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Jamie Balfour'sPersonal blog

Another new contract and another new technology. 

This month has been pretty good for me obtaining contracts; just finishing one at the start of the month, getting a new one at the start of the month and a week ago and a potential fourth one this following week. I aim to provide my clients with the best possible service I can, and if I say so myself, I think they are pretty happy with what I offer them at present.

For my latest contract, I've been working with Stripe, which in case you haven't heard, is a fantastic way to build in a payment method into a website. I have used PayPal's API in the past and found it to be very easy to handle, however, some websites demand more than just PayPal due to users not having access to PayPal or whatever.

With the latest contract, I am working on, reviewing the requirements specification document we formed, it's completely necessary to have a seamless, transparent payment system that allows users to quickly input their details including payment details. For this, I turned back to Stripe, which I have used briefly in an experimental website I was developing a few years back. Stripe is secure and easy to use. It also looks very professional. 

Let's talk API stuff now. Stripe provides an exemplary API, however, I decided to use the PHP wrapper found on GitHub to make this lightweight. I then made my own wrapper that transforms it into a reusable script across all of the sites I host.

The great thing about the API is there is no redirect or required way in which you process data, and you choose what you want to do with the finalised output of the form. In fact, you don't even need to take payment (that's a bit silly but it's true). You need to write a simple script that will process it after. 

The main benefit of this is that you can do all sorts of things prior or after the form submission such as sending an email of receipt or a notification of a purchase on the website. You can also add this to a database that stores what a user has purchased. 

But the main thing about Stripe is its ease of deployment. It only took me about 2 hours to get the whole site up and running with a test version of Stripe.

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