SecureVend™ Quickstart Guide
As you work through the guide below, note that we have a demo area setup in the ReachWorks store with working copies of the 3 major SecureVend™ components described below. Feel free to test, prod, and inspect them if it helps you in your own setup.
Setting Up Servers (required)
A SecureVend™ server is merely a prim, with our (Deliver) script inside it, along with the boxed items that you sell. When someone buys one of your products, the server is what sends them their purchase. Your server(s) can be located anywhere on the grid, and in fact, we recommend you keep it on a private sim that is separate from where your shops are. The SecureVend™ FAQ details why this is important. In any case, once you have decided where you will store your server(s), the next thing to consider is how many servers you want/need.
Number of servers
A single prim server can hold up to 1000 products, so it’s conceivable that you could use only 1 server for everything. That would also make your shop setup simpler, as there would be only one Pay script you’d have to use there. On the flip side, opening a prim with many objects inside it can be very slow with the Second Life® viewer when you need to add, remove, or change your items. You might also find it easier to keep track of your products by splitting them amongst several servers. The best option probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Our recommendation is to use as few servers as you can get away with. If you use too many, it’ll cost you more time when you setup your shop, as the Pay scripts are paired to servers. If you have 15 servers, you also need to juggle 15 different Pay scripts in your shop. So less is generally more. You can get around the viewer slowness issue if it becomes bothersome by using a prim inventory manager such as HippoINVENTORY. Such systems should not conflict with the SecureVend™ (Deliver) script.
Some merchants use multiple servers to better organize their products in ways that make sense to them. For example, one server for skins, and another for hair, for a merchant who has a diverse line of fashion products. Another merchant might use 4 servers, one per fiscal quarter (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4). Rotating the products through these as time passes gives his customers a year’s worth of history. There are many different ways to organize your products in servers.
Confused yet? If so, just contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss your individual setup and offer suggestions. These server decisions are really the only challenging aspect for some new SecureVend™ users. Once you decide on how to proceed, the rest will be much simpler, we promise
Example Setup: 2 servers
Go to your chosen spot and rez 2 prims on the floor, one for each server. You can shape, size, color, or texture these prims any way you like, or just use the default wood boxes. You can also name them anything you like; their names won’t affect the behavior of the system. Edit one of the servers, and drop the first (Deliver) script inside its Content tab. By “first” script we mean, the (Deliver) script that has a (1) in its name. In our example here,
"ReachWorks SecureVend (Deliver) (test) (1) (v1.2)" — your script will look similar, except instead of (test) will be the name of your business.
Now repeat the process for your second server, but use the (2) script this time. Additional servers follow the same process, with a unique numbered script inside each. Some hovertext will appear above each server with some basic information about it.
Next, add your boxed products to the contents of each server. The servers can only deliver objects, not folders. So your products should be boxed inside a prim before being put inside. At this point you may be thinking about how many products you have, and dreading how long they are going to take to box. Luckily, your SecureVend™ distribution includes some helper scripts that make this allot easier. This helper is called
"ReachWorks SecureVend - Buy Converter" and can automatically box the contents of a prim, and also install the SecureVend™ (Pay) script inside it, making it ready to be paired to your new server(s). Check the README notecard inside the Buy Converter package for instructions on how to use it. If like many merchants your shop is setup with “For Sale” prims that dispense their contents on sale, you’re in luck, as this is exactly the type of setup the Buy Converter can help with. Even a large store can be boxed up in under an hour using the Buy Converter.
Setting up Pay prims (required)
Your servers are now filled with newly boxed products, and are ready to send them to buyers. Now you need to setup the other side of the process, the “Pay prims”, which are what buyers pay in your shop to trigger the product delivery. As mentioned above, a helper package is included in the SecureVend™ distribution called
"ReachWorks SecureVend - Buy Converter" that can convert standard “For Sale” style prims to using the SecureVend™ (Pay) scripts. For this example however, we will setup a Pay prim manually.
Your SecureVend™ distribution will contain (Pay) scripts that look similar to the (Deliver) scripts. They are also numbered, and marked with the name of your business. For example,
"ReachWorks SecureVend (Pay) (test) (1) (v1.4)". To create a Pay prim that will deliver from one of your servers, you need to put the matching (Pay) script inside it. For (1) server products, use the (Pay) script numbered (1), for products in your (2) server, use the (2) Pay script, and so on. The (Pay) scripts can go inside any kind of prim or object. The only restriction is that their Name needs to match the name of an item inside your server. This is how the server knows which item to deliver when the Pay prim is paid. So the screenshot below shows a shiny sculpted apple named “Fruit Plate”, with a (1) Pay script inside it its Content tab. If you notice in the first screenshot, the (1) server contained an object also named “Fruit Plate”. This is what will be delivered when the apple is paid.
And how does a Pay prim like this apple know how many L$ to accept for a payment? Take another close look at the screenshot, and you’ll see the price (L$ 21) listed in the Description field. That’s all you need to do to set its price. Description can contain other information as well, just make sure that the price is at the very end, and that nothing follows it.
If you ever need to change a price, simply change it in Description, and then reset the Pay prim by selecting it in Edit, and then choosing
"Tools >> Reset Scripts in Selection" from the top of your Second Life® window.
The nice thing about this method of resetting is that you can reset more than one Pay prim at the same time. If you have 20 prims selected in Edit, all 20 will be reset when you run
"Tools >> Reset Scripts in Selection".
This optional feature allows you to discount the sale price for buyers who have a certain group active. To enable, just add a keyword to the prim’s Description field such as
[G 15] to mean 15% discount for example. Then make sure the prim is set (but not deeded to) the group that you want to offer the discount. Then reset the prim (Edit, then from the Viewer menu,
Tools >> Reset Scripts in Selection).
Here’s a screen showing a prim set to give a 15% discount to the Reach Isles group.
On reset, you’ll be prompted to give debit permissions to that prim. This is necessary so that upon group verification, the buyer can be refunded the discount amount.
This optional feature is sometimes called “Split Pay”, and means, when a buyer pays your vendor prim, a portion of the L$ proceeds is sent to one or more avatars. To enable it, you need to add a notecard named
_share to each vendor prim you want to enable profit sharing for. The format is one or more lines that contain a number (the percentage) followed by the key of the avatar you want to send that percentage to. For example,
Meaning, 25% to the first key, and 15% to the second key. Whatever is left over (40% in this case) is sent to you. You can include any number of lines, as long as the percentages are no more than 100 in total.
To get an avatar’s key, there are a few methods. If you use the Emerald viewer as many do, just look in the avatar’s profile, their key will be listed at the top. Otherwise, you can look keys up @ http://w-hat.com/name2key
When you enable profit sharing, you’ll be prompted to give debit permissions to that prim. This is necessary so that you are able to process the payouts.
Redelivery Terminals (optional)
The third and final component of SecureVend™ is (Redeliver) which sets up a prim or “terminal” that allows buyers to lookup past purchases and have them re-sent. This is helpful if they accidentally lost their copy or it is eaten by the asset servers. Redelivery is generally only relevant if your products are sold with copy permissions, and is completely optional. If you don’t want to allow re-deliveries, then you can simply ignore this section.
The (Redeliver) scripts are named and numbered in the same fashion as (Deliver) and (Pay), with one small addition — the Redeliver script marked with (all) will setup a Redelivery Terminal that is not tied to a single server. Rather, it will span across all your servers! This gives you the flexibility to tailor the behavior of your Redelivery Terminals. If you want a Terminal to only offer customers items from only your (1) server for example, then you’d use the (1) Redeliver script. If however you want items from ALL your servers offered to customers from a single Terminal, you’d use the (all) script. A future feature might allow a combination of servers in a single Terminal, for example (1), (3), and (4), but for now it’s either one server or all.
Your terminal can be anything from a single prim to a fancy multi-prim display object. Simply insert the appropriate (Redeliver) script inside and it becomes a Redelivery Terminal. All the customer has to do is touch it, and their past purchases will be looked up for them. They will be shown a blue dialog box where they can view their items, and request delivery of them.
Note that, SecureVend™ properly recognizes customers who received items as gifts as well. So if a gift recipient didn’t get their item for some reason, it’s easy, they can simply visit your Redelivery Terminal and have it resent.
reachworks.me web portal (optional)
Lastly, once you start pushing some sales through SecureVend, you’ll want to check out reachworks.me. This is our customer portal website where you can manage your full SecureVend sales history, view information on your servers and hosting, and more. Access to reachworks.me is included for all ReachWorks customers at no additional cost.
Inside the portal you’ll find a clean, clear, and blazingly fast view of all your sales transactions, with some great features like a quick search box at the top (ala gmail) and column sort. Sidebar filters allow further refinement, grouping the results by day/week/month, server number, or sales location. If you’re used to suffering through your slow, clumsy Transaction History page on secondlife.com, you’re in for a treat.
For more about the site, including screenshots and how to get access, see http://reachworks.reachisles.com/products/dotme