally great and surprising. I have either evaluated or purchased no less that four eCommerce modules and every one ended in total disappointment.
Try Cart Viper and unless you have some truly off the wall requirements, the folks at Cart Viper will have you covered. All I can say to them is thank you for a wonderful product and terrific support.”

So if you are ready to see what all the fuss is about, try us out on your next ecommerce product. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Hatching More Viper Features

  February 9, 2012 20:22
by Mark

stairwaysThis blog has been a bit quiet of late but behind the scenes we have been very busy. We are currently working on some new advanced features which we hope to release in the next few months. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to a release.

Everyday we are working on new features and improving existing ones, we are determined to create the best ecommerce solution on the DotNetNuke platform.
Take the free 14 day trial now and see what you think.

Online Defibrillators Store Created using Cart Viper

  October 10, 2011 16:06
by Mark

Its always great to see how our customers use Cart Viper to create their stores.

Sam Harry has recently replaced an existing store built with AspDotNetStoreFront with our ecommerce solution.
Sam’s online store selling defibrillators shows just what you can do with our $150 product.

Online Defibrillator Store

DotNetNuke and Cart Viper make a cost effective ecommerce solution which will give your business a great ROI, together you get a great CMS and great ecommerce solution all for a fraction of the cost of AspDotNetStoreFront.

We have a free trial so you can see for yourself why Cart Viper can give you an advantage when it comes to selling online.

Custom Product Sort Order

  September 29, 2011 16:12
by Mark

In the new version of Cart Viper 1.4.1 we have now added the ability to define the sort order of products within  a category.

This allows the store owner to display their most important products above the fold of the page. The existing method of sorting the product by model name, number etc are still supported.

Using Custom Product Sorting

The first step is to set the Catalog Module to use Custom Sort Order as the sorting method.

1. Open the settings page for the module and expand the Category Product Settings section.

2. Select Custom Sort Order for the Sort By setting.

Enabling the custom sort order

3. Once we have defined that setting its just a case of sorting the products in the categories. On the Store Admin > List Categories page the Action menu has an option Sort Product.

List Categories

4. On the Sort Product page enter a number beside each product. When displaying the category, products with a lower number appear first.

Defining the custom sort ordering of the products

Here is what the Bathroom category looks like in the store front once we save the product ordering.

Store front showing the custom sort ordering



Thinking of turning your DotNetNuke portal into an online store? Try Cart Viper and see how easy it is to start selling today. Take the 14 day free trial.

Cart Viper Release 1.4.1 Available Now!

  September 23, 2011 10:25
by Mark

After a busy couple of months development we are pleased to have released a new version of Cart Viper today. Version 1.4.1 comes with a host of new features and bug fixes, the major points are listed below.

  • Variant Image support, display a different image when the customer selects a variant for a product
  • Ability to define the display order of products within each category
  • A new module Search Input has been created to allow the search box to be display anywhere in the page
  • Products can define price breaks based on the quantity order
  • Search results are now sorted by relevance by default
  • Limit a coupon to apply discount only to products within a given category
  • The Mini Cart Module has be converted to be template based so you are now free to style and change this as you require
  • Products can be assigned to a supplier
  • The Store Admin is able to moderate and edit order created with the offline payment provider
  • The category description edit control is now a rich HTML editor
  • CSV Product import now supports the ability to import the PDF datasheet for a product
  • Order Numbers can be prefixed with a code based on the user account which created the order

We’ll be blogging about the new features in the next few days, so stayed tuned find out more.

Existing customers can download the latest version and upgrade by following the instructions in the PDF user manual.

Liberate Online–Testimonial

  September 15, 2011 11:26
by Mark

Getting feedback and reviews for our online store module is great, WSI Captivating Web Solutions have created an online store for Liberate a Shamanic Healing and Theta Healing practitioner in Hertfordshire.

Shamanic Healing, Theta Healing and Soul Retrieval in Hertfordshire

“I have used this product for a small shopping cart on The module was integrated seamlessly without difficulty within minutes. The client does not have a large number of products just a few limited edition prints but is now going to add jewellery to the store too. I’ve just found out that I can upgrade the module and the latest version includes zoom functionality which is exactly what the client has been asking for.”

WSI Captivating Web Solutions