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Questions that's been bugging me

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surefire



Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:17 pm    Post subject: Questions that's been bugging me Reply with quote

I've been using Ioncube for quite some time, very successfully... thank you very much for your excellent product.

But something's been eating at me and I was hoping you could help me out.

A quick 'what if'...
If I encode a custom CMS I've built and bundle it with IPF... the end user gets a nice one click install.

But it would seem to me that I'm setting my clients up for an eventually nasty surprise when their server is upgraded (most are in a shared hosting environment) and they jump from php 4+ to 5+ or 5.0+ to 5.1. Multiply this times thousands of clients... I have this nightmare of lots of clients upset because all of a sudden their site is down.

In a perfect world, they'd read the readme.txt documentation, the tutorials, and they'd update their loaders on their own... but with other products I've distributed using Ioncube, my experience has been the opposite.

Is there a question in here somewhere?

Yes... my question is: What is the best solution to the need for new encoders if software is being distributed to a large number of clients that are in a shared hosting environment?
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liaison
ionCube Support


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2788

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Thanks for the question. In fact, the surprise may be that after an upgrade, everything continues to work just as before!

Whilst some servers are bravely on the bleeding edge of PHP, many are a few versions behind. For at least the main platforms, we generally have Loaders out either before a PHP release that matters (i.e. a major one), or soon after. When IPF installs Loaders, it determines which version of PHP an end user is running, and installs all relevant Loaders from that version upwards. By doing this, if a host that is currently with 4.3 then moves from 4.3 to 4.4, and eventually to 5.0, the Loaders are already there and the change of PHP is seemless. Even without IPF, if someone installs Loaders from one of our packages, they'll have Loaders available at the time.

However, sooner or later, a user may indeed be on the last version of PHP that was supported at the time, or simply not have installed all Loaders for newer versions of PHP. The responsibility for making sure that end users are "upgrade ready" is really with the companies that provided the software in the first place, as they are their customers, and will in most cases be supported. As you'll have seen in the past, we put out emails to our customers when new Loaders are available, and soon this information will also be available on an RSS feed. Once we've contacted our customers, they can then either proactively distribute Loader updates, or at least make their customers aware that new Loaders exist.
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surefire



Joined: 23 Sep 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick, thanks for the great and fast reply. You are always on your A game.

I have put in a request to evaluate the IPF trial already, and am thrilled to hear about the loading of all applicable loaders.

Let me ask you this: Is it possible to send out an upgrade to my clients using the IPF tool, and have any new loaders (say 5.1) added at the time the clients upgrade?

One last thing: you mentioned "As you'll have seen in the past, we put out emails to our customers when new Loaders are available" but I've never received such an email. I've received product announcements, but not announcements about loaders. In a previous support ticket, I think I asked to be on such a list and was told it didn't exist... that I couldn't be emailed about new loaders.

(Perhaps I'm mistaken)
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liaison
ionCube Support


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2788

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure why you wouldn't have received an update about the Loaders. We try to do this for all major releases. Also, you can generally assume that when there's a new PHP release that we'll have support already or within a few days for the main OS's. When it's up, the RSS Loaders feed will be one way to be in touch. We may also add an announcements list that will be posted to automatically by our system when new Loaders are updated on the site. This could create emails as often as once a day during certain periods though. One of the problems with emails is that they can go missing or be blocked, and so polling our site via RSS should be better.
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liaison
ionCube Support


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2788

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using IPF, you would currently produce updates as a new package, possibly containing just the changed files. If the user installs from the same machine that they did the first time, the initial screen will show that a previous install exists, and they could choose to upload the new package on top of the existing install. This would appear to be a new install, but would function as an update.

As packages can be localised, even though the wording in the package wouldn't say upgrade at points where you might want it to, you could produce an English translation of the default messages (which of course are themselves in English), and in so doing change any of the messages that an end user sees.

New Loaders would not currently be installed if IPF detects that encoded files are already working so as not to waste the users time by installing Loaders that it doesn't need. Updating the Loaders to newer versions if they're old is something that we've considered though, and should be possible as a future feature.
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