Frequently Asked Questions
Additional support may be found on our Support
What's the difference between ASP carts and those developed with CGI
Are there any free ASP-based shopping carts available?
What about free "off-site" shopping carts?
Will the search engines index my products?
Can I develop my own shopping cart?
Why are "client side" shopping carts problematic?
What permissions does the "IUSR_<MACHINE NAME>" need?
What is source code?
Do I get the source code with my CyberStrong eShop?
Can I see the source code before purchasing?
Is there a free trial?
How does CyberStrong eShop integrate into my system?
Can I lay out my own browse pages?
Is there an easy way to create thumbnail images?
Can I categorize my shopping cart?
Do I need Microsoft FrontPage to use CyberStrong eShop?
Does eShop support online credit card authorization?
Can my customers search my database of products for sale?
Can eShop handle multiple sizes, colors etc.?
How does CyberStrong eShop calculate sales tax?
How do I get my CyberStrong eShop files to my Web site?
I want to add <feature> to CyberStrong eShop, how hard will that be?
Can I import
data into my CyberStrong eShop database directly?
How many products can I have in my CyberStrong eShop?
What version of Microsoft Access does CyberStrong eShop use?
Does CyberStrong eShop support SQL servers?
I am expecting a lot of shoppers. Do I need a SQL server?
Is there a disadvantage to using a SQL server?
How many concurrent users can MSAccess support?
Is CyberStrong eShop restricted to Windows servers?
Does CyberStrong eShop require cookies?
Is CyberStrong eShop IE6 cookie friendly?
Will CyberStrong eShop run in a frame?
the difference between ASP carts and those developed with CGI scripts (perl, java, etc.)?
ASP is an ISAPI (Internet Server Application Programming Interface) that runs on Microsoft
IIS and PWS Web servers. An ASP page is basically an HTML page with embedded
server-side scripting. When the Web server receives a request for a page with an .asp
extension, it processes the page through the ASP engine, which interprets the scripting,
and combines it with the HTML to create a dynamically-generated HTML page which is sent to
CGI does much the same thing. However, ASP has the
advantage of having all of the code in the Web pages which dramatically simplifies both
the design and maintenance of the product. ASP can be freely intermixed with static HTML
ASP can also work with COM (Component Object Model)
objects, which are special DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries - libraries of pre-compiled
executable code) on the server. This means that you are free to extend the capability of
ASP pages through compiled code. Such DLLs can be prepared simply using many development
languages including Visual Basic.
The Microsoft ASP Engine comes with a number of these COM
objects built in, such as ADO (ActiveX Data Objects), which is used to connect to
databases. The COM objects provide an excellent object-oriented programming interface
which makes it easy to work with the kinds of data. ADO is a technology for databases
which provides a common programming interface for virtually ANY kind of database or data
Some people believe that CGI is becoming an obsolete
technology. While we won't go that far, we have been genuinely impressed with the
simplicity and extensibility of ASP-based Web pages.
there any free ASP-based shopping carts available?
We started our search for a shopping cart for our own clients just this way, but soon
found disappointment. Generally they lack even the most basic features.
you have to be an accomplished ASP programmer to use any of the free shopping carts we
could find. Be prepared to spend a lot of time getting these programs production
about free "off-site" shopping carts?
There are a number of "off-site" shopping carts, some of them free.
At first this sounds like a good deal. But off-site
shopping carts are no easier to configure than your own shopping cart and you can only
take orders when their site is up. Some of them display their advertising to your
customers and you can never be sure how long they will be in business.
The worst feature of off site shops is that the look and
feel of your site is lost when your customer begins the order process. Plus, some
customers become suspicious if they notice by the URL that they have moved off site.
the search engines index my products?
Yes! CyberStrong eShop features a "Create Search Engine Pages"
feature which automatically generates product pages for search engine
indexing. The provided template allows you to customize the look of your
catalog pages. Click here
develop my own shopping cart?
Yes. If you are a programmer and are interested in developing your own shopping cart have
a look at the sample
ASP cart at ASP 101. There are some good ideas here on how to develop your own cart.
If you want to get a head start on developing your own
cart, CyberStrong eShop comes with full source code and no CyberStrong or third-party
DLLs. The code is very well written, well commented, and nicely structured. Our shopping
cart is supplied with a working demo and database that you can run on any Windows
server in minutes. Just install it, run it, then modify it incrementally
until you get what you need.
"client side" shopping carts problematic?
customer's computer to implement shopping cart functions. This allows the shopping cart
vendor to implement some features with fewer page loads and allows for some
"cute" features such as mouseovers.
Unfortunately, client side languages are not yet
standardized, nor are they available on all browsers. Even mainstream browsers such as
Firefox and Internet Explorer do not agree in their script implementations. Older AOL
browsers are famous for their script problems.
table editor). Its code has been carefully screened to ensure that it is browser
What permissions does the "IUSR_<MACHINE NAME>"
"IUSR_<MACHINE NAME>" permissions control access to your Web files by your
host's Web server. CyberStrong eShop (and most shopping carts implemented with Microsoft
Access backend databases) require the IUSR_<MACHINE NAME> to have modify permissions
on the files in your shopping cart folder. If you are
the host provider and need help setting your permissions, click here
Source code is the original representation of a computer program. It is written and
maintained by computer programmers who receive special training for this purpose.
Although you do not need to be a programmer to install
source code on your host you will need some programming skills to modify it.
get the source code with my CyberStrong eShop?
CyberStrong eShop is available with full source code. Our software is written in Active
Server Page VB Script and is well documented and clearly commented.
The product also comes with a sample, populated, MS
Access database so that you can run it "out of the box". This allows you to get
a good grounding in the code before you change it. You can then modify it incrementally
and test your changes. CyberStrong eShop will run on any Windows 9.x/NT/2000 platform with
Web server where ASP is supported.
Can I see the
source code before purchasing?
Like our competitors we are unable to release source
code prior to purchase. However, many of our clients have customized
CyberStrong eShop as you can see
on the sample sites page on our Web site ... so the code must be
easy to modify! You will find our code well written, modular and with lots of comments.
Functions are short, to the point, and use long descriptive names. Each function has a
brief synopsis above it. We have standardized routines for common tasks such as form
button display and processing. We make judicious use of global and session variables. We
use only experienced, seasoned programmers.
Is there a free trial?
Yes! We offer a free server check and a free trial. Please see the
Free Trial page for details. We also provide an
online storefront demo and an online admin demo. Please see the
Online Demo page for details.
does CyberStrong eShop integrate into my system?
CyberStrong eShop can easily be embedded into your existing Web site.
In addition, the software includes a style sheet with over 90 distinct
style definitions to control fonts, colors and sizes. You may display
your site logo on all shopping pages, as well as customize your own
button graphics. For full details please visit our
lay out my own browse pages?
Yes. CyberStrong eShop comes configured with a standard two column product browse page
which is customizable to support any number of columns and column widths.
If you prefer, you can display your products on their own
page then link to the shopping cart to begin the ordering process by using the following
where <Code> is the product code you entered in the
Products table. You may wish to change the configuration of the Continue
Shopping button to return the shopper to your page by modifying the Browse Start
Page URL parameter in eShop Setup. This technique can also be used to send
"buy me" links in promotional emailings
there an easy way to create thumbnail images?
Yes. We use and recommend a program called "ThumbNailer" from Smaller
Animals Software, Inc. This Windows-based program has the ability to process multiple
images at once, and supports several sizing options including "fixed width"
which is perfect for CyberStrong eShop product browse page images.
Also, via eShop Setup, you can limit the width for the small
and large product images.
This setting causes the browser to resize the images to the specified
categorize my products?
Yes. You can limit the number of items displayed to a single category by using the Category
field in the Products table. Simply fill in the Category field for every
product then launch your shopping cart like this:
where <Product Category> is the category you wish
You can also use this field to implement subcategories by
separating your categories and subcategories with a unique character of your choosing. For
example, if you entered a category of
Will retrieve all the items in the "main"
will retrieve only those in the "burgers"
subcategory of "main".
An optional drop down box on the CyberStrong eShop product browse
page allows buyers to move quickly and easily between categories.
need Microsoft FrontPage to use CyberStrong eShop?
No! CyberStrong eShop has no client-side requirements.
CyberStrong eShop support online credit card authorization?
Yes! CyberStrong eShop is fully integrated with 2Checkout.com, Authorize.net,
PayPal, Protx, USA ePay, WorldPay and YourPay payment services. If you require a
payment service not on this list, please contact us. Chances are we are working on the
payment service you need.
customers search my database of products for sale?
Yes. A search box automatically appears at the top of every browse screen. You can also
insert a search box on your own Web pages by adding the following code:
<input type='text' name='txtSearchString' size='20'>
<input type='submit' value='Search' name='Action'>
CyberStrong eShop handle multiple sizes, colors etc.?
Yes! Sizes, colors etc. are called "options" in CyberStrong eShop. You may have
as many options as you like, and give them any title you need. CyberStrong eShop comes
pre-configured with two options, "Size" and "Color".
CyberStrong eShop calculate sales tax?
CyberStrong eShop calculates sales tax based on the 'Ship To'
address for the order. Sales tax is calculated at the rate specified in eShop Setup
for that location.
Also, click here for more advanced tax features.
I get my CyberStrong eShop files to my Web site?
There are two methods you can use to get your files to your Web site:
- Unpack the CyberStrong eShop distribution Zip file directly into your
working directory on your client machine. Then "publish" your site in the usual
way. If you are using Microsoft FrontPage you may find it easier to create a separate
"site" to store your CyberStrong eShop files and database in. This will eliminate the
possibility of accidentally uploading the distribution copy of the database over the
"live" one on your host provider's server.
- Or, unpack your files directly into a folder on the host
server. We use and recommend a product called WebDrive that maps any FTP site into a drive
letter on your client machine. This allows you to unpack your
CyberStrong eShop zip file directly to
your server's file space.
I want to add
<feature> to CyberStrong eShop, how hard will that be?
While you will find our code well written, modular, and
sprinkled with lots of comments, your ability to modify it to your specific requirements
depends in greatest part on your own skill as an ASP programmer. Please see our source code page for more information. Our clients
page contains links to many sites where creative ASP programmers have modified our
source code to suit their special needs.
Please note that our license
agreement contains specific language regarding the modification of our source code.
import data into my CyberStrong eShop database directly?
eShop is an integrated system of Web pages and underlying database.
Entering data directly in your database by any means other than your
CyberStrong eShop administration area puts the integrity of your database at risk.
representation of data in your database is version dependent and can be
expected to change with each new release of CyberStrong eShop. While
this is not done casually, changes in the way the database represents
CyberStrong eShop data is sometimes necessary to provide for new functionality or to
provide support for new database platforms.
Your license agreement
contains language regarding modifying your database outside our
Web-based screens. Please check your agreement carefully before
modifying your database in any way.
many products can I have in my CyberStrong eShop?
The number of products you may have is limited by the number of records a Microsoft Access
database can hold, about four billion.
version of Microsoft Access does CyberStrong eShop use?
CyberStrong eShop ships with Microsoft Access 2000.
You are free to upgrade the database to your version of
MS Access if you wish. Remember, however, that not all hosting companies keep their
server's driver software current. Check with them before upgrading your database.
Your license agreement contains language regarding modifying your database outside our
Web-based screens. Please check your agreement carefully before modifying your database in
CyberStrong eShop support SQL servers?
Yes! CyberStrong eShop ships with a SQL command file to quickly create its tables and test
data on your SQL server. SQL compatibility has been tested using Microsoft SQL Server
Version 7.0, and SQL Server 2000.
expecting a lot of shoppers. Do I need a SQL server?
Probably not. We have CyberStrong eShop customers using our MS Access database to serve 8,000 or more
products and log hundreds of orders every day. Unless you expect usage well beyond this
level, you will most likely not require a SQL server for your
Is there a
disadvantage to using a SQL server?
Yes. There are five disadvantages to use a SQL server to
hold your database.
First, depending on your hosting company, it may be
difficult or impossible for you to retrieve your data should you chose to move to a
different hosting company in the future.
Second, in most virtual hosting arrangements, you will be
sharing a SQL server with other Web sites. This means that it is, in theory, possible for
another vendor's shopping cart software to crash the shared SQL server bringing both his
*and your* shopping carts down. Also, if a server sharing neighbor ties up the shared SQL
server with intensive queries, your site's performance will suffer too.
Third, sharing a SQL server on another machine means that
for your CyberStrong eShop to operate both the computer serving your site and the computer
running the SQL server must be up and running. This effectively cuts the uptime of your
CyberStrong eShop in half.
Fourth, SQL databases are more prone to attack by
hackers, and the ensuing damage is generally greater.
Fifth, you are generally at the mercy of your host
provider with regard to backups of your data. Check with your host provider to ensure that
they are keeping a current backup of your database at all times.
concurrent users does MSAccess support?
The number of concurrent users you can run on your
CyberStrong eShop is determined by the computing power of your host and the number of open
ODBC connections they allow on your database.
CyberStrong eShop's shopping cart pages have been carefully designed
to close its database connection after each page is constructed. This means that
concurrency is only an issue during page loading, and not page viewing. Since shoppers
spend much more time viewing pages than loading them, concurrency is an issue for only a
small fraction of the time a shopper spends at your site.
For example, let's say your host provider can construct
a CyberStrong eShop page in 1/10 of a second (the time to deliver the page over the Internet does not
count in this calculation). Let's also assume that your host provider supports 100
simultaneous connections to your database. To reach the concurrency limit, your collective
shoppers would have to request roughly 10 x 100 or 1000 page loads a second. That's a lot
Although these numbers are somewhat difficult to measure,
we know that many CyberStrong eShop merchants are receiving in excess of 100 orders per day using
shops containing thousands of products.
Is CyberStrong eShop restricted to Windows servers?
Yes. CyberStrong eShop must be installed on a Windows server. Please
review our server-side requirements for
Does CyberStrong eShop require cookies?
Yes. CyberStrong eShop uses "per session" cookies.
Per session cookies last only for the life of your current browser load and use no
permanent storage on your customer's hard drive. The use of per session cookies is very
common in modern Web sites.
Is CyberStrong eShop IE6
Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 and later warns, by
default, whenever a third party cookie is used. CyberStrong eShop is not a source of third
Will CyberStrong eShop
run in a frame?
Yes, CyberStrong eShop will run in a frame, but we don't
recommend this practice. Current browser technology suppresses the display of the
"lock" icon when only a portion of the page is secured. As a result, although
you can secure your cart inside a frame, your shoppers will never see the reasurring lock
icon on their browser.
Starting with version 3.1 of CyberStrong eShop you can
easily embed your shopping cart within an existing Web. Click here for more details.