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This article provides information on how to “test” the process of buying and managing a subscription with SubscriptionBridge.
How and what to test can vary depending on the payment gateway that you have associated with your SubscriptionBridge-based store. So the rest of the article is divided into sections that are specific to each payment system. The natural way to test SubscriptionBridge is by using the Test Payment Gateway, so we'll start there.
SubscriptionBridge includes a Test Gateway that allows you to test a variety of features without having to sign up for a “live” recurring payment system.
The main limitation of using the Test Gateway is that it does not allow you to test recurring payments, but rather only the user-triggered payments (e.g. purchasing a new subscription, adding a feature, paying an outstanding balance, etc.).
The Authorize.Net Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) system does not have a testing (or “sandbox”) environment. Authorize.Net Advanced Integration Method (AIM) does, but not the Recurring Billing system. So there is no way to create a “test” subscription and then have it process recurring payments in a test mode.
However, you can test the system in a live environment without actually charging the credit cards used in the tests. This is because when a transaction is processed by the ARB system, it is passed to the main Authorize.Net virtual terminal and it appears under Unsettled Transactions, awaiting settlement. Recurring payments are processed at around 2 AM PST, and those same payments are not captured until the afternoon (PST). So there are several hours in which the payments remain unsettled and can be voided before they settled.
For instance, this means that you can do the following:
By using this approach, you are testing the system in a fully “live” environment. When recurring payments are processed, information will be posted to SubscriptionBridge via the [:authorize.net#add-silent-post-url|Silent Post URL]. The only difference compared to what you will do with “real” transactions consists in the voiding of the payment before it is settled.
To test the system and simulate different scenarios, setup a short subscription (e.g. a subscription with a weekly payment interval and a week-long free trial, for example). You will then see SubscriptionBridge go through a series of “events” associated with the subscription (E.g. trial expiration reminder, subscription payment notifications, etc.). Note that Authorize.Net requires that the billing period be weekly or longer (i.e. you cannot setup a daily subscription, although that would be useful for testing purposes).
PayPal has a testing (“sandbox”) environment: you can sign up for a PayPal sandbox account at any time. The PayPal Sandbox mimics exactly the live PayPal system. To test SubscriptionBridge with PayPal, follow these instructions.
Note that PayPal will add to the e-mail address that you enter some additional characters when the account is actually created. Don't worry, that's just the way it works. Messages sent to that e-mail account can be seen by clicking on “Test E-mail” in the left-side navigation.
This Sandbox account works just like any regular PayPal business account. You will need to obtain the API Credentials and set the Instant Payment Notification settings just like you would do with a regular PayPal business account.
In SubscriptionBridge, as your payment gateway, select the PayPal payment system that you wish to use (Express Checkout or Website Payments Pro) and enter the credentials that you have just obtained from the sandbox.
You can now use SubscriptionBridge with PayPal in a sandbox (testing) environment.
NOTE: to successfully submit orders using the PayPal sandbox, you must use a buyer user created using your sandbox account, and you must be signed into your PayPal sandbox account at the time you place the order. Otherwise, you will receive an error.